Unilever has chosen to become an active participant of the Wageningen Foods Innovation ecosystem. Being close to Wageningen University, worldwide Food Science & Technology university number 1, to tap into strong international knowledge and talent, Unilever opens its doors for others and approach others where they don’t have all the answers. This way, Unilever would like to develop new ways of working that will multiply the impact of its resources and capabilities together.
Startups can be enabled to upscale their process from bench to pilot plant scale. Therefore giving technical guidance, safety and quality awareness. Support through trained operators and processing technologists.
Currently all equipment is split over 3 locations: Vlaardingen, Netherlands; Heilbronn, Germany and Poznan, Poland. All sites will be moved to the Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen.
For more information contact Caroline Bijkerk, Global Partnership Manager of StartLife
Supporting young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas
Startups are not hindered by any status quo and have a radical focus to serve a customer need. Yet often startups need a corporate partner to scale their solutions quicker or to be successful at all. And especially early stage startups need guidance in developing their ideas into proof of concepts and minimum viable products. Unilever R&D is going to help these startups by offering its expertise and facilities to these startups.
StartLife is excited that Unilever R&D is now part of the StartLife community. Moreover with the construction of the new Unilever Foods Innovation Centre on Wageningen Campus, Unilever R&D will be able to offer its knowledge, network and facilities to startups and thereby contributing to a strong foods innovation ecosystem in Wageningen. Together the organizations will support entrepreneurs and their teams as they build their innovative business ideas into global enterprises with a lasting impact.
The official contract signing ceremony on April 13th was performed by Isabelle Esser, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, Foods at Unilever R&D and
Jan Meiling, Managing Director of StartLife. She states: “As part of the Agri-Food Innovation Ecosystem in Wageningen we are able to multiply the impact of our own resources and capabilities with those of the wide variety of external partners that are present here. The input and creativity of startups in the StartLife community will result in creating the innovative power that we need to remain frontrunners in sustainable foods”.
Managing Director Jan Meiling comments on the partnership with: “This is brilliant news for the startup entrepreneurs in our portfolio, they now being able to liaise on a structural bases with a leading multinational food company, on ‘Starbucks distance’!
StartLife is the leading Food & Agtech incubator in Europe, supporting startups with its programs, community and early stage funding schemes. StartLife has been co-founded by Wageningen University & Research.