PURCHASE, N.Y. — A new innovation initiative at PepsiCo, Inc. is designed to help the company discover and support emerging food and beverage brands.

Following a successful launch in Europe, the company is introducing its Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator program in North America. Ten start-ups based in the United States or Canada will be selected to participate in a six-month program, featuring one-on-one mentoring with PepsiCo executives and experts in marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain. Participants will receive $20,000 in grant funding, and at the end of the program one start-up will receive an additional $100,000 in funding and an opportunity to continue partnering with PepsiCo.

“Nutrition Greenhouse is part of our commitment to open innovation and collaborating with the changemakers of the future,” said Jim Andrew, executive vice-president, corporate strategy and chief venturing officer. “In line with our Performance with Purpose vision, we want to find and support entrepreneurs who are helping transform the food and beverage industry with nutritious, natural and sustainable products. We’re very excited to bring this program to the U.S. and Canada and hope to expand it throughout the rest of the world.”

PepsiCo Nutrition Greenhouse focus areasLast year, eight start-ups participating in the European program delivered combined sales growth of more than €10 million, a fourfold increase throughout the duration of the six-month program, PepsiCo said.

“The program helped us grow our business and expand into the U.S. market,” said Irina Turcan, founder of Erbology and winner of the 2017 European Nutrition Greenhouse. “It was more than the prize money — our mentor gave us valuable insights on retail and consumer marketing as we extended our ‘powerful plants’ concept into a unique range of snacks. As a result, our revenues grew over four times last year and we launched Erbology in U.S. retailers in June this year.”

PepsiCo is accepting applications through Oct. 12 at www.nutritiongreenhouse.com/north-america.