Participants of the accelerator will undergo a three-month training program as well as pilot testing of their technological solutions in real business environment. Each team will receive a personal mentor to help finalize technological solutions for their subsequent integration. Based on the results of the accelerator, the best startup teams will be offered an opportunity to scale their businesses worldwide jointly with Unilever.
"I would like to thank the GenerationS accelerator for the opportunity to take our cooperation with startups to a new level. At the final stage, our experts were able to examine in detail all 16 projects, get to know their creators — many of them have shown good potential for cooperation. Some ideas and technologies seemed promising to us, and we are planning to cooperate with these companies after the contest is over as well," commented Maria Bagrova, Vice President of Marketing in Foods, Tea and Ice Cream categories at Unilever.
"Most frequently, innovations are understood as artificial intelligence and robotics, however the experience in selecting projects for the Unilever’s accelerator has shown that the FMCG sector can provide a sufficient amount of truly innovative solutions - biodegradable packaging, automated systems and 3D printing. The selected projects are thoroughly worked out as of today, therefore they have high chances of success following the pilot phase," said Ekaterina Petrova, Director of the corporate accelerator GenerationS.
Unilever’s accelerator program for innovative startups in the field of production, storage and packaging of food products was launched in July 2018. In total, over 190 teams from 51 cities of Russia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Ukraine, Belarus and the UAE have applied for the participation during the project implementation.
GenerationS is the Federal corporate platform to develop acceleration tools. It has been held by RVC since 2013. To date, the accelerator infrastructure includes more than 14,000 startups from 30 countries, 400 corporate and ecosystem partners. GenerationS has become the first Russian accelerator included in the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), created by Techstars.
Unilever has been operating on the Russian market for more than 25 years. Currently, Unilever owns four large production clusters: food products and ice cream in the Tula region, tea, cosmetic products and household chemicals in St. Petersburg, cosmetics in Yekaterinburg and ice cream in Omsk. The company's total investment in the Russian economy exceeds 195 billion rubles, and the number of employees in Russia is about 5,000 people. Unilever's portfolio includes such well-known brands as Baltimore and Calve (mayonnaise, sauces and ketchups), Knorr (seasoning), Carte D'Or, Zolotoi Standart and Magnat (ice cream), Beseda, Brooke Bond and Lipton (tea), Dove, Rexona, Chernyi Zhemchug, Chistaia Liniya (cosmetics), Domestos (household chemical products) and many others. Since 2010, Unilever has been implementing its own Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) through its brand programs with a socially significant mission.