Tyson Foods said it is tapping into entrepreneurs to speed up the pace of innovation, embrace emerging technologies and become more agile in its pursuit of sustainable growth, announcing an agreement to work with two business incubators -- Plug & Play and 1871 -- that will directly connect it to the start-up communities of Silicon Valley, Cal., and Chicago, Ill.
It is a unique opportunity to develop the future of the industry by combining the expertise of America’s largest food company with the energy, innovation and entrepreneurialism of start-up culture.
“Our collaboration with Plug & Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing,” said Sally Grimes, group president of Prepared Foods at Tyson. “By partnering with these organizations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”
Plug & Play is a global innovation platform based in Silicon Valley that Tyson said will help match it with promising new businesses in the start-up community. By working alongside these businesses, Tyson can help fuel new discoveries in food and find new solutions to meet business needs.
“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food start-ups with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” Plug & Play chief revenue officer Michael Olmstead said. “The Tyson Foods team brings depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value, and together they will look toward solving for the future of food.”
Tyson said 1871, known as the “hub” of Chicago’s “thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem, will give it unparalleled access to a community of entrepreneurs who are working toward building a better and more sustainable future. The partnership enables Tyson Foods to further its commitment to creating a more sustainable food system that can feed an ever-growing population around the world."
“Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy,” 1871 chief executive officer Howard Tullman said. “We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”