Village Capital

Innovations in Sustainability 2023

Supporting entrepreneurs building solutions around sustainable ingredients, decarbonization in the retail sector, and upcycling solutions

About the Program

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Innovations in Sustainability 2023 will identify, train and support diverse, purpose-driven entrepreneurs building solutions related to sustainable ingredients, decarbonization in the retail sector, and upcycling solutions. A cohort of diverse businesses from three countries in LatAm will gain access to social, financial, and human capital – including mentorship, capability building, and networking with funding partners.

Together, we will address challenges in sustainability, in turn improving the overall wellbeing of communities in three key strategic markets and the planet.

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Supporting Inclusive Innovation

In collaboration with Unilever, Village Capital aims to develop and deliver a program that supports impact-driven startups with a particular focus on Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil that can also become a strategic partner (supplier) for Unilever. Areas of focus include sustainable ingredients, solutions focused on the decarbonization in the retail sector, plastic waste management, and sustainable packaging, with the goal of reinventing the value chain to achieve net zero emissions.

This program will support Unilever’s efforts of advancing inclusion and accelerating the ecosystem of diverse businesses addressing sustainability challenges in LatAm. To do this, they will support the growth of innovative solutions, particularly those founded by women, people with disabilities, ethnic and racial minorities, and people from LGBTIQA+ communities.


Meet the Cohort


We’re looking for startups that are building solutions related to sustainable ingredients, decarbonization in the retail sector, and upcycling. Eligible startups must:

  • Have legal incorporation and/or operations as a for-profit entity in at least one Latin American country, with a particular focus on recruiting in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

  • Have at least one full-time founder based in Latin America.

  • Be in compliance with local fiscal and business law.

  • Have a minimum viable product (MVP), and have raised less than $1M in equity.

  • Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, it can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships).

  • We particularly encourage applications from diverse-owned startups, including those founded or co-founded by women, individuals identifying as LGBTQI+, persons living with disabilities, and ethnic/racial minorities.


Who Should Apply?

Sustainable ingredients: We are seeking solutions that empower smallholder farmers with the right tools, resources, and skills, as well as smallholder farmers that cultivate through safe practices that protect and regenerate the land. These can be solutions that promote sustainable ingredients to enhance healthier food and product options, including, but not limited to, broccoli, spinach, lentils, laurel, cabbage, thyme, potato, oregano, basil, tomato, sweetcorn, cassava (Mandioquinha), potato (sweet), onions, leek, rosemary, pumpkin, pepper (sweet), garlic, beetroot, chives, peas, carrots, mushroom, parsley, celery. 

Visit the following links for further information: Strategy and goals | Unilever & The importance of sustainable farming & sourcing | Unilever

Decarbonization in the retail sector:  We are seeking solutions that focus on reducing carbon emissions in the retail sector, including, but not limited to, those focused on the cold chain, e.g., decarbonizing ice cabinets. These can be solutions that focus on converting carbon emissions into renewable energy, such as co-generation or solar power.

Upcycling solutions: We are looking for innovative upcycling solutions that focus on the collection, sorting, and processing of recyclable materials, with the end goal of increasing the volume of effectively recycled materials, we are also seeking solutions that promote a circular economy, minimize natural resource exploitation and prioritize sustainable packaging practices. These solutions include those that specialize in the collection, sorting, and treatment of various materials, such as plastic (PE, PET, LDP, and flexible plastics), as well as those working on biodegradable, recyclable, and upcycled packaging solutions.


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Investment readiness training program tailored to the needs of cohort companies, with an emphasis on fundraising, partnership development, and opportunities to build deep connections among the cohort.

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Ability to network and receive mentorship from prominent Latin American and U.S. investors.

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Village Capital will provide networking opportunities that will increase exposure for the cohort companies to investors and will facilitate over 100 hours of mentor support to prepare companies for future investment and fundraising conversations. Program mentors will also include Unilever employees.

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Individual Development

Village Capital will work closely with cohort companies to create individual milestone-based development plans, which will guide the progress and growth of each company during and after the initiative.

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Financial Analysis

Chat with an investment analyst who will coach you 1:1 on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and using financial metrics.

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Media Exposure

Exposure to Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral.


February 27, 2023

Applications open

June 9, 2023

Applications close

June 2023

Cohort announced

July - August 2023

Program workshops

August - December 2023

Post-program support

The Latest

Unilever Cohort

11 Female-Led/Owned Startups Were Selected to Participate in Innovations in Sustainability 2023

Mexico City (August 9, 2023) Village Capital, with support from Unilever, announced that 11 startups from LatAm have been selected to participate in Innovations in Sustainability 2023.

Unilever Cohort

11 Startups lideradas/fundadas por mujeres fueron seleccionadas para participar en Innovations in Sustainability 2023

Ciudad de México, 9 de agosto de 2023; Village Capital, con el apoyo de Unilever, anunció que 11 startups en Latinoamérica han sido seleccionadas para formar parte del programa Innovations in Sustainability 2023. 

Unilever Cohort

11 Startups lideradas/fundadas por mulheres foram selecionadas para participar do Innovations in Sustainability 2023

São Paulo, 8 de agosto de 2023; A Village Capital, com o apoio da Unilever, anunciou que 11 startups da América Latina foram selecionadas para fazer parte do programa Innovations in Sustainability 2023.

Learn more about mentoring with Village Capital.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the program’s main goal?


2. Do you require us to move to the cities of the program?


3. Do you take equity for participating in the program?