CINCINNATI, Ohio, Nov. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co.
(NYSE: KR) Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation ("Foundation")
announced that Agua Bonita and Matriark Foods were peer-selected
for impact investment funding during its first-ever Venture
Showcase, an event highlighting the second cohort of its Innovation
In May 2021, the "Fund," in
collaboration with Village Capital, the largest supporter of
impact-driven, seed-stage startups in the world, selected 10
startups that are launching innovative new consumer products made
with surplus food or food byproducts and technologies to advance
the upcycled food industry. Earlier in the year, the Fund invited
innovators to submit proposals for a total of $2 million in non-dilutive grant funding.
As part of the Fund's development program, the 10 startups
participated in over 40 hours of virtual workshops focused on
investment readiness, technical skill development, and networking
with a community of investors and mentors in and around the food
system. The innovators had exclusive access to the Foundation and
Village Capital's leaders and partners as they worked to achieve
critical milestones over the last six-months.
At the end of the milestone development period, two startups
were selected by their cohort peers for an opportunity to receive
an additional $250,000 in impact
investment funding for a total commitment of $2.5 million from the Foundation. The
peer-selected startups are:
- Agua Bonita (Hanford, California) makes ready-to-drink
aguas frescas from upcycled produce, served in culturally inspired
and recyclable cans.
- Matriark Foods (Nyack, New
York) upcycles farm surplus and fresh-cut produce trimmings
into healthy affordable products for institutional foodservice,
diverting food from landfills while feeding communities healthy
The Foundation and Village Capital are relentlessly focused on
supporting diverse founders with lived experience in the problems
they're solving. Both Agua Bonita and Matriark Foods have a female
founder or co-founder with diverse perspectives and experience with
the problems they aim to solve. Overall, 80% of startups in the
second cohort had a female founder or co-founder, 60% had a Black,
Asian and/or Latinx founder, and 60% were headquartered outside of
California, Massachusetts and New York.
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SOURCE The Kroger Co.