Mondelēz International invests in Chicago food incubator, The Hatchery

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Image: The Hatchery
Image: The Hatchery

Related tags Mondelez The Hatchery Snacks

Mondelēz International has made an investment in The Hatchery, a Chicago-based non-profit food business accelerator, as part of the CPG company's SnackFutures innovation and venture hub.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA earlier this month, Brigette Wolf, head of SnackFutures​ Innovation, said that part of its three-pronged strategy will be investing in innovative startups backed by passionate founders such as its first minority investment​in prebiotic functional food brand, Uplift Food. (​Watch our video interview with Wolf HERE​.)

The Hatchery​, located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago, is a newly constructed 67,000-square-foot coworking space for early-stage food startups and big food names such as Conagra, Griffith Foods, and Kellogg's. The facility houses a large central shared kitchen space and multiple private kitchens along with job training and regular food industry education classes covering topics including food market trends, food safety, packaging, and financing.

The accelerator's projected impact on the greater Chicago food community includes creating 150 jobs in 2019 and 900 jobs through 2023 working with 25 new companies per year, according to its website. 

The Hatchery CEO Natalie Shmulik described the accelerator as "startup for startups"​ seeking to "set the standard for all incubators throughout the country and the world."

Commenting on Mondelēz's partnership with The Hatchery, executive vice president and chief growth officer of Mondelēz International, Tim Cofer, said: “We are truly impressed with the talented start-ups coming out of The Hatchery and are excited to be part of this journey. As the world's snacking leader, it is increasingly important for us to collaborate with the best and brightest talent in advancing the future of snacking.

"Working with The Hatchery food entrepreneurs will help us push the boundaries of what is possible in snacking as we continue to build our ecosystem of partners while also giving back and offering guidance to new companies.

"At The Hatchery Chicago, we believe collaboration accelerates innovation and increases the rate of success for companies - big and small. Through this partnership with Mondelēz International, we’re creating even more opportunities for our entrepreneurs and community members to access the mentorship and industry expertise that will help them take their business to the next level," ​added Shmulik. 

FoodNavigator-USA took a tour of the The Hatchery earlier this year. Check out our video interview with CEO Natalie Shmulik HERE​. 


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