Blog Discover the 10 selected start-ups of the "Sustainable Cocoa Innovation Challenge"

Sustainable Cocoa Innovation Challenge - Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

We welcome the outstanding start-ups that have been chosen to be part of the "Sustainable Cocoa Innovation Challenge" acceleration program! 

In a highly competitive process that attracted more than 80 applications, 10 startups that have proven to be potential leaders in the cocoa industry in Colombia while contributing to peacebuilding, have been carefully selected to participate in a two-month acceleration program to strengthen their capacities and possibilities to grow.

These start-ups generate economic impacts on local communities and promote sustainable land use systems. In this way, they contribute to climate change mitigation and peacebuilding in areas previously affected by the armed conflict, such as PDET (Development Programs with a Territorial Approach) and ZOMAC (Zones Most Affected by the Conflict) municipalities.

To find out which areas they come from, explore the interactive map below:

The selection committee, comprising members of CGIAR's Accelerate for Impact Platform, the early-stage investor Rockstart and the Low-Emission Food Systems lever of the Alliance Bioversity & CIAT. assessed key elements: robust business models, dedicated teams, and a profound understanding of Colombia's cocoa market. Ventures were also judged on their tangible progress and alignment with program challenges.

The acceleration program in which the startups are involved emerges from a collaborative effort involving a wide range of partners who share a common goal: to generate significant synergies that will enhance the cocoa value chain's overall impact. This program integrates various components, including business training and technical assistance, support in grant raising and sales pitch preparation, networking and technical assistance from CGIAR scientists and industry partners, mentorship provided by local Colombian entrepreneurs, exposure to potential investors, and assistance for expediting market entry and growth.

These 10 startups represent the future of innovation in the Colombian cocoa industry and promise a positive impact on the priority areas within this sector. We thank all participants for their enthusiasm and dedication to this innovation challenge, congratulations to the selected start-ups and we look forward to their contribution to sustainable development and peace in Colombia!