PepsiCo has announced the 10 companies selected for the first MENA edition of the Greenhouse Accelerator programme following a rigorous multi-stage judging process. The programme was launched in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and formalised following the signing of an MoU between three parties – the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Food Tech Valley, and PepsiCo. PepsiCo also became the first multi-national company to partner with the Food Tech Valley – an initiative launched by the UAE Government to serve as a hub for future clean tech-based food and agricultural products.
A specially curated selection committee comprising high-ranking PepsiCo executives and members from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley ranked the start-ups across five key criteria, including sustainability alignment to PepsiCo Positive (pep+), strategic synergy with PepsiCo; scalability, relevance to MENA, and breakthrough potential.
Judges in this edition sought start-ups that are accelerating environmental sustainability in the food and beverage industry through disruptive technologies by way of sustainable packaging alternatives, reduced packaging, recycling processes, and sustainable recycling behaviour modification. The Greenhouse Accelerator Program aims to push for solutions and innovations in the packaging space that will help PepsiCo and other industries accelerate change towards a more sustainable food system.
The MENA edition of the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator program launched last year and received nearly 70 applications from aspiring start-ups in the region. The six-month initiative will focus on an initial grant to support operations and help launch or scale up their innovation. In addition, the programme seeks to enhance innovation in the sustainability space through collaborations with purpose-driven brands from the MENA start-up ecosystem that share PepsiCo’s vision for a more sustainable food system.
The 10 selected companies will each receive an initial grant of $20,000 to support their business, along with guided mentorship from PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley experts. At the end of the program, the final winner will receive a $100,000 grant from PepsiCo and have access to a growing network of influential experts and investors, logistics facilities, and have the opportunity for growth through capacity building.
“In the face of rising global challenges, innovative startups have proven to be rich sources of groundbreaking solutions to pressing economic and environmental sustainability issues. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is delighted to be a main partner of the Greenhouse Accelerator program that seeks to harness the power of startups to make the food and beverage sector more sustainable. The initiative aligns with the UAE’s drive to shift towards a circular economy and is another example of how PepsiCo and the Food Tech Valley are inspiring positive change for the good of people and the planet,” said Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The programme will feature a one-on-one mentorship session, granting entrepreneurs access to PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley executives and business accelerator experts, who will share their expertise and guidance on research and development, business models, product development, regulatory practices, and market activation. Their expertise can also help businesses overcome challenges in the supply chain, marketing, distribution, manufacturing, packaging, label claims, fundraising and other elements of their operations.
The selected startups will also have the opportunity to showcase their innovations to reputable technology industry professionals at the Step Conference, a major regional event that PepsiCo is partnering with and sponsoring this year.
The ten selected startups include:
- Nadeera is a social enterprise that leverages technology to promote waste sorting at source. Their product – Return, is the first Trash for Cash system in the MENA region that is not fully automated. They focus on citizen engagement, proactiveness, and building sustainable habits that contribute to reducing domestic waste.
- Cycled Technologies AS, provides an Artificial Intelligence powered SmartBin that sorts recyclables from general waste at the point of disposal. The technology also offers rewards to users based on the quantity and quality of their recyclables.
- Tridentech (Terrax) can transform your waste into Terrax durable products, such as pallets, logistics containers, flooring, shelving, furniture, and waste pipes.
- Al Tabeeah is a trading company dealing in compostable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly products and packaging solutions. Their products are mostly made of compostable materials such as Areca Leaves, Bagasse, Sal Leaves and Kraft paper to meet three intents – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- We4Recycle is a platform for packaged sustainable initiatives for households, and targets initiatives surrounding Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling.
- Okeanos ® is a sustainable innovation company developing calcium carbonate technologies to immediately reduce plastic pollution. This reduces plastic content by up to 65% and CO2 by up to 67%.
- MEHNA (Faya Largo) MEHNA’s main activities revolve around finding and implementing sustainable solutions for the industrial sector, with a specialization on the recycling sector in Jordan and the MENA region.
- eRecycleHUB is a disruptive innovation that introduces a new value, product, or business for managing recyclables. It proposes to digitize the scrap trading business and use technology in waste management and recycling.
- Diwama provides an AI-based image recognition software that automates waste analysis to drive recycling revenues for waste management companies.
- Live Love recycle (LLR) was created in 2017, as a response to the waste crisis that happened in 2015 in Lebanon. Its core mission is to simplify recycling by digitising the waste management sector.