The 100+ Accelerator programme has announced its latest cohort of starts-up to help address environmental challenges. Find out which water companies have made the cut.
Addressing three major planetary crises
The matching of multinationals and start-ups is a powerful combination. Multinationals have the scale and reach to make a dent on enormous environmental challenges, while start-ups have the agility to develop and scale new innovations quickly.
One accelerator programme progressing quickly to help connect the two is the 100+ Accelerator, originated by beverage giant AB InBev.
Launched in 2018 the programme was later expanded in 2021 to partner with other companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive.
According to the UN, food system emissions were estimated at 18 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2015, or 34 per cent, and account for 72 per cent of water worldwide.
The 100+ Accelerator is moving faster and dreaming bigger for thee future.
A total of 46 innovations were selected from a total of 1700 companies around the world. Categories include circular economy, biodiversity, inclusive growth, upcycling, smart agriculture, climate action, circular packaging and water stewardship,
Within the water stewardship category, selected companies included: Inspectral, Aquacycl, Ketos, evove and Waterplan.
AB InBev said cohort four includes 18 women founders, 18 founders under 30 and a total of 15 languages spoken between the companies.
The 100+ Accelerator programme commenced earlier this month at the Stella Artois brewery in Leuven, Belgium.
“The 100+ Accelerator is moving faster and dreaming bigger for the future,” said Maisie Devine Sherman, managing partner and founder of the 100+ Accelerator.
How does the 100+ work?
Start-ups joining the accelerator programme will receive up to US$100,000 to implement a pilot project targeting the multinationals’ supply chains.
As part of the collaboration, the 100+ Accelerator provides six months of remote programming and training to accelerate the collaboration and growth of cohort companies in addition to a pilot or alliance with partner companies.
Participants receive support from a global team champion and access to mentor networks. The goal is for start-ups to complete the program and graduate to a larger commercial contract and strong relationship with one or more of the partner companies.
AB InBev said the 100+ Accelerator has worked with its corporate partners to identify the “thorniest sustainability challenges in their supply chains”.
“With the 100+ Accelerator, our innovation reach is much further,” said Erik Novaes, VP of procurement & sustainability at AB InBev stated.
“The rigorous selection process means that we build a strong engagement with the best and most relevant innovations for our businesses. The high success rate of our previous cohort members has had a strong impact and the 100+ Accelerator is one of the most important engines for sustainability in our company.”
Improving supply efficiency
For British company, Evove, the 100+ collaboration will result in two pilot facilities at The Coca-Cola Company and the kick-off’s hosts, AB InBev. The aim is to prove and optimise the company’s enhanced membrane systems under real operating conditions.
“The opportunity to work directly with such respected household names is an honour and an obligation which we gladly embrace,” commented Chris Wyres, CEO of Evove.
“Improving the supply efficiency of the food and beverage sector has widespread implications for humanity. Our technologies are key enablers for reducing water and energy consumption in this sector.”
US digital water company KETOS was also selected, and will be working with Colgate-Palmolive.
“No one company can solve all of the world's environmental issues, which makes collaboration extremely crucial,” said Meena Sankaran, founder & CEO. “This is exactly what is being accomplished by some of the largest water stewards AB InBev, Unilever Colgate-Palmolive and The Coca-Cola Company with their 100+ Accelerator initiative in the world addressing the SDG goals to build a sustainable future for the next 100 years.”
Furthermore, another US start-up, Aquacycl will be piloting its wastewater treatment system at one of AB InBev’s breweries to demonstrate the business and environmental value.
Orianna Bretschger, founder & CEO, said: "The 100+ team is truly exceptional, and we have been very impressed with the openness and commitment that the four partners have made to investing in sustainability-centred innovations."