Ahold Delhaize’s Retail Business Services unit has announced a new partnership for startup technology entrepreneurs to take on supply chain challenges and present their solutions in a pitch to investors.
The partnership with Venture Cafe, Boston, offers early-stage entrepreneurs a 10-week program to work on next-generation products and services designed to solve problems in the retail supply chain. Five selected participants would receive access to Ahold Delhaize executives, workshop training, industry mentorship, startup coaching and a tour Retail Business Services’ new information technology office, which includes the company’s innovation lab, Propulsion Labs. The program will culminate in a Supply Chain Innovation conference at Venture Cafe in Cambridge, Mass., where participants will demo their solutions and pitch a panel of investors.
Retail Business Services is the company providing technology, private brands and other central services to Ahold Delhaize USA’s local store brands.
“We’re excited to partner with Venture Cafe on this innovative program to support early-stage entrepreneurs,” Andre Shaw, SVP of demand management for Retail Business Services, said in a release. “We’re constantly evaluating new and emerging technologies and their applications for our business. We look forward to engaging with startups who share our interest in creating the supply chain of the future.”
Entrepreneurs and teams can apply for the program online. Applications are open until July 1, with programming taking place July 11 through Sept. 19.
Venture Cafe said it has launched a number of new programs to address gaps in the greater Boston startup ecosystem, and has built a community that attracts 25,000 participants annually.
“We are now turning our attention to launching low-barrier programs that educate and diversify the community,” said Chandra Briggman, director of Venture Cafe Cambridge & Providence. “It’s important that we help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the fundamentals of how to launch successfully, while also reaching a broader demographic with the resources accessible via our platform.”