Meet The 10 Startups Selected For PepsiCo's Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition

As part of the program, the 10 selected startups will receive an initial grant of US$20,000 to support their business, along with a one-on-one mentorship access to PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley experts.

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PepsiCo has announced the 10 startups it has selected for the first MENA edition of the Greenhouse Accelerator program, which has been  launched in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley. With the program, PepsiCo also became the first multi-national company to partner with Food Tech Valley, an initiative by the UAE Government to serve as a hub for future cleantech-based food and agricultural products.

Launched in November last year, the MENA edition of the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator program received nearly 70 applications from startups across the region. It was followed by an intense multi-stage judging process, with a curated selection committee consisting of PepsiCo executives and members from Food Tech Valley as well as the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Applications were ranked across five key criteria, including alignment to PepsiCo’s sustainability arm, PepsiCo Positive (pep+), strategic synergy with PepsiCo, scalability, relevance to MENA, and breakthrough potential.

The program sought startups accelerating environmental sustainability in the F&B industry using disruptive technologies to offer sustainable packaging alternatives, reduced packaging, recycling processes, and sustainable recycling behavior modification. In addition, the program aims to boost innovation in the sustainability sector through collaborations with purpose-driven brands in the MENA startup ecosystem that aligns with PepsiCo’s vision for a more sustainable food system.

PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator MENA Sustainability Edition

As part of the program, the 10 selected startups will receive an initial grant of US$20,000 to support their business, along with a one-on-one mentorship access to PepsiCo and Food Tech Valley experts. The startups will receive guidance on research and development, business models, product development, regulatory practices, and market activation, among others. Also, the startups also had the opportunity to showcase their solutions to the industry at Step Conference 2022, a regional tech and startup conference that PepsiCo is partnering with. At the end of the program, a final winner will be chosen and receive a $100,000 grant from PepsiCo, as well as access to a network of experts, investors, logistics facilities, and more.

At a ceremony in Dubai revealing the selected startups, H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, addressed the significance of the initiative. “In the face of rising global challenges, innovative startups have proven to be rich sources of groundbreaking solutions to pressing economic and environmental sustainability issues," she said. "The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is delighted to be a main partner of the Greenhouse Accelerator program that seeks to harness the power of startups to make the food and beverage sector more sustainable. The initiative aligns with the UAE’s drive to shift towards a circular economy and is another example of how PepsiCo and the Food Tech Valley are inspiring positive change for the good of people and the planet."

Aamer Sheikh, CEO, Middle East - PepsiCo / Source: PepsiCo

Meanwhile, Aamer Sheikh, CEO - Middle East, PepsiCo, noted what's ahead for the participating teams, "We have received applications from an outstanding group of startups that are innovating in the field of sustainable packaging, and over the next six months, look forward to supporting them and contributing to helping the region as it doubles down on unleashing the potential of disruptors.”

Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group, the developer of Food Tech Valley/ Source: PepsiCo

Commending the importance of the program, Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group, the developer of Food Tech Valley, said, "Such initiatives are beneficial for our country and our government’s economic diversification plans as it gives pioneering individuals and startups the opportunity to showcase their solutions for a sustainable future. We will spare no effort in extending our full support to the winners and look forward to the sustainable ideas of the future."

Meet the 10 startups in the 2021- 2022 PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition

1. Nadeera (UAE) A social enterprise that leverages technology to promote waste sorting at source. Their product, Return, is the first Trash for Cash system in the MENA region that is not fully automated. They focus on citizen engagement, proactiveness, and building sustainable habits that contribute to reducing domestic waste.

2. Cycled Technologies AS (UAE) An enterprise that provides artificial intelligence-powered SmartBin that sorts recyclables from general waste at the point of disposal. The technology also offers rewards to users based on the quantity and quality of their recyclables.

3. Tridentech (UAE) A startup that offers to transform your waste into Terrax durable products, such as pallets, logistics containers, flooring, shelving, furniture, and waste pipes.

4. Al Tabeeah (UAE) A trading company dealing in compostable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly products and packaging solutions. Their products are mostly made of compostable materials such as Areca Leaves, Bagasse, Sal Leaves and Kraft paper to meet three intents – reduce, reuse, recycle.

5. We4Recycle (UAE) A platform for packaged sustainable initiatives for households, and targets initiatives surrounding reducing, reusing, and recycling.

6. Okeanos (KSA) A sustainable innovation company developing calcium carbonate technologies to immediately reduce plastic pollution. This reduces plastic content by up to 65% and CO2 by up to 67%.

7. MEHNA (Jordan) MEHNA’s main activities revolve around finding and implementing sustainable solutions for the industrial sector, with a specialization on the recycling sector in Jordan and the MENA region.

8. eRecycleHUB (Jordan) A disruptive innovation that introduces a new value, product, or business for managing recyclables. It proposes to digitize the scrap trading business and use technology in waste management and recycling.

9. Diwama (Lebanon) A startup provides an AI-based image recognition software that automates waste analysis to drive recycling revenues for waste management companies.

10. Live Love Recycle (Lebanon) Created in 2017, the startup is a response to the waste crisis that happened in 2015 in Lebanon. Its core mission is to simplify recycling by digitizing the waste management sector.

Related: PepsiCo Launches Greenhouse Accelerator In MENA To Support Startups Tackling Sustainable Packaging And Circular Economy Solutions

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