1. How many challenges have been issued?
The first set of challenges was released in 2018 and included ten distinct challenges which can be found here. The launch of these inaugural 10 challenges was just the beginning of an ambitious, collaborative, global platform.
2. Why is AB InBev championing the 100+ Accelerator?
We need partners and new innovative solutions: We have set ambitious sustainability goals, and we know that no company can achieve them alone. The 100+ Accelerator will connect us to startups and innovators that are working to solve today's biggest sustainability challenges.
4. How is the 100+ Accelerator connected to your recently announced 2025 Sustainability Goals?
This is a continuation of our current sustainability work. Our 2025 goals build on 10 years of ambitious sustainability work.
The same Sustainability Challenges are being explored: The challenges being launched in the 100+ Accelerator program track with our four Sustainability Goals in Smart Agriculture, Water Stewardship, Circular Packaging and Climate Action, which are aligned to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. This is being done to deliver further impact; the 100+ Accelerator can help us – and other companies – uncover new technologies and innovations in sustainability.
We are open to partnership: To reach our sustainability goals – both in the past and going forward – we have relied on partnerships and collaborations. We believe that collective action is needed to deliver systemic change.
5. Are all of the challenges be open to everyone? Or are they specific to regions?
Open to all: challenges were developed with input from subject matter experts in our companies around the world to make sure we are focused on local issues that need to be addressed. We are seeking startups from around the world to answer the challenges and are eager to identify technologies and best practices that can be shared across our businesses and beyond.
6. Who should apply? Are there restrictions on the type or size of company that can apply?
The 100+ accelerator is looking for innovative solutions that have the ability to scale quickly and make a significant impact on one or more of our challenge areas.
Following AB InBev culture, the accelerator is particularly interested in supporting great teams: companies led by passionate entrepreneurs who have surrounded themselves with top talent are in the best position to succeed. Startups that have demonstrated traction in the form of IP, revenue, clients, pilots or contracts will have the best chance of getting accepted.
7. What stage of company are you looking for?
A large part of the program is based on launching pilots to validate product/market fit. Therefore, we are primarily looking for companies that have either a product that is ready to go to market or already in market. Check out the list of current cohort companies for context.
8. How are startups selected for the accelerator?
Companies will be evaluated on a rolling basis once new challenges are posted and applications open. Scoring will be assessed based on the following values:
Fit with identified sustainability challenges
Ability to demonstrate traction/product market fit
Market expertise and team
Capacity to carry out a pilot in selected global zone
9. When will I know if I have been successful?
The vetting process has multiple stages, and AB InBev is committed to communicating actively with startups along the way. We ask for patience as we go through an incredible volume of applications. Successful applicants will be notified several weeks after applications close (at the latest.)
10. What will startups need to submit to be considered/accepted?
Startups will need to complete the application form on AngelList. If you do not have a company profile on AngelList you can get a head start on the application process by setting one up. Startups will need to confirm that they are able to travel internationally specifically the United States and Belgium. Founders must have a valid passport with an expiry date of at least January/2021. Founders must also be willing to submit to a background check.
11. What is the time commitment?
The first three months of the program take place in-market (executing a pilot in a specific geographic zone). The start of the program will require three to five days in New York City or Leuven Belgium for a minimum of 1 and maximum of 3 company representatives (preferably CEO/CTO). Accepted companies must clearly outline their commitment to work on/in the identified challenge in their zone.
12. How will the cohort be organized?
There will be three phases, with progressively larger business goals and relationships resulting.
Phase One: Zone matching and Vendor set up (in person). Expenses required to execute on this phase will be covered within reason.
Phase Two: 100+ Sustainability Accelerator will provide in-person and remote corporate development and programming to further support startups as they execute on their agreed pilot projects. KPI’s will be used to measure the success of the pilots.
Phase Three: Opportunity to present at 100+ Global Demo Day (location TBD). Startups will have the opportunity to scale their solutions into AB InBev, expanding their reach and capabilities across multiple global zones. AB InBev provides ongoing mentorship and support to help startups succeed within AB InBev and beyond.
The 100+ Accelerator will provide support, guidance and access to potential funding through:
Pilot customer opportunities with AB InBev (including the potential to scale company-wide)
Active mentorship, training and programming in product development, go-to-market, operations, sales and more
Top mentor network of scientists, academics, domain experts, venture capitalists, corporate sustainability leaders, etc.
Potential funding from AB InBev and others
100+ Accelerator will be cover up to $100K in expenses to execute each pilot project. KPI’s will determine if a pilot is successful and the goal is then to share the results across the company and scale the project.
