Food and beverage company Nestlé has, in partnership with COOi Studios, launched an open-innovation platform – the Nestlé Hatcher, that will offer innovators and startup businesses opportunities to work with the food manufacturing company.
The aim of the platform is to open collaboration in solving some of the current business challenges across the East and Southern Africa regions (Esar).
Nestlé Esar chairperson and MD Bruno Olierhoek says innovation, business adaptability and strategic partnerships remain some of the bedrocks of Nestlé, particularly during the current challenging business environment.
“The Nestlé Hatcher innovation programme is part of our research and development efforts to accelerate the innovation of products and services that meet local consumer needs whilst collaborating with various stakeholders.”
He adds that Nestlé is cognisant that the current business challenges cannot be resolved by a single organisation, but through bringing together different yet complementary skills sets.
“Our fundamental goal with Nestlé Hatcher, is to work collaboratively with startups to identify sustainable and scalable solutions that help to accelerate the innovation of products and services in order to meet local consumer needs.”
Outlining the Nestlé Hatcher application process and how to get involved, Nestlé Esar innovation project lead João Barreto states that Nestlé has developed the Hatcher website where different business challenges will be published, starting on March 10.
He adds that these business challenges will include detailed briefs on what type of solution Nestlé is looking for, as well as any pertinent application criteria. “If you identify a challenge you would like to apply for, simply click the Apply Now button on the website and fill out the required details through our partner website, YouNoodle, to enter the challenge.”
HOW IT WORKS
The Nestlé Hatcher process works across four steps, with the first being a search. This involves a challenge being posted on the Nestlé Hatcher platform with a detailed brief of, and applications for, proposals.
The select step follows after applications close. All applications will be reviewed and rounds of interviews will be conducted to identify and select the best-fit proposal based on the challenge’s criteria. The selected startup will formalise a partnership to pilot the solution with Nestlé.
The third step – incubation – is where the finalist will proceed to pilot their proposed solution, with assistance from Nestlé along the way, which includes mentorship, business and technology support, and industry expertise.
The last step – scale – takes place once the project has successfully passed the pilot phase. Here, Nestlé will decide if they will scale the startup solution or not. If they are to scale, the startup will commence to being a vendor to Nestlé.
Meanwhile, the first challenge – Project UNO, focuses on Nestlé’s beverages business, and was announced on March 10.