The PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition announced the program’s 10 finalists during the launch event on February 22, 2022 in Dubai, UAE. A selection committee comprised of participants from PepsiCo, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and Food Tech Valley chose finalists from the more than 70 start-ups and entrepreneurs that applied from 10 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The entrepreneurs were selected based on their innovative products or services that help to advance sustainable food and beverage packaging. These new solutions range from biodegradable materials to incentivized recycling programs to artificial intelligence-powered waste sorting, and other new approaches that help reduce packaging waste and promote the circular economy.
Over the next six months, the Greenhouse Accelerator will work with the selected start-ups to further develop their sustainable packaging concepts, preparing them to launch or scale their innovations. PepsiCo announced the following companies for the Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition.
- Al Tabeeah (UAE) – Manufactures compostable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly products and packaging.
- Cycled Technologies AS (UAE) – Provides an artificial intelligence-powered SmartBin that sorts recyclables from general waste and rewards users for recycling.
- Diwama (Lebanon) – Leverages an artificial intelligence-powered image recognition software that automates waste analysis to drive recycling revenues for waste management companies.
- eRecycleHUB (Jordan) – Offers mobile and fixed recyclable drop-off stations and links consumers to recycling agents, enabling both to profit from recycling.
- Live Love Recycle (Lebanon) – Works to make recycling easier by digitizing the waste management sector, including a user-friendly waste pick-up service that utilizes e-bikes.
- MEHNA (Jordan) – Developing a sustainable solution for recycling plastic bottles into polystyrene fiber that can serve as stuffing for commercial and industrial uses.
- Nadeera (UAE) – Leverages a mobile app and voucher credit system to help municipalities promote waste sorting and engage citizens in recycling efforts, the first trash for cash system in the MENA region.
- Tridentech (Terrax) (UAE) – Transforms plastic waste into Terrax durable products, such as pallets, flooring, furniture, and more.
- We4Recycle (UAE) – Promotes recycling at the household level through a platform that provides guidance on waste segregation, schedules waste pick-ups, and rewards users.
- Okeanos ® (Saudi Arabia) – Developing calcium carbonate technologies to reduce plastic pollution.
The finalists will receive initial grants of $20,000 USD as well as six months of mentoring from PepsiCo subject matter experts. Companies will also have access to a tailored curriculum of business development courses and will receive support from PepsiCo to identify market and partnership opportunities. At the program’s close in the third quarter of 2022, one finalist will be awarded a $100,000 USD prize to further advance and scale their sustainable packaging innovation.
“The PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator program is an example of how we are building a positive value chain and prioritizing circularity and inclusivity through PepsiCo Positive (pep+), our strategic end-to-end transformation framework,” said Aamer Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer, Middle East — PepsiCo. “We have received applications from an outstanding group of start-ups that are innovating in the field of sustainable packaging, and over the next six months, we look forward to supporting them and contributing to helping the region as it doubles down on unleashing the potential of disrupters,” he added.
PepsiCo is partnering with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Food Tech Valley to conduct this accelerator edition. The accelerator represents PepsiCo’s first Greenhouse Accelerator specifically for the MENA region. The Greenhouse Accelerator was launched in 2017 in Europe and has since worked with more than 40 companies and 75 mentors across multiple continents and focus areas. The program has seen 48 emerging start-up brands deliver an estimated combined sales growth of over $20 million in revenue. Two additional accelerator programs are planned for the MENA region in the coming years.