Mabius Food Startup Centre has completed its first round of applications from startups after announcing in April that it would be accepting applications from startup teams who have already-developed products, launched production, already profitable, and looking for new opportunities to further develop their business.
The search for ready-to-sell products was divided into three categories: dairy products, snacks, and beverages. Mabius received about 200 applications by the May 31 deadline from 10 countries including Russia, Belgium, Spain, Armenia, Ukraine, Latvia, and the USA. Now, they are making a short-list which will include up to 20 projects.
The main aim of the accelerator is to help startups scale up their existing business and take it to the next level – a unique development opportunity.
In the second stage of the program, startups will improve their product alongside Mabius and other specialists, who will help refine production technology, improve recipes, finalize niche positioning, and develop a marketing plan for the project.
Throughout the month of June, projects from the shortlist will take part in online marketing research. Based on the results of the accelerator project, teams selected from the short-list will be able to adjust their marketing and business plan, and then submit their projects during the Demo Days event in mid-July.
What awaits these startups that are accepted to the incubator? “The is no universal track, each project requires an individual approach for its product development,” says Alexander Kiselev, Mabius director and food accelerator expert. “Depending on what areas need improvement, the project will be provided the options of finalizing its market positioning, branding, new product packaging, recipe changes, production technology, as well as commercial samples to prepare for the test market,” says Kiselev.
“So, what exactly does the startup get out of so-called help from an ‘older brother’? The startup gets the chance to immediately launch in the mass market, can offer competitive prices as it sources its raw materials at the same price as large companies do, as well as lower prices for production, logistics, and distribution. The accelerator can provide a big boost for small food businesses that have the imagination, will, and energy to keeping dreaming big,” explains Ivan Sidorok, a Mabius founder.
Test sales of new food products from the startup teams should begin in late fall. Having spent just three months in the incubation program, their products will have reached a whole new level. The best teams will have the opportunity to develop their business and possibly the chance to win contracts with an industry giant.