Grupo Bimbo looks for Latin America's 'next great ventures' with start-up accelerator

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/scyther5
© GettyImages/scyther5

Related tags: start-ups, Grupo bimbo, accelerator, Innovation

Grupo Bimbo is looking to scale up innovative startups throughout Latin America with the launch of two accelerator programs, Eleva and BakeLab. “We're looking for the next great ventures in Latin America,” it says.

The BakeLab call for proposals has already opened and interested startups have until March 20 to apply while applications for Eleva will open on February 15 and run until April 16.

The company, which has a presence in 32 countries and claims to be the biggest bakery in the world, launched Eleva Food Technology Accelerator in 2017 and it has already scaled up 17 companies. It founded BakeLab, which will be headquartered in Santiago, Chile, this year.

“Since 2017 we have supported entrepreneurship through the Eleva platform," ​said Gabriela Guajardo, head of communications and corporate affairs at Grupo Bimbo Latin Sur. "[...] We are very happy that in this first Latin American version, BakeLab has chosen Chile as its headquarters, a country that has been developing a very interesting entrepreneurial ecosystem for some time now. We believe that we can learn a lot from everything that is developed here."

Selected start-ups will take part in a four-month, equity-free program involving piloting and mentoring from executives and managers on Grupo Bimbo’s global team. It will culminate in a demo day, with entrepreneurs pitching their business to Bimbo executives.

The bread to cookies manufacturer is looking for both start-ups that are less than two years old with a product that has passed the market validation stage and scale-ups of more than two years old with a defined business model and a portfolio of established customers.

Grupo Bimbo will select winning Eleva applicants through both digital and face-to-face scouting. This will take place mainly in Mexico - where any potential business collaborations will be developed - but the company is also holding face-to-face scouting days in Medellín, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo throughout March.

For more information about BakeLab and Eleva and to apply, click here​.

'Looking for innovation and tech'

Both startups and scaleups participating in the program must have the technical, operational, and financial capacity to be able to develop a pilot test together with Grupo Bimbo, the company said.

It added that it is looking for companies offering a value proposition that addresses or solves a specific problem with a clearly identified target consumer and high market potential.

The business must also have the potential to be scaled globally and applicants should be open to collaborating with Grupo Bimbo or its subsidiaries, either through investment or a commercial alliance. Although this is not an obligation, candidates should demonstrate “a serious commitment​” to exploring this path during the program, it said.

Some of the areas Grupo Bimbo is interested in include:

  • Finished products made with “differentiating​” ingredients.
  • New packaging solutions that have a reduced environmental impact while maintaining food safety and quality.
  • Technologies that optimize resources in the supply chain, reduce waste, and integrate renewable energy sources to production.
  • Business intelligence technologies in the area of sales, marketing and payment methods.

The Eleva demo day will take place in Mexico City on September 3 while the BakeLab demo day will be held in Santiago, Chile on July 20.

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