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Mondelēz Opens Applications for Emerging Food Technology Startups

The snack giant’s CoLab Tech, in its second year, is an R&D accelerator program looking for innovations in nutrition, ingredients, packaging, and sustainability.

Mondelez Innovation
Mondelēz International

Applications are now open for the second year of the CoLab Tech program from Mondelēz International. Led by Mondelēz’s global R&D team, the accelerator program is on the lookout for early-stage companies that have developed innovative technologies in nutrition, ingredients, packaging, and sustainability.

With CoLab Tech, Mondelēz aims to accelerate innovation in its core categories of chocolate, biscuits, and baked snacks. Up to 10 companies will be selected to participate in the program—providing Mondelēz’s R&D team with early access to new capabilities that can help in the development of breakthrough products and platforms. Through the eight-week program, the participants will be provided with virtual sessions, 1:1 mentoring, and the potential for proof-of-concept testing.

“Our R&D team is at the forefront of Mondelēz’s commitment to empowering people around the world to snack right,” says Ian Noble, vice president of R&D at Mondelēz International. “As consumers increasingly prioritize personal wellbeing, planet-positive choices, and more interesting eating experiences, we need to look to groundbreaking entrepreneurs who have developed new tools and technologies that enable us to continue leading the future of snacking.”

This year’s CoLab Tech priority areas are:

  • Packaging: Materials that are recyclable, high-performing, and flexible; can enable a low environmental impact; and can support premium products.
  • Ingredients: Enable innovation in core categories of chocolate, biscuits, and baked snacks with clean label ingredients; cost-effective sugar and calorie reduction; plant-based positive nutrition; new or novel plant-derived functional actives; and elevated sensorial experiences.
  • Sustainability: Water and energy optimized ingredient mixing and product forming solutions; more efficient and sustainable heating processes, including vacuum baking; efficient selective concentration and recovery of compounds; and novel bio-gas generation and supply solutions.

Last year’s CoLab Tech program demonstrated the value of big and small companies working together to accelerate the promise of food technology, notes Paula Hemerly, CoLab Tech program manager. “Last year’s cohort really opened our eyes to what’s possible in snack innovation,” she says. “We are already collaborating with some of the participants to put their technologies into practice and are very excited about what this new class will bring.”

CoLab Tech is open to startups across the globe who have reached a minimum viable product in their development process and have a minimum of five employees. Startups with diverse and minority board members will be considered a plus for selection. For more information and to apply to the CoLab Tech program, visit


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