Corporate partnership accelerator program seeks innovations from startups in alternative proteins, waste plastics recycling, and prevention of food loss and waste
SOMERVILLE, Mass., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Greentown Labs, the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC), a global leader in chemicals and healthcare, are now accepting applications for the KAITEKI Challenge, the latest iteration of the Greentown Launch corporate partnership accelerator program. Greentown Labs and MCHC seek novel technologies in alternative proteins, waste plastics recycling, and the prevention of food loss and waste that will promote sustainable consumption in daily life. The KAITEKI Challenge will offer selected startups an opportunity to pursue paid proof of concept collaborations with MCHC and to explore long-term partnerships, licensing agreements, and investment from MCHC’s corporate venture capital arm, Diamond Edge Ventures (DEV).
This corporate partnership accelerator program is rooted in MCHC’s original management concept of “KAITEKI,” which aims to achieve the sustainable well-being of people, society, and planet Earth. MCHC’s businesses include bioplastics, plastic films and sheets, food ingredients, and healthcare, among many others. This challenge will prioritize innovations that enable circularity across proteins, plastics, and packaging value chains.
Benefits to startups selected for the KAITEKI Challenge include the following:
- Engagement with MCHC Group companies, which have deep market expertise and broad customer networks, and unique visibility to the MCHC top leadership team
- Access to the mentor, corporate partner, and investor network of Greentown Labs
- $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding to cover the cost of the proof of concept project; additional project funding will be available on a case-by-case basis
“The creation of a sustainable future is a core value of the MCHC Group and is embodied in our KAITEKI management philosophy. We believe that reimagining proteins, plastics, and packaging will move us toward a circular economy and a brighter future for our planet. And we know from experience the power of partnerships between innovative startups and the MCHC Group. We are excited to build on our collaboration with Greentown Labs and the global startup community through the KAITEKI Challenge,” said Larry Meixner, Chief Innovation Officer and CTO of MCHC.
The KAITEKI Challenge is for startups in the alternative protein and waste recycling industries with solutions beyond proof of concept and a technology readiness level of three or above. For startups in the prevention of food loss and waste, the challenge is accepting applications for solutions with a technology readiness level of five or above and a product ready for sample testing.
“Research shows that building a more sustainable food system and creating more sustainable packaging are two areas that could have an enormous impact on our mission to address climate change, protect the environment, and provide equitable access to resources for all,” said Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs. “The KAITEKI Challenge aims to support innovations that will not only tackle these problems and improve our daily lives, but also have applications on a global scale. We’re proud to partner with MCHC on a challenge that’s focused on these important industries and excited to support more climatetech startups!”
Applications for the KAITEKI Challenge are due by February 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more about the call for applications by visiting the program website. Applicants may apply from anywhere in the world. Selected participants are expected to participate in all challenge events, either virtually or in-person at Greentown Labs’ headquarters in Somerville, Mass., USA.
About Greentown Labs
As the largest climatetech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing ground-breaking startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers prototyping and wet lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, a large network of corporate customers and investors, and more. Greentown Labs is home to more than 100 startups and has supported more than 300 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 6,500 direct jobs and have raised more than $1 billion in funding. Greentown’s second-ever location will open in Houston, Texas, in spring 2021. For more information, please visit www.greentownlabs.com or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
About Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation conducts its corporate activities and businesses worldwide in the domains of Performance Products, Industrial Materials, and Health Care based on the core values of “Sustainability,” “Health,” and “Comfort.” The company builds stakeholder value while contributing to the sustainable well-being of people, society and our planet Earth.
For more information, visit https://www.mitsubishichem-hd.co.jp/english.
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