Unilever 2023 for document-1

11 Female-Led/Owned Startups Were Selected to Participate in Innovations in Sustainability 2023

These startups will join Village Capital’s alumni network advancing sustainability across LatAm

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Mexico City (August 9, 2023) Village Capital, with support from Unilever, announced that 11 startups from LatAm have been selected to participate in Innovations in Sustainability 2023. 

The open call focused on purpose-driven startups in Latin America building solutions related to sustainable agriculture practices, decarbonization and recycling. Through this partnership, Village Capital and Unilever will help strengthen the innovation ecosystem by tackling challenges in sustainability – from directly supporting high-impact innovations, to highlighting emerging opportunities for continued action. 

The collaboration aims to break down barriers and foster a more inclusive environment by focusing on supporting and empowering female-led/owned businesses across Latin America. Startups from 14 different countries applied to be a part of the accelerator. The final cohort is composed of 11 startups from five countries.

From August to December 2023, the selected entrepreneurs will meet for two online workshops and partake in post-program support with an Investment Analyst and sector-relevant mentors. Through this program, the entrepreneurs will have the unique opportunity to work closely with regional leaders within the Unilever team to further develop their impact and innovation in the agricultural, food, and recycling industries. The curriculum is focused on helping them develop the networks and tools they need to scale their impact and establish a milestone development plan.

Here are the 11 selected startups contributing innovations related to sustainability in the region:

  • 1point8 (San Jose, Costa Rica) produces biochar, charcoal obtained from plant and biomass residues. It uses a proprietary pyrolysis system to sell carbon removal certificates and pays local farmers to distribute the biochar on their fields.
  • Acción Circular (Santiago, Chile) responds to recycling challenges in developing countries through the application of the Internet of Things and a digital platform.
  • Agrohub (Marcos Juarez, Argentina) mitigates the adverse effects of chemical products used in agriculture on both the environment and public health, while simultaneously preserving or enhancing crop yields.
  • BIO-CO2 Ltda (Concepcion, Chile) develops a biostimulant from algae to improve soil conditions and increase yields for farmers.
  • BioSolutions (Monterrey, Mexico) develops and manufactures a sustainable alternative to traditional plastics using plant fibers, such as agave.
  • BioPlaster Research (Merida, Mexico) develops seaweed-based materials; from soft and cushioning foam to rigid and flexible thermoplastics using sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean Sea as a key component.
  • Denize da Rosa Fraga Ltda (Ijuí, Brazil) proposes an innovative process to ensure quality analysis of cow’s milk to make it safer for human consumption through Projeto Suport D’Leite. Their clear standards, until now, are practically non-existent.
  • GetFair (Santiago, Chile) is an all-in-one data driven platform that allows any farmer to communicate data through blockchain, allowing farmers to charge a premium for their product and increasing the incentive for better practices.
  • Mycobites (Santiago, Chile) develops a new category of nutritionally rich, environmentally-friendly mushroom-based foods.
  • Syocin (Rosario, Argentina) operates the Synthetic Biology Platform, which can design and build highly potent bio-bactericides based on proteins that can precisely target plant bacterial pathogens.
  • Tierra Foods (Mexico City, Mexico and Gaddesden Row, UK*) transforms wild-harvested, under-used plants from the rainforests into highly nutritious, carbon-negative ingredients that can be sold to global food corporates.

For more information, reach out to Sofía Cándano at Village Capital (sofia.candano@vilcap.com).

About Village Capital

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth.

Village Capital has operated in Latin America since 2015 by running over 16 accelerator programs involving more than 19 countries in the region including Bolivia, Guatemala, and Paraguay. VilCap has supported more than 170 locally-based startups working in sectors such as economic mobility, financial health, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more at www.vilcap.com and follow @vilcap_latam. 

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Wellbeing, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition and Ice Cream products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 127,000 employees and generated sales of €60.1 billion in 2022.

Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. We have a long tradition of being a progressive, responsible business.

The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while: improving the health of the planet; improving people's health, confidence and wellbeing; and contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.

For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit www.unilever.com