The multi-sector challenge will be open to startups across the following 5 themes which include.
Digital sales: AB InBev will be looking for companies that provide technology with proven return on investment enabling Digital Sales, leveraging existing channels to find, engage and connect with prospective buyers along with building relationships on digital platforms, and converting it into offline sales.
Digital supply chain: Startups that provide disruptive technology leveraging the existing Supply Chain suit (demand planning, asset management, warehouse management, transportation and logistics management, procurement, order fulfillment) that can drive better insights empowering stakeholder(s) in the chain in making better decisions.
Sustainability: Startups that focus on contributing progress toward the sustainability goals (Smart Agriculture, Water Stewardship, Circular Packaging, and Climate Action) where you can use AB InBev scale and partnerships to drive meaningful positive change.
3P Lending; Startups that provide working capital loans and business growth loans to SME businesses for improving their cash liquidity.
Alternative Payments: Startups that provide payment solutions that enable card payments, bank transfers, accept digital payments, and sell value add services
AB InBev, which has over 500 brands and over six million B2B customers in over 100 countries, launched Beer Garage a few years ago with the objective of driving innovation by building a strong community of ecosystem stakeholders.
As part of this initiative, AB InBev is now launching the Beer Garage Africa Innovation Challenge, a pan-African challenge to identify hi-tech, high potential startups and founders building innovative solutions across Africa.
To do so, it has partnered Startup Réseau, an India-headquartered global startup accelerator, which will operate the programme through its Africa-focused vertical Hindsight Ventures.
Ten startups will be selected to take part in a Global Venture Bootcamp, a three-week venture mentorship and leadership development programme that will be delivered by successful founders, industry leaders, domain experts and investors.
Prior to the demo day, the cohort will be ably coached by pitch coaches, to ensure that each pitch is succinct and conveys a compelling story.
The Beer Garage Africa Innovation Challenge will culminate with a demo day, which will be attended by AB InBev’s global leadership as well as Hindsight Ventures’ global investor pool.
At the demo day one African startup will stand to win US$5,000 in grant capital. All selected startups get access to US$150,000 in technology credits from partners.
In addition, AB InBev hope that the international demo day will attract venture investors to take a serious look at the cohort, and many will get investor interest.
“We are really excited by this partnership, which allows us to drive a pan-African program. With a billion people in the continent, over 300 million new internet users expected to come online over the next three years, a fast growing mobile internet penetration – and now, with global venture capital money making its way to African entrepreneurs, this is a great opportunity for startups to engage with AB InBev as a partner of choice,” said Ajay Ramasubramaniam, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Startup Réseau.
Pritam Dutta, global director for fintech ventures and innovation at AB InBev, said the Beer Garage Africa Challenge was an opportunity to leverage the emerging tech startup ecosystem and funnel novel ideas into AB InBev.
“We set out to build out a stronger connect into the Africa ecosystem , find disruptive startups which could be a great pipeline for our future disruptive innovations and further accelerate our innovation agenda, delivering strong business impact,” he said.
Applications for the challenge are now open here.
Beer Garage is one of the global innovation hubs at AB InBev with the objective of driving innovation by building a strong community of ecosystem stakeholders.
The team works with business units to find novel solutions for their business problems by leveraging the vibrant Fintech, Africa, and APAC startup ecosystems.
At Beer Garage, innovation is the cornerstone to building a sustainable business that improve lives in communities across the world.