AB InBev's Beer Garage Accelerator is back with its 2022 APAC edition supporting startups in the space of Metaverse, Sustainability & more
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest beer brewing company with a legacy of brewing 500 brands (likes of Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and others) across 100+ countries, recently launched its 2022 APAC edition of the Beer Garage Global Accelerator Program. The event was attended virtually by startups, VCs, accelerators, corporates, and ecosystem enablers across APAC.
Building a robust ecosystem across India, Israel, US, and Brazil
Beer Garage is the global tech innovation arm ofwhich drives innovation by building a robust network of ecosystem players across its four key hubs – Bengaluru (India), Tel Aviv (Israel), Silicon Valley (USA), and Brazil (South America). The accelerator program aims to fast-track innovation and transformation by finding disruptive ideas that will help the company lead category growth in the coming years.
Metaverse, Virtual Avatars and e-sports, and gaming are some of the focus areas of the 2022 APAC edition of the program. While it may come to many as a surprise to see a company as old as beer itself dabbling in new-age technology, AB InBev is no newcomer in this space.
The brewing giant has successfully implemented a couple of such projects both in the metaverse and NFT space. Stella Artois built a blockchain-powered horse racing game called ‘Racing in the Life Artois’ on Zed run and Budweiser’s ‘Budverse Cans: Heritage edition’, featuring 1,936 beer cans NFTs to honour the brand’s journey so far. The collection sold out in less than an hour and this drop is just another example of the innovative and consumer-first approach the iconic beer brand company is taking towards driving tech disruption.
Amongst other use cases, the accelerator is focusing on social commerce and targeted marketing, packaging innovation (sustainable and smart packaging, PET Innovation), and supply chain optimisation. AB InBev has taken up a goal of making 100 percent of their products in recyclable/ reused packaging as well as having a 25 percent reduction in CO2 emission across the company’s value chain by 2025. The Beer Garage Accelerator aims to spearhead towards this goal by launching innovative solutions in collaboration with the startup ecosystem.
“Innovation is at the forefront of all that we do at Beer Garage, and the accelerator is just a reflection of that. Our aim through the program is to ensure that all tools are available for startups to drive exponential value for our customers and consumers and help the startups scale up in their growth journey.” said Luiz Gondim, Global SVP, Innovation, AB InBev.
Seeking out early-stage and above startups across APAC
In its journey to drive innovation and bring about global transformation, the accelerator program is seeking out early-stage and above startups across APAC, to solve the aforementioned problem statements.
The selected startups will get an opportunity to win equity free paid proof of concept (up to USD $50,000), access to investors, new customers, global mentors, and leaders along with geographical expansion through the brewing giant’s global footprint across 100+ markets.
“Innovation drives our commercial strategy, supply chain, support systems for our colleagues, and recruitment of future talent. It also plays a major part in taking startups to the next level, and after the immense response to the accelerator program in 2021 and the positive impact to the business, it was evident that there is demand to scale it up this year,” said Carmel Appel Raskin, Senior Global Director of Tech Innovation at Beer Garage as she invites all startups to apply for the 2022 edition of the accelerator program.
Last year, the program received more than 600 applications from startups across India, China, Singapore and Japan, with 11 startups making it to the leadership pitch round. Of these, two startups were selected for the proof-of-concept round.
Hurry! The entries for this year’s Accelerator Program are open till 15th May 2022. Interested startups can apply for the program by submitting their pitch here after which the applications will be screened for the final leadership pitch leading up to final cohort announcement by June.