Mabius Food Startup Centre announced a competition for new snacks, sweets, and sauce ideas. Any aspiring entrepreneur with a promising food project idea or business owner in need of project scaling can enter. The finalists of the competition will be awarded up to 25 million rubles in investment, as well as help to build the product from concept to production and output on the mass market.
Ivan Sidorok, co-owner of the Nizhny Novgorod Fats & Oils Plant (NMGK) founded the Mabius Centre last year. The enterprise started working closely with mature products such as mayonnaise, sauces, and spreads, and is now ready to enter new niches. For NGMK, having a culinary startup is an alternative to a Research & Development department.
This format generates a much higher flow of ideas and reduces the risks associated with launching new products on the park, the company reasons. “This is a mutually beneficial cooperation: a large company saves on creating new products and buys ready-made brands with their own consumers, and an aspiring entrepreneur gets the chance to start or grow a business,” NGMK said in a statement.
“It’s not only about entering the Russia’s large-scale retail market: new products made in conjunction with culinary startup centers have an unhindered outlet in Asian market distribution. We are working hard with Asia on some of our other projects and understand how it works. In addition, entrepreneurs that create a successful product along with Mabius can rely on the sale of the product to a big business, first and foremost, NGMK,” said Ivan Sidorok, Mabius founder and co-owner of NMGK Group.
Mabius has a production lab located in the center of Moscow. So far, the project has been operating in beta-mode, having already considered 40 projects ultimately choosing 4 to invest in. The first product – Marc&Fisa Frustiki – is already out in stores, and according to Ivan Sidorok, is a great success. The startup recently officially announced it has opened another investment round to new participants.
The center sizes up the startups by using Strategyzer, a business-model generator, ideas for new products, and future discussions on design and packaging in social networkers. Mabius is interested in flour products, cereals, deserts, pastries, sweets, snacks, sauces, oils, spreads, dressings, mayonnaise, and is also considering a move into beverages in the fall of this year, (when the corresponding line will be launched).
Mabius specialists help novices understand the development of technical production and documentation, create a prototype and design packaging, identify the product’s market opportunities, and develop a marketing strategy. The startup program will result in 50 new Russian-made products on retailer’s shelves.
Incidentally, in 2013 a similar project was launched in Moscow, the “Local food” startup.
“Here is a lab with modern equipment where it’s possible to create an industrial prototype of a new food product – you can’t do this in an ordinary kitchen. Focus groups are also important. Maybe you think that people simply cannot live without your cranberry-ginger pie? We test your idea on a target audience in several stages, using unique SMM testing technology. Unlike other business accelerators that already work in Moscow, we don’t take money from the business at any point before the actual launch of the project, which drives further partner relations. All entrepreneurs need is a product idea and a desire to learn and work,” said Andrey Ryvkin, Mabius Director, chef and restaurateur.