Monday, May 10, 2021
SnackFutures, the Mondelēz International innovation and venture hub, is welcoming nine startups that have been selected for the inaugural class of the CoLab start-up engagement program. Each of the US-based well-being snack brands will participate in a 12-week curriculum led by SnackFutures and receive a $20,000 grant.
After an application and interview process – during which the SnackFutures team reviewed applications from nearly 200 start-ups – the nine start-ups chosen represent a diverse group of snack brands with different formats, well-being propositions, revenue and distribution footprint, as well as several women and persons of color founders.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better representation of what the future of snacking holds and we are so excited to kick off our very first CoLab program,” said Brigette Wolf, Global Head of SnackFutures, Mondelēz International. “The founders are so inspiring and passionate about what they are doing. Working with them as part of the CoLab program is going to move the needle on their brands, support our innovation agenda, and ultimately help deliver on consumers’ desire for people and planet-friendly snacking.”
The 2021 CoLab class participants are:
- Better Bites Bakery: an allergen free bakery line founded by Leah Lopez to provide choices for her son who had life-threatening food allergies
- Chasin’ Dreams Farm: A popped sorghum snack founded by Sydney Chasin who is reviving an ancient grain to bring more options and flavors to gluten-free snacking
- Elite Sweets: A Keto donut brand run by founders Amir and Amin Bahari who each lost over 100 pounds and wanted to keep the weight off with a healthy version of their favorite treat
- LOVE, CORN: A crunchy corn brand made with simple, non-GMO ingredients founded by family members Jamie, Gavin & Missy McCloskey
- Numa: Numa, which means daughter and mother in Chinese, was created by “Numa” duo, Jane Xie and Joyce Zhu, to honor heritage through healthier versions of their favorite childhood candies from Asia
- NuSkool: A low-sugar snacking platform co-founded by Joe Christensen and Kevin Healy after seeing friends and family members struggle with obesity and heart disease
- Snacklins: Founded by former radio personality and chef Samy Kobrosly, Snacklins are plant-based crisps are like a vegan take on pork rinds
- Sourse: With the goal of making supplements accessible, Jenne Moore and Andrew Remlinger came up with vitamin-infused candy, starting with dark chocolate
- 12 Tides: A nutrient-dense, ocean-friendly snack founded by Pat Schnettler and Lindsey Palmer made from kelp sourced from regenerative ocean farms
The CoLab program, which launched earlier this year, is deliberately designed to be a collaborative effort between entrepreneurs and the Mondelez International ecosystem to drive mutual growth. SnackFutures will provide participating start-ups with tools, technologies and access to networks and industry expertise, while also gaining insights, capabilities and prospective investment opportunities. It’s also yet another demonstration of SnackFutures’ mission to create a snacking world that is good for people, kind to the planet and deliciously fun by bringing “big and small” together to push the boundaries of what’s possible in well-being snacking.
The CoLab program will begin in June, and is set to take place virtually with the potential for in-person sessions later in the year. For more information about the CoLab program, visit www.snackfutures.com.