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Lion CEO Stuart Irvine

Lion launches food and beverage accelerator

In an effort to generate innovation in the food and beverage sector, Lion has launched a 12-week accelerator program that will pair its brands with start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The program, Lion Unleashed, was designed in partnership with corporate accelerator Slingshot. According to Lion CEO Stuart Irvine, the initiative is an opportunity for start-ups and scale-ups to work with Lion to “unlock even more value at every stage of the value chain and bring new ideas in the food and beverage sector to life”.

He continued, “Together with the R&D expertise of our parent company Kirin, we have a strong track record of evolving both our alcohol and dairy portfolios to meet the changing needs and tastes of consumers. But no one has a monopoly on great, disruptive ideas that can really challenge and grow our people and our business.”

“Unleashed is an opportunity for us to collaborate with the best and brightest start-ups, who at the same time can benefit from Lion’s unique understanding of consumers across alcohol, dairy and juice, our deep manufacturing experience and potential partnership opportunities with our leading brands, including XXXX, Steinlager, Little Creatures, Dairy Farmers and Pura.”

Start-ups accepted into Lion Unleashed will exchange equity for up to $50,000 from the Slingshot Investment Fund. In addition, Slingshot network partners can access technology, software, hosting, office space and catering benefits valued at over $500,000, along with mentoring advice from the likes of Kate Parker, CEO of Your Tea, Alistair Venn, Managing Director of Menulog and Mark Moran, Head of Global Partnerships at LaFourchette (A Trip Advisor Company).

Karen Lawson, CEO of Slingshot said there is a “massive opportunity for disruption and innovation in the food and beverage sector. She added, “We are thrilled to partner with Lion to drive collaboration between two powerful forces – a leading global business and the start-up communities in Australia, New Zealand and the broader APAC region.”

Lion Unleashed is looking to invest in start-up and scale-up innovators within the following themes:

  • Enhanced Connections– engaging consumers through technology
  • Living Well– better ingredients, better for you products, better choices
  • Limitless Experiences– pioneering real-world tech solutions and real-time experiences
  • Transform Tomorrow– value chain innovation and data analytics
  • Unleashed– to develop inspiring solutions related to all facets of the production, distribution and consumption of food and drink

Interested parties can learn more about the program at unleashed.lionco.com

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James Harkness

James Harkness

James Harnkess previous editor at Dynamic Business

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