The goal is to bring startups into the AB InBev investment portfolio and help unlock the value that this can provide in terms of a closer relationship to AB InBev, globally, as well as the potential for future investment from AB InBev and its partners. AB InBev has an active portfolio of startup investments from early stage to late stage companies (e.g. Pensa Systems, Paranoid Fan, Rappi and Convoy).
The goal of 100+ Accelerator is to prove a viable partnership can be navigated between participant companies and AB InBev. There will be a Demo Day at the end of the program to pitch for additional funding from both 100+ and external investors. However, the success of the 100+ Accelerator is not contingent on the amount of capital that the startups will go on to raise at the end of the program. Our goal is to find, test and validate solutions to ten environmental/social challenges that can then scale within AB InBev; this is our primary focus.
16. I am already working with AB InBev, should I apply?
Yes, but please disclose this information in your application.
17. Are you going to regularly communicate progress? How do we measure the success of the 100+ Accelerator?
Yes, we will announce achievements towards our ten challenges: We will report on progress where possible, you can sign up to receive these notices via the newsletter form on the bottom of the page.
18. Do applicants give up IP when then submit to the challenges?
No, the applicants own their IP and don't give up any rights upon applying or being accepted to the program.
19. What happens to IP if applicants submit ideas that AB InBev has already been working on internally?
An independent partner company will screen all applications initially. If there appears to be an overlap with ideas already under development by AB InBev, and a potential issue on IP rights our partner will contact you to agree how to proceed.
21. Are the solutions you are seeking only for AB InBev? Or can other companies/ organizations benefit from the ideas and technologies?
We will share our solutions: We want to accelerate action so our challenges in sustainability are fundamentally shared. Whatever solutions we develop we will make available to our suppliers, external partners and to other companies.
22. How is your Accelerator Program different from programs launched by others?
Collective action is key: No one company or organization can solve today's sustainability challenges alone. The 100+ Accelerator will establish new partnerships with scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, students and companies around the world to identify and scale new sustainability solutions.
Global challenges/ Local solutions: The challenges facing the world today are complex, varying from region to region. We source, brew and sell locally through our companies around the world, making us uniquely positioned to understand and to solve sustainability challenges in the communities where we live and work. The 100+ Accelerator challenge statements were created with input from our teams and experts around the world.
Driving solutions across the value chain: We have identified 10 initial challenge statements that are designed to encourage innovation. These challenges are intended to support promising ideas and high potential technologies that align with the company's 2025 Sustainability Goals across 4 areas: smart agriculture, water stewardship, circular packaging, and climate action. Our 100+ Accelerator will drive progress and innovation across our full, integrated value chain – from the farms that supply our ingredients to make beer, to the packaging for our products.
23. How are you involving your brands in the 100+ Accelerator program?
We are building a company to last, brewing beer and building brands that will continue to bring people together for the next 100 years and beyond. Our global brands are committed to purpose driven initiatives and sustainability.
24. Will the 100+ Accelerator contribute to AB InBev's business growth?
Yes, the challenges chosen demonstrate our commitment to building a company to last
The 100+ Sustainability Accelerator will establish new partnerships to identify and scale new sustainability solutions.
We are committed to brewing the highest quality beer. This relies on natural ingredients, so supporting a healthy environment will always make sense.
We have a long-term vision for our company, and sustainability is a key part in our work to build a company to last for the next 100+ years
25. As an alcohol company, shouldn't you be putting more focus on responsible consumption?
We remain fully committed to responsible drinking: We are committed to reducing the harmful use of alcohol around the world. Our Global Smart Drinking Goals and sustainability commitments sit alongside each other as part of our ongoing effort to build a better world and a company to last.
26. You work in many parts of the developing world. How are you supporting the vulnerable people in your value chain?
We are dedicated to responsible sourcing: We prohibit all forms of human rights violations in our organization and in our supply chains. We have a human rights policy and a responsible sourcing policy as well as processes in place to monitor. It is a non-negotiable commitment for our business.
We support our direct farmers: Through our agricultural development work, we support the livelihoods of farmers worldwide. We work with nearly 50,000 farmers across 15 countries to grow the highest quality natural ingredients – including barley, corn, rice, hops, sorghum, and cassava – that allow us to brew the best beers.
We are prioritizing supplier development in key areas: Through various supplier development efforts, we're working to build and strengthen our supplier base in the developing world.
We are looking for partners to help us: As one of our initial 100+ Accelerator Challenges, we are soliciting partnerships to help us increase the transparency of complex supply chains, and for scalable solutions to enhance responsible sourcing practices.