The brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev has invited academics, entrepreneurs and scientists to apply to join a scheme designed to mobilise the world’s brightest minds in solving some of the most pressing sustainability issues.
The company behind brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s is looking for partners who can deliver breakthroughs in a range of areas including water stewardship, farmer productivity, product upcycling, responsible sourcing and green logistics.
Startups can apply with their solutions to 10 key challenges developed with input from internal stakeholders and third-party experts from around the world. Successful applicants will receive mentorship, funding and access to new networks under the 100+ Accelerator scheme.
“It’s incumbent on global businesses to play a bigger role in creating a better world for all,” said Tony Milikin, AB InBev’s chief sustainability & procurement officer. “At AB InBev we have a long-term vision to build a company to last for the next 100-plus years, which relies on driving sustainability across our business. Our approach is rooted in the communities where we live and work, and we are well positioned to support entrepreneurs who are tackling local challenges. Through the 100+ Accelerator, innovators will benefit from our resources, experience and global reach to speed their progress and scale.”
Selected winners will be announced next month and invited to be part of the 100+ Accelerator, which will kick-off in New York in October and run until March. The programme will culminate in a Global Demo Day in Leuven, Belgium, where startups will have the opportunity to pitch for further funding.
Maisie Devine, global director of the 100+ Accelerator scheme, said: “Today’s global sustainability challenges provide us with some of the greatest opportunities for development and innovation. We want to empower driven and committed entrepreneurs who are solving problems in their own communities. The 100+ Accelerator will draw on our company’s entrepreneurial spirit and our constant drive to deliver faster, better results.”
The 100+ Accelerator will begin with a pilot sprint for each chosen startup to validate product-market fit, followed by a structured curriculum focused on integrating with a large corporate partner and best practices for scaling. The Accelerator, which is set to run annually, will draw on insights and experience from ZX Ventures, AB InBev’s global incubator.
The scheme is designed to build on AB InBev’s recently announced 2025 Sustainability Goals under which the brewer committed to improving lives in the communities it is part of and playing a positive role within them.