SPRINGDALE, ARK. — Tyson Foods has announced partnerships with a pair of start-up incubators, Plug and Play in Silicon Valley and 1871 in Chicago, in an effort to accelerate the pace of innovation, embrace emerging technologies and increase agility. The company said it will share its resources and expertise with up-and-coming food businesses.
“Our collaboration with Plug and Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing,” said Sally Grimes, group president of Prepared Foods at Tyson Foods. “By partnering with these organizations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”
Plug and Play connects start-ups to corporations and invests in more than 150 companies each year. Since its inception in 2016, the global innovation platform has expanded to include more than 6,000 start-ups and 200 corporate partners across a number of industries.
“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food start-ups with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” says Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer of Plug and Play. “The Tyson Foods team brings depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value, and together they will look toward solving for the future of food.”
1871 is the home of nearly 500 early-stage digital start-ups and offers access to more than 600 mentors available, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations.
“Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy,” said Howard A. Tullman, chief executive officer of 1871. “We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”