Ahold Delhaize Invests in Innovation Through Startups
QUINCY, MA - Taking a chance on industry up-and-comers is key to our forward momentum. Ahold Delhaize USA has taken this sentiment to the retail sector as its services company, Retail Business Services, will mentor five individuals in the second round of its Supply Chain Seed Program, which brings early-stage entrepreneurs together with company associates for an immersive, 10-week opportunity to build next-generation products or services to solve problems in the retail supply chain.
“The coronavirus pandemic brought incredible challenges to the global supply chain industry, and suppliers and retailers are still working to recover, while also planning for the future,” said Dan Covert, Director of Supply Chain Innovation at Retail Business Services. “New ideas and creative solutions are more important than ever, and partnerships like the Supply Chain Seed Program are a key way we can encourage and support those approaches. We look forward to seeing what these five finalists will bring forward.”
The Supply Chain Seed Program is a partnership with Venture Café, a non-profit organization in New England, focused on growing inclusive entrepreneurship. Retail Business Services supports the supply chain operations of Ahold Delhaize USA's local brands. Considered together, the companies comprise one of the largest grocery retail groups in the U.S., according to a press release.
The program partners the five startups with supply chain leaders and subject matter experts to develop new and innovative technologies and applications. The finalists will gain in-depth information, critiques, and support from Retail Business Services leaders, all with the goal of helping the startups best prepare for an introduction to the market and what improvements they need to make.
This is the second year for the program. Last year, the Wasteless company won a pitch competition with its technology that reduces food waste and increases perishable food revenue by dynamically pricing items with a shorter expiration date at the optimal price point.
This year’s five finalists include:
- End2End Solutions, led by Robert Steward, which provides a set of Internet of Things solutions and services designed to improve supply chain visibility by addressing quality, compliance, security, logistics, and performance management
- Evergreens Farms, led by Ahmad Zameli, looks to provide vertical farming technology to produce anywhere, regardless of climate, and deliver consistently high-quality product year-round
- GoWheels!, led by William Bateman, is developing a radically redesigned wheel with a replaceable tire for carts used in distribution and transportation centers
- NanoThings, led by Tim Williams, is focusing on a cold-chain traceability solution by utilizing Internet of Things technology from source to store
- Produce Pics, led by Sridhar Iyer, is providing a computer vision-based application for reducing food waste in supply chain
On September 10, the program will conclude with a Supply Chain Innovation Conference organized by Venture Café Cambridge. The startups will pitch their solutions for an opportunity to be named the most viable technology for the future of our retail supply chain.
We at ANUK will continue keeping our eyes to the skies as industry innovations hit the market.