Introducing the “Made JUST” Platform & Brinc’s Food Technology Accelerator
The task of building a more sustainable food system is so enormous that it requires the energies of a generation. It requires all new machinery to be created, new farming methods and technical knowledge across an array of disciplines, together with a little tenacity and smarts. It’s a generational challenge that won’t be solved by one company.
Recognizing that, we’re announcing the launch of the Made JUST platform, a first-of-its-kind approach to bring sustainable and functional tools from the plant and animal kingdoms to the world’s brightest entrepreneurs. We’re doing it first with Brinc, an ultra hands-on global venture accelerator, and we’re focusing first on the world’s most populous region: Asia. The CEOs of JUST and Brinc shared the news at the Food’s Future Summit in Hong Kong.
As part of its new Food Technology Accelerator, Brinc will invest over $500,000 HKD per team (up to 10 teams, two cohorts per year) and will gain access to a pipeline of discoveries from JUST. Like all other Brinc programs, the program will extend value beyond cash with access to learning platforms, mentor networks, follow-on funds, service arms, access to the massive Chinese market, and more.
Participating founders will be able to rapidly develop prototypes and new products by tapping into select elements of JUST’s first-of-its-kind toolkit, comprised of raw materials and proprietary data from the plant and animal kingdoms. Finished goods resulting from the collaboration will display a “Made JUST” logo.
On the path to commercialization, founders will be able to finalize their product’s unique value proposition (UVP) by leveraging Brinc’s partner’s networks to gain real-time insights from target customers. These customer learnings will enable rapid iteration of food prototypes tailored to the local palate through which founders can refine their branding, propositions, price points and product formulations. Brinc will help with partnerships, facilities and processes to support throughout critical product development and customer discovery phases.
“Over the past few years, we’ve invested in improving the food system through IoT and drone applications in agricultural technology, but the launch of this program brings our efforts one step closer to the consumer,” said Manav Gupta, CEO and founder of Brinc. “Delicious, high-quality, affordable food options that don’t require animal ingredients will transform the world and we’re excited to continue Brinc’s philosophy of changing the way we feel, move, live and eat while making a larger, lasting impact on the environment and ourselves.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with Brinc to help grow a new crop of food founders in the world’s most populous region: Asia,” said Josh Tetrick, CEO and co-founder of JUST. “The task of building a more sustainable food system is so enormous that it requires the energies of a generation. Working with mission-driven partners who share our goal of facilitating large-scale, permanent adoption of healthy and more sustainable food is the only way we succeed.”
Since 2014, Brinc has offered comprehensive programs for networked devices, connected hardware, drones and robotics. To date, Brinc has evaluated over 5,000 companies and accepted 43 into its portfolio — a sub 5% acceptance rate. It plans to make 25 or more investments by the end of 2018 with the goal of investing in over 100 startups in its first five years of operations. Brinc’s Food Tech Accelerator program is open for applications.
JUST’s world-class team of scientists, researchers and Michelin starred chefs have originated a range of products for retailers and restaurants that have become wildly popular with millions of consumers who want to make better choices for their families and for the planet. The company recently launched its plant-based, protein-rich JUST Egg in Hong Kong and plans to expand its availability to more cities across Asia.