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CoLab Showcase To Bring Together 80+ Investors, Ecosystem Enablers Under One Roof


Mondelez India has handpicked five innovative Indian snacking brands for its 12-week accelerator programme called CoLab

To provide them a platform to meet and connect with India’s D2C investor community, the F&B giant, in collaboration with Huddle and Inc42, is hosting the CoLab Showcase on 31 October in Mumbai

The event will feature discussions with Mondelez India leaders and the founders of high growth F&B brands, focussing on evolution of D2C brands in the snacking industry, strategies for scaling up and more

In the past eight years, Inc42 has extensively documented how Indian startups have increasingly attracted global investors. Top investment titans including the likes of Tiger Global, Peak XV, SoftBank, Accel, Temasek and more put their trust in young Indian ventures. Many of these bets have quickly grown, showing strong margins and achieving the coveted unicorn status with $1 Bn+ valuations. 

In fact, a Dealroom-London & Partners report said India ranked fourth in tech venture capital investments in 2022 despite a tough macroeconomic environment. The top three countries were the US, China and the UK. 

Given this momentum, it is no surprise that Mondelez International (previously known as Cadbury), a 100+ year old  F&B giant, has forayed into India’s dynamic startup ecosystem. In  its 75th  year in India, the parent company of iconic brands like Cadbury, Oreo and Tang launched the CoLab accelerator programme in partnership with Huddle, an Indian startup accelerator and VC fund. The initiative took off in August 2023, and the shared vision is to foster early stage startups to create mutual synergies.

Out of approximately 250  applications received, CoLab handpicked five innovative snacking brands for the 12-week programme. Besides, $20K equity-free grant, the selected startups received extensive training and mentoring from the seasoned leaders of Mondelez and distinguished veterans of Indian startups.

It’s time to turn the spotlight on the final phase – a ‘startup showcase’ where the five brands will showcase their disruptive business ideas to an exclusive audience.

Mondelez India, in association with Inc42 and programme partner Huddle will now host the CoLab’s ‘Showcase’ event in Mumbai on October 31, 2023, to celebrate the ‘burst’ of startup flavours and offer the chosen five yet another funding opportunity.

“We launched CoLab India to reinforce our commitment towards consumer-centric innovation in a dynamic market such as ours. As we celebrate 75 years of being in the country, we are seeking to provide our strong experience and deep consumer understanding to disruptively delicious startups, in capitalising on new trends, capabilities and consumer preferences” said Sonali Mitra, director strategy, Mondelez India.

She further added that CoLab India delivered on the company’s intent and ambition. “Through the 12-week accelerator journey, together we have unpacked some exciting insights and opportunities within the Indian snacking landscape,” she said.   

“The journey for the CoLab India Class of 2023 has been impressive throughout these 12 weeks of sustained efforts in understanding the pervasive functional efficiencies, innovative capabilities and scale. CoLab hasn’t been just an accelerator for the founders, it’s been a nexus of equity, social infrastructure and invaluable connections,” said Sanil Sachar, founding partner at Huddle. 

The event will bring together more than 80 D2C-focussed investors, stakeholders from the VC ecosystem, family offices, accelerators and incubators, and D2C ecosystem enablers. 

Five F&B Startups To Showcase Innovations In Healthy Snacking 

India’s fast-evolving digital commerce market presents a wealth of opportunities for VCs to explore. Besides, the food & beverage (F&B) sector, second only to beauty and personal care, is a particularly promising area. According to Inc42’s data, it is expected to reach $68 Bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 25%.

An interesting global trend in the F&B sector is the rising demand for healthier snacking options without compromising flavours or tastes. Aware of this new craving for healthy yet tasty food items, new-age F&B brands in India offer guilt-free snacks that meet nutritional needs.

The event will provide the opportunity to five promising startups from the first cohort of CoLab to present their business models to a discerning audience from the VC ecosystem.

The upcoming event will also feature in-depth discussions with the founders of high-growth F&B brands. The invite-only sessions will explore numerous industry opportunities, sustainable scaling strategies despite fierce competition and the 

Here are the five F&B startups from the Mondelez CoLab cohort that will showcase their innovations at the event:

  • TruVitals: Set up in 2022, TruVitals offers biscuits, protein powder, protein-based bars and cookies, protein pasta and fibre gummies for children.
  • Nova Nova: It offers a wide range of handmade chocolates, waffles, breakfast essentials, healthy snacks and more. Started in 2014, it runs more than 25 outlets and has partnered with multiplexes like PVR and INOX.
  •  Flyberry Gourmet: Founded in 2017, the brand’s savoury range of vegetable chips is pre-treated for filler-free ingredients and vacuum-fried using 70-80% less oil to preserve nutrients.
  • Evolve Snacks: Set up in 2017, the brand offers a host of healthy Indian snacks such as multigrain puffs, oat, ragi and pita chips, roasted seeds, makhana and bhakarwadi (stuffed and round-shaped snacks popular in Western India).
  • Happy Jars: Started in 2016, this F&B brand makes nutritious nut butter from almonds and cashews, unsweetened peanut butter and dark chocolate peanut butter.

Know more about these startups here

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