SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Tyson Foods is tapping into entrepreneurs to speed up the pace of innovation, embrace emerging technologies and become more agile in its pursuit of sustainable growth. The company has announced an agreement to work with two business incubators, Plug and Play and 1871, that will directly connect it to the startup communities of Silicon Valley and Chicago.
It is a unique opportunity to develop the future of the industry by combining the expertise of America’s largest food company with the energy, innovation and entrepreneurialism of startup culture, the company said.
“Our collaboration with Plug and Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing,” said Sally Grimes, group president Prepared Foods, Tyson Foods. “By partnering with these organizations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform based in the Silicon Valley, which will help match Tyson Foods with promising new businesses in the startup community. By working alongside these businesses, Tyson Foods can help fuel new discoveries in food and find new solutions to meet business needs.
“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food startups with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” said Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer of Plug and Play. “The Tyson Foods team brings depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value, and together they will look toward solving for the future of food.”
1871, known as the “hub” of Chicago’s “thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem,” gives Tyson Foods unparalleled access to a community of entrepreneurs who are working toward building a better and more sustainable future, the company said. This partnership enables Tyson Foods to further its commitment to creating a more sustainable food system that can feed an ever-growing population around the world.
“Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”