Food In Canada

The first cohort of Agropur’s Inno Accel program to show off their achievements today

By Food in Canada staff   

Research & Development Processing Products Dairy Agropur dairy innovation

Five start-ups will show off their achievements on Demo Day and try to convince investors that they have what it takes to reinvent dairy.

Agropur Cooperative is holding its first Demo Day today for the five start-ups in its first Inno Accel business accelerator program.  Agropur’s Inno Accel business accelerator program is the first of its kind in the North American dairy industry. The five start-ups will present their businesses and achievements to an audience drawn from the North American entrepreneurial ecosystem and try to convince a select group of invited potential investors to back their businesses and help them grow. Each start-up will have three minutes to convince the investors and the audience to help them pursue their dreams.

“In four months of coaching and support, we have seen great progress,” says Simon Olivier, senior vice-president, Strategy & Innovation of Agropur Cooperative. “They have honed both their vision and their growth strategies.”

In May 2018, 11 start-ups in the dairy industry or in dairy-related businesses were picked from the many applications received from around the world to come make their pitch to the Inno Accel jury. Five were selected for the customized four-month business acceleration program designed by Agropur in partnership with OSMO. “The program and the support were of a very high calibre,” says Patrick Gagné, entrepreneur-in-residence and CEO-in-residence at OSMO. “All the entrepreneurs really leaned in.”

“What we have done is unique in North America,” says Robert Coallier, CEO of Agropur. “Inno Accel clearly demonstrates our determination to leverage open innovation in order to reinvent the dairy industry. For Agropur, this is an opportunity to connect with winning start-ups in order to attract consumers and spur growth.”

Five North American businesses were selected for the first Inno Accel cohort:

  • U Main, a Montreal company that develops do-it-yourself artisanal cheesemaking kits
  • Sweetaly Dolceria, decadent entrepreneurs who make equally decadent desserts using simple ingredients and their Italian grandmother’s traditional recipes
  • SaltiSweet Ice Cream Factory, the company that is revolutionizing ice cream novelties by replacing the stick with a cookie, eliminating the unpleasant taste and environmental footprint of wood
  • Cheese Grotto, an ingenious collective that makes beautiful home storage devices to preserve fine cheeses under ideal conditions
  • Peak Yogurt, cream-lovers who make delicious triple-cream, low-sugar yogurt that takes its cue from the ketogenic (or keto) diet

Launch of 2019 edition of Agropur Inno Accel

The Demo Day will be both the culmination of the first edition of Inno Accel and the kick-off for the second. Young entrepreneurs who want to translate their dreams into reality are invited to register now on the new platform. We are looking for the cream of the crop of start-ups dedicating to reinventing and promoting dairy. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2019.

Agropur chose Planbox, a leader in AI-based innovation management software, to power its open innovation program. “The fact that Planbox is an expert in the field and has a turnkey solution definitely had a bearing on our decision,” says Simon Olivier. “We want to  capitalize on their access to a vast community of innovators in order to expand our innovation network.”

Our goal is to team up with the best and most ambitious entrepreneurs to create next-generation solutions and the dairy products of the future, in keeping with Agropur’s vision: “Better Dairy. Better World.”

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