AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator is powered by Zx Ventures, the global growth and innovation group within the company. The group’s mission is to develop new products and services that address evolving customer needs. Emerging customer trends in the beer sector include the low- and no-alcohol segment, the craft beer revolution and awareness of environmental issues. As part of the 100+ Accelerator, annual boot camps on selected sustainability challenges will be ran in 9 different markets, followed by a 10-week implementation program to test and scale selected ideas. The challenges will be designed in support of AB InBev’s 2025 Sustainability Goals:
One of the innovations from Zxlerator, a previous accelerator program ran by Zx Ventures, is Canvas. Around 5 kilograms of spent grain is generated for every liter of beer that is produced, accounting for around 85% of the solid waste from beer production. Canvas is a solution to use the spent grain as a key ingredient for the production of non-alcoholic fiber & protein shakes. Whereas Canvas benefits from AB InBev’s network and resources, AB InBev is able to capture value from its waste stream of spent grain. Canvas has already spoken out that the technology behind retrieving the spent grain for plant-based beverages can be rolled out to other breweries in the future.
Another recent example of a corporate accelerator focusing on sustainability challenges is the Fashion For Good initiative. The initiative was founded last year by the foundation of the global fashion retailer C&A with the objective to change the fashion industry through innovation and new sustainable business model development.
One of the programs is the Early-stage Innovation Accelerator, whereby startups are supported in the transition to a sustainable apparel industry. This program accepts 20 startups a year to produce a proof-of-concept and fully developed business plan. To date, the accelerator has already brought new innovations reducing water usage (Nature Coatings), increasing resource efficiency (Texloop) and a mushroom-based textile that is 100% biodegradable (Mycotex).
Telenet, Belgium’s leading cable service provider, launched its first accelerator program in partnership with Idealabs already back in 2014. The majority of startups in the program had a positive environmental and/or social influence, for example Hoplr, a network focused on unlocking local value and improve neighborhood ties with mobile and web applications.
As of today, the Telenet Kickstart program has evolved towards partnerships with other startup communities such as Start it@kbc, the largest Belgian startup community, and imec IStart, with a key focus on startups in the telecom, media and entertainment sector. Furthermore, the company invests in promising startups, scaleups and spinoffs offering added value for Telenet’s business units.
Finch & Beak was closely involved in designing the business plan, the actual development of Telenet's accelerator program and feeding the experiences back into the company to create a culture of innovation. From our experience, we assembled a roadmap for corporates who are looking to explore the option of starting their own accelerator program. The three key steps are:
Finch & Beak has developed a state-of-the-art accelerator for the circular economy. During a 7-week program, in-house solutions to circular challenges are designed through a process of inspiration, ideation and implementation. Please contact Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Partner at Finch & Beak, to learn more about the Circular Economy Sprint at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 6 28 02 18 80.
Image source: Canvas