In parts of West Africa, patches of forest have been preserved for long periods of time because of their cultural or religious significance. These "sacred forests" are believed to be inhabited and protected by gods, totem animals or ancestors. Local communities have their own rules prohibiting reckless harvesting of timber and game, which have protected the sacred forests over many generations.ByMichele Francis
Nestlé has partnered with COOi Studios to launch an open-innovation platform called Nestlé Hatcher. The initiative offers innovators and startup businesses opportunities to work with the food manufacturing company to collaborate, in solving some of the current business challenges across the east and southern Africa region (ESAR).
Credit: Bruno via Pexels
The first challenge, Project UNO, launched last week and focuses on the company's beverages business.
Outlining the Nestlé Hatcher application process and how to get involved, João Barreto, innovation project lead for Nestlé ESAR stated that Nestlé has developed the Nestlé Hatcher website where different business challenges will be published.
“These business challenges will include detailed briefs on what type of solution we are looking for, as well as any pertinent application criteria. If you identify a challenge you would like to apply for, simply click the Apply Now button on the website and fill out the required details through our partner website, YouNoodle, to enter the challenge," said Barreto.
The Nestlé Hatcher process works across these four steps:
• Search: A challenge will be posted on the Nestlé Hatcher platform with a detailed brief and applications for proposals will be opened.
• Select: After applications close, all applications will be reviewed and rounds of interviews will be conducted to identify and select the best-fit proposal based on the challenge’s criteria. The selected startup will formalise a partnership to pilot the solution with Nestlé.
• Incubate: The finalist will proceed to pilot their proposed solution, with assistance from Nestlé along the way, which includes mentorship, business, technology support and industry expertise.
• Scale: Once the project has successfully passed pilot, Nestlé will decide if they will scale the startup solution or not. If they are to scale, the startup will commence to being a vendor to Nestlé.
Bruno Olierhoek, chairman and managing director of Nestlé ESAR said: “Innovation, business adaptability and strategic partnerships remain some of the bedrocks of our business, particularly during today’s challenging business environment. The Nestlé Hatcher innovation programme is part of our research and development efforts to accelerate the innovation of products and services that meet local consumer needs whilst collaborating with various stakeholders.”
“We are therefore cognisant that today’s business challenges cannot be resolved by a single organisation but through bringing different yet complementary skills sets. Our fundamental goal with Nestlé Hatcher, is to work collaboratively with startups to identify sustainable and scalable solutions that help to accelerate the innovation of products and services in order to meet local consumer needs,” added Olierhoek.
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