By Dan Sonke, Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Stacy Kimmel, Director R&D
Defining the future of real food requires fresh thinking, new business models, and an ecosystem of innovative partners. One way we’re leaning into the future of food and agriculture is through a partnership with Village Capital, a venture capital fund that connects early-stage food and agriculture entrepreneurs with the people, institutions and capital they need to progress their ideas.
The world’s population is projected to reach 9 billion people by the year 2050*. As the global middle class continues to grow, the food industry is working to help find sustainable ways to address the triple challenge facing agriculture and the people it supports: how to produce more food with less land, less water and at a lower cost.
On the product side, consumers are increasingly demanding high quality, nutritious and different eating experiences, delivered in a transparent way from companies that are mission-driven.
Big data and technology continue to open up a new world of ideas around the way we grow, transport, and create food products. Entrepreneurs are doing an enormous amount in this space.
In a joint Agriculture and Research and Development initiative, Campbell is supporting Village Capital’s Food and Agriculture: US 2018, piloted in 2013, it’s the longest-running program for ventures tackling challenges in the food and agriculture sector. The program supports entrepreneurs with an award-winning curriculum, 1:1 mentorship with sector leaders, and tailored engagements with strategic partners and investors.
Over the next few months, we’ll participate in a series of workshops with 12 finalist start-ups, counseling them on everything from our Purpose: Real food that matters for life’s moments, and how to work with a partner like Campbell, to specific perspectives on the food and agriculture world as it relates to their company.
At the end of the program, the top two peer-selected companies will each receive $75,000 in pre-committed investment. While we will be giving advice in the workshops, we will also be gaining ideas from the participant companies, co-investors and the incubation process itself in order to drive our own acceleration efforts.
Learn about the 12 startups announced today by Village Capital.
We’ll keep you posted on the two start-ups that receive funding in July!
* According to The UN DESA report, “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision”