The two incubators, Plug and Play and 1871, will directly connect Tyson to the start-up communities of Silicon Valley and Chicago respectively.
Tyson said it was a “unique opportunity to develop the future of the industry by combining the expertise of America’s largest food company with the energy, innovation and entrepreneurialism of a start-up culture”.
Sally Grimes, group president prepared foods at Tyson Foods, said: “Our collaboration with Plug and Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing. By partnering with these organisations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform based in the Silicon Valley, which will help match Tyson Foods with new businesses in the start-up community. By working alongside these businesses, Tyson Foods hopes to “fuel new discoveries in food and find new solutions to meet business needs”.
“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food start-ups, with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” said Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer at Plug and Play Tech Center. “The Tyson Foods team brings a depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value and, together, they will look toward solving for the future of food.”
1871, described as the “hub of Chicago’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem”, said it would give Tyson Foods unparalleled access to a community of entrepreneurs who are working toward building a better and more sustainable future. This partnership has been created to help Tyson Foods further its commitment to creating a more sustainable food system that can feed an ever-growing population around the world.
“Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy,” said 1871 CEO Howard A Tullman. “We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”