Mondelēz Opens Applications for R&D Accelerator Program

The R&D accelerator program is for emerging food technology start-ups.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

April 24, 2024

2 Min Read
Mondelēz opens CoLab Tech Program for start-up companies.
The company is seeking food tech start-ups that have developed technologies in nutrition, ingredients, packaging, and sustainability.Mondelēz

Mondelēz International has opened applications for its CoLab Tech program. This accelerator program, led by Mondelēz’s global R&D team, seeks early-stage companies that have developed innovative technologies in nutrition, ingredients, packaging, and sustainability.

In its second year, CoLab Tech plays an important role in Mondelēz’s growth strategy to accelerate innovation in its core categories of chocolate, biscuits, and baked snacks The selected cohort will provide the R&D team with early access to new capabilities that can help in the development of breakthrough products and platforms.

“Our R&D team is at the forefront of Mondelēz’s commitment to empowering people around the world to snack right,” said Ian Noble, VP of R&D at Mondelēz. “As consumers increasingly prioritize personal well-being, planet positive choices, and more interesting eating experiences, we need to look to groundbreaking entrepreneurs who have developed new tools and technologies that enable us to continue leading the future of snacking.”

This year’s CoLab Tech priority areas are:

  • Packaging: Materials that are recyclable, high performing, and flexible; can enable a low environmental impact; and can support premium products.

  • Ingredients: Enable innovation in core categories of chocolate, biscuits, and baked snacks with clean, ‘free from’ ingredients; sugar and calorie reduction; plant-based positive nutrition; functional actives; and elevated sensorial experiences.

  • Sustainability: Can reduce environmental impact through water and energy optimized ingredient mixing and product forming solutions; more efficient and sustainable heating processes; efficient selective concentration and recovery of compounds; and novel bio-gas generation and supply solutions.

Paula Hemerly, CoLab Tech program manager, said the first CoLab Tech cohort has already demonstrated the value of ‘big and small’ working together to accelerate the promise of food technology. “Last year’s cohort really opened our eyes to what’s possible in snack innovation. We are already collaborating with some of the participants to put their technologies into practice and are very excited about what this new class will bring," she added.

The eight-week CoLab Tech curriculum consists of virtual sessions, 1:1 mentoring, and has the potential for proof-of-concept testing.

It is open to start-ups across the globe who have reached a minimum viable product in their development process and have a minimum of five employees. Start-ups with diverse and minority board members will be considered a plus for selection.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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