BLU1877, Italian food company Barilla’s venture group, made a call for start-ups to participate in the fourth Good Food Makers global accelerator. The program launched in 2018 in collaboration with KitchenTown, a San Francisco-based incubator. A small group of young companies from around the globe is selected to work with Barilla teams in developing and implementing innovative business solutions. For this, the pasta leader has outlined four challenges that reflect the trends, technologies, consumer behaviors and values that they say will shape the future of the food system. They are:

  • Circular Economy: solutions to upcycle three side streams—pasta regrind, wheat bran and bread crust—in order to create a healthy, safe and nutritious circular food system. 
  • Better Food Delivery: creative solutions in preparation, delivery logistics, automation, packaging, recipe development and more to deliver high-quality meal experiences—in particular for pasta—through new restaurant and delivery channels.
  • Digital Nutrition Guides: digital platforms to co-develop transparent, honest and accurate guides for nutrition, well-being, sustainability or what to put in consumers' shopping carts. 
  • Easy Meal Routines: better-for-you meal services, kits or products to meet busy eaters where they are without sacrificing on nutrition or sustainability.

One start-up business will be selected for each challenge area and work directly with a team of Barilla experts for eight weeks to create actionable solutions and implement them in real-time. The start-ups selected will also receive a $10,000 grant to use during the program to advance its solution.

“What makes Good Food Makers unique from other accelerators is that it is a real co-development program, meaning it helps our internal teams solve challenges and also fuels the start-ups’ growth by providing access to our best-in-class expertise from around the world” said Michela Petronio, VP of BLU1877. “One of the bright spots of the past year has been the flood of food innovators, and we can’t wait to unlock new talents and technologies while fostering a more resilient food system.” 

Call for entries began June 2 and runs through August of this year. Criteria include:

  • A specialization in one of the four challenge areas
  • Ability to demonstrate transformative ideas and approaches to supporting a better food system
  • Proven business results

The eight-week program will kick off in September and take place virtually, possibly including in-person collaboration depending on the location of teams and current COVID-19 public health regulations.

For more information and to apply: