Giant food companies are looking for innovations from entrepreneurs. One of those major players, PepsiCo, has launched a program called Nutrition Greenhouse that aims to support those game changers.
Not only do programs such as these give PepsiCo and its ilk an avenue to potentially acquire new products and talent, but it also helps Pepsi executives and other staff develop their entrepreneurial spirit, said Daniel Grubbs, the managing director of PepsiCo Ventures Group.
"We are very excited to collaborate with, help grow and learn from these incredible companies," he said. "Each finalist is unique in their own way, but one thing they all share is they’re mission-driven and purposeful."
The 10 finalists were selected by a committee of PepsiCo leaders, the company said, and were chosen based on "their product and brand qualities, focus on consumer nutrition, scalability of their business model and uniqueness in the market."
Each company will receive $20,000 in grant funding and personalized mentorship from PepsiCo. The startups will begin a six-month business optimization program on Nov. 8, at the end of which one company will win an additional $100,000 prize.
Check out the 10 companies below, as well as insights from Grubbs on why Pepsi finds them exciting.
What is it: An ancient high-protein snack made from popped water lily seed.
What impressed Pepsi: "Consumers are increasingly leaning towards plant-based options to fill their snacking needs. In North America, people are not very familiar with water lily seeds, and Bohana’s product is a great way to introduce this ingredient to consumers in a puffed form. Bohana is also very focused on a sustainable supply chain, similar to our own values at PepsiCo."
And Bohana, a snack food company, makes bags of air-popped water lily seeds, “one of the most popular seeds in Ayurveda.” They’re similar to popcorn or puffed rice, and come in cheddar, spice or Himalayan pink salt flavor.