The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger I Zero Waste Foundation Innovation Fund
Open Call for Applications
The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation Innovation Fund launches an investment readiness program for U.S.-based startups working to prevent, recover and recycle food waste. We are proud to collaborate with Village Capital.
The Innovation Fund will award grant funding to emerging technologies and solutions. Innovators will benefit from Village Capital’s award-winning curriculum, intensive feedback from their peers and one-on-one mentorship with potential customers, investors and industry experts.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
We encourage applications from innovators building high-growth, scalable solutions focused on the following challenge:
We seek to reshape the food system by supporting innovators who are elevating food to its highest use and disrupting the linear supply chain. This could include solutions such as imperfect produce lines, upcycled foods & meal kits, upcycled commercial ingredients and more.
Innovators with diverse life experiences solve problems with a unique perspective. The Zero Hunger I Zero Waste Foundation and Village Capital seek to lift up and support the best startups and founders who are solving critical problems in our food system. We strongly encourage founders with diverse lived experience to apply.
If you are selected as a 2021 cohort member of the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation Innovation Fund, you must be available to participate in:
✔ A one-week virtual program May 17th-21st
✔ Monthly cohort sessions from June to November
✔ Attend the Venture Forum event in November
Applications close April 1, 2021.
• Each of the cohort startups will receive $100,000 upfront as seed grant funding.
• An additional $100,000 of grant funding will be available to each cohort startup based on their achievement of identified milestones.
• Each of the cohort startups will participate in 30+ hours of virtual technical and business mentorship, investment milestone planning and access to the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and Village Capital’s network of partners, investors, stakeholders and mentors.
• At the end of the 6-month milestone development period, the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation will offer impact investments of $250,000 to two cohort startups that will be selected by their peers. The terms of these impact investments will be discussed and negotiated after the winners have been selected.
About the Program
The Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and Village Capital will recruit, vet and select 10 startups that will participate in a virtual workshop focused on investment readiness, technical skill development and networking with a community of investors and mentors who work in and around the food system. The virtual one week workshop will take place in May 2021.
Innovators will benefit from an additional 6 months of Milestone Planning and Support, with an opportunity to present their startups and highlight major achievements to an audience of investors and key stakeholders at a Venture Forum Event in November 2021.
To learn more about how we developed the challenge and food systems innovation, read the market assessment here.
Who is eligible to apply?
How will we evaluate applications?
CEO, Imperfect Foods
Co-Founder & CEO, Mori
Senior Officer, Sustainability Community, MIT Solve
Co-Founder & CEO, mobius
Emily Broad Leib
Clinical Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Senior Manager of Innovation, Feeding America
Vice President, Capital & Innovation, ReFED
President and Co-Founder, Food Systems for the Future
Co-Founder, Managing Partner, E²JDJ
Associate, Closed Loop Partners
Investment Director (Principal), Finistere Ventures
Group Vice President, Product Experience, The Kroger Co.
Vice President, S2G Ventures
Managing Director, Food, The Rockefeller Foundation
Senior Scientific Program Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR)
Head, Food for Good, Google
Vice President, Sales, Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc.
President & Executive Director, AgLaunch
President, Food Tank
Senior Director, Food Waste, World Wildlife Fund
President, Sustainable Solutions Corporation
Executive Director, Closed Loop Partners
Founder, Shelman Group
US Global Partnerships Manager, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Senior Director, Sustainability, Apeel Sciences
CEO, Upcycled Food Association
Do you want to mentor?
Join our growing network of mentors here.
Are you an investor?
If you are an investor interested in supporting innovators who are elevating food to its highest use and disrupting the linear supply chain, join The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger I Zero Waste Foundation Investor Coalition.
Investors in the Coalition can source, assess, share and fund investment-ready opportunities quickly and efficiently with Abaca & support from the Village Capital team.