DEERFIELD, ILL. — Mondelez International, Inc. is partnering with The Hatchery Chicago, a non-profit food business incubator, to connect with start-ups and accelerate and scale food and beverage innovation. The partnership is among several investments Mondelez is making as part of its SnackFutures innovation and venture platform.

Launched this past November, SnackFutures focuses on three areas: the creation of new brands and businesses, reinvention of some of the company’s smaller brands, and the funding of start-up entrepreneurs. Mondelez will collaborate with The Hatchery Chicago to offer educational opportunities and mentorship to local food and beverage entrepreneurs.

“We are truly impressed with the talented start-ups coming out of The Hatchery and are excited to be part of this journey,” said Timothy P. Cofer, executive vice-president and chief growth officer of Mondelez International. “As the world's snacking leader, it is increasingly important for us to collaborate with the best and brightest talent in advancing the future of snacking. With SnackFutures, we want to disrupt the food industry by testing new ideas and scaling what works.

“Working with The Hatchery food entrepreneurs will help us push the boundaries of what is possible in snacking as we continue to build our ecosystem of partners while also giving back and offering guidance to new companies.”

Housed in a 67,000-square-foot facility, The Hatchery Chicago provides job training and placement program and offers access to production space, financing and resources to help entrepreneurs build and grow successful food and beverage businesses.

“At The Hatchery Chicago, we believe collaboration accelerates innovation and increases the rate of success for companies — big and small,” said Natalie Shmulik, chief executive officer of The Hatchery Chicago. “Through this partnership with Mondelez International, we’re creating even more opportunities for our entrepreneurs and community members to access the mentorship and industry expertise that will help them take their business to the next level.”