MEXICO CITY — Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo has announced the launch of Bimbo Open Door, a business accelerator to invest in Latin American bakery and snacks startups that align with at least one of the three pillars of the company’s sustainability strategy.
The first sustainability pillar is nutritional diversity, identified by Bimbo as, “Baking or snack projects, either sweet or savory, made with clean label recipes or with inputs of vegetable origin, such as plants and whole grains.”
The second pillar of the company’s sustainability strategy is environmental care. Bimbo said applicants should be baking or snack projects that consider a sustainable supply of raw materials, such as regenerative agriculture or those that stand out for having waste control programs, reduction of carbon emissions and post-consumption actions, such as recycling or circular economy.
Bimbo’s third sustainability pillar is impact on the community. The company said it is looking for portfolios that have a brand with a purpose or a social benefit program for foundations and communities.
According to the company, Bimbo Open Door focuses on seeking, developing, and investing in startups and scale-ups in the bakery and snacks sector, whose projects stand out for their innovative value propositions, sustainable practices, and business model, among others.
Bimbo Open Door operates through Bimbo Ventures, the company’s business segment that, since 2017, managed four acceleration cycles through its Bimbo Eleva and Bimbo Bakelab platforms.
Within these acceleration cycles, the company said it received more than 1,000 project proposals, of which Grupo Bimbo collaborated with more than 20 — through alliances of various types — and invested in seven. Participation in Bimbo Open Door will require companies to have a product validated by Bimbo, annual sales over US$300,000 and availability to participate in the program.
Those startups and scale-ups the company selects as finalists will enter a 16-week hybrid program where they will be mentored by Bimbo executives and managers, and will get the chance to get to know the bakeries and innovation centers in the company while working on their projects.
In the final stage of the program, finalists will present the results of their work to a forum of company executives, Bimbo said. The company announced it is accepting registrations through Bimbo Open Door until Aug. 22. For this initiative, Bimbo has partnered with Blue Box, the largest network of incubators, accelerators, and corporate investment funds in Latin America.
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