Initially, snacking in India might have been influenced by the West. But the growing focus on nourishing ingredients and the rising demand for local tastes and flavours have thrown open plenty of opportunities for early stage startups. Apparently, it is a sun-filled space and young businesses can evolve and grow in sync with changing lifestyles. But food entrepreneurship is anything but a cakewalk.
To drive innovation in a fast-growing Indian market, Mondelēz International is launching its startup accelerator programme in India this year. The CoLab startup engagement programme will collaborate with Huddle, an Indian startup accelerator and VC fund, to dive deep into the segment and work with early stage snack brands. The initiative also marks the 75th year of the company’s presence in India.
The 12-week CoLab programme, to commence in June this year, will host Mondelēz International’s global and Indian leaders as well as founders, CEOs, FMCG experts, mentors and other stakeholders from the startup ecosystem. The programme will also feature entrepreneurs and founders from some of Huddle’s consumer portfolio companies such as Blue Tokai, Bold Care, Perfora, Wellversed and Gladful who will share their valuable insights and support the selected startups in their pursuit to disrupt India’s snacks industry.
For context, CoLab was first launched in the US in 2021 and targeted snack brands in the wellness space.
He further added that Mondelez India can provide its expertise and experience to startups, help them capitalise on new trends, mobilise talent and technologies to build emerging and resurgent snacks and expand the snacking industry in India.
Building a successful consumer brand requires the need for multiple expertise to come together, almost like a playbook that Huddle has been able to develop by backing early-stage brands. With this and Mondelēz’s legacy of building a loved and trusted company globally, Huddle is excited to see how CoLab can propel the ecosystem, said Sachar.
At the end of the programme, startups will pitch their businesses through a Demo Day event to raise between $500K and $1.5 million for Seed to Series A funding by Huddle and other potential investors
The nascent-stage snacking brands facing too many teething problems can leverage the CoLab initiative and accelerate their journey through industry expertise, financial funding support and effective networking.