Nestlé collaborates with Rabobank and RocketSpace for Terra Food + Agtech Accelerator programme


Nestlé USA has entered a partnership with Rabobank and RocketSpace to support start-ups under the Terra Food + Agtech Accelerator programme.

Nestlé will collaborate with Terra and other corporate firms to choose and guide innovative start-ups in the food and agricultural segments.

Nestlé USA chief strategy officer Rui Barbas said: “We’re experiencing a seismic shift in the food industry, and our partnership with Terra by Rabobank and RocketSpace is just one way in which Nestlé can play a leading role in meeting quickly evolving consumer expectations and explore new disruptive technologies and business models.

“When we combine the resources of Nestlé with the creativity and new thinking born from the start-up culture, we can create real change in our industry and best deliver on consumer needs.”

In 2013, Nestlé commeced the Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost (SVIO) in the San Francisco Bay area. A cross-functional marketing and technical team works with early-stage entrepreneurs in order to help the latter build, test and deploy new value-added services and solutions.

Nestlé digital innovation vice-president Mark Brodeur said: “Our goals at the SVIO include providing entrepreneurs with access to the expertise and nutritional know-how that Nestlé has developed over its 150-year history.

"Nestlé is adopting and driving new progressive strategies to address the profound changes shaping the food and beverage industry today.”

“In exchange, Nestlé will have the ability to learn from and co-create with creative entrepreneurs. That’s why partnerships like ours with Terra make so much sense for both Nestlé and those with whom we collaborate.”

RocketSpace CEO Duncan Logan said: “Our partnership with Nestlé builds on its 150-year history of continuously seeking ways to contribute to a healthier future, not only through its products, but in the way it conducts business globally.

“Through its commitment to open innovation, Nestlé is adopting and driving new progressive strategies to address the profound changes shaping the food and beverage industry today.”

Terra links large global brands such as Nestlé with start-ups in order to help the latter for real-life product testing and go-to-market solutions.

Rabobank global head of F&A Innovation Manuel Gonzalez said: “Combining Nestlé’s expertise in nutrition, health and wellness with RocketSpace’s well-known accelerator acumen within the start-up community and Rabobank’s strong involvement in the food and beverage start-up community, we expect dynamic results from the collaboration.”

Nestlé expects to support 20 start-ups under the two six-month accelerator programmes.

Nestlé plans to team-up with diverse start-ups, selected from more than 1,000 applicants. Registration for companies interested in taking part has opened on 21 June.

The first of two Nestlé-hosted Terra programme will be chosen later this year. The call for applications for the second phase will open early next year.


Image: Nestle partners with Rabobank and RocketSpace to support start-ups for the Terra Food + Agtech Accelerator programme. Photo: courtesy of Nestlé USA.