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AB InBev Launches Accelerator with Techstars

April 21, 2016

Anheuser-Busch is joining the ranks of General Mills, Campbell’s, and Coca Cola who are aiming to profit from disruption and innovation within their sector through the launch of the joint accelerator, Techstars Connection in partnership with Boulder-based Techstars, according to Inc.

The new venture, which will be fully funded by AB InBev’s venture arm, ZX Ventures, was created to facilitate the connection of people to each other, products, and places resulting in an improved experience in the marketplace. To achieve this, the accelerator will function under the mission to “enhance consumption experiences through curation, personalization and localization (and) leverage the hidden benefits of raw materials, fermentation and brewing in products and systems that help people to live well,” according to a press release announcing the launch.

Over the decades, AB InBev has been at the forefront of industry innovation, being the first to use mechanical refrigeration, refrigerated rail cars, and first to integrate pasteurization into its production processes to ensure quality standards and safety, according to Food Dive. Today, AB InBev has grown to become the largest brewery in the world, and with such scale it can be difficult for global giants to maintain a constant pace of innovation.

The group has responded to consumer shifts away from domestic and light beers through a string of craft brewery acquisitions, the most recent of which has been the Devils Backbone Brewing Company this month, and Arizona-based Four Peaks Brewing Company, and London-based Cambed Town Brewery in December, and this accelerator will augment these moves by the group to stay at the cutting edge of innovation.

Techstars Connection will operate out of New York and is the fourth Techstars program after Techstars NYC, Techstars IoT, and Barclays NYC. Application are currently being accepted, and as part of the program, companies agree to sign over 6% of their company in exchange for a $100,000 convertible note, 400 ‘perks’ valued at more than $1 million, office space and a $20,000 stipend for the duration of the program, according to Boulderopolis.

“Our overarching goal is to make products, services and experiences that bring people together and celebrate the best life has to offer,” said Patrick O’Riordan, Head of Exploration, ZX Ventures, reports Inc. “We are excited to partner with Techstars to help invest in and support the next generation of entrepreneurs who are building groundbreaking technology that the world hasn’t even imagined.”

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