The startup trend did not just become popular with the IT- and the telecom companies, but it has also affected the consumption market. In 2014, Ivan Sidorok, a co-owner and a member of the board of director of the NMGK Group, launched a center for culinary startups, Mabius. The market for mayonnaise was stagnating and new ideas were being looked for; however, it was expensive as well as effect was only limited with 5 ideas actually introduced. Instead of coming up with new products from within the company, it was decided to collect new ideas and then launch them into production.
“Investments will be 1 billion rubles in 2015. Mabius is planning to invest into about 50 products 15-20 million each as well as launch at least 4 products into market” – promised Ivan Sidorok. However, only four projects out of forty were chosen for acceleration by the experts while there was no agreement reached with buying a share with any one of them. “While we were chosen, we never actually made it to the actual incubation process as the managers began to change,” one of the project’s founder recalls.
In the end, Mabius did only invest into three projects – DNA snacks ELE, that are produced under individual recipe after DNA testing), crab preserves King Claw and a network of bistros, United Kitchen. The entrepreneur doesn’t provide a full disclosure but notes that it was a long way to a billion. “Out of 300 applications we only managed to develop only a few collaborations. But LEGO also came up with a crowd-sourcing program at some stage while looking for new projects for toys and promised a certain percentage of sales income as a part of that deal. Out of 600,000 applications, it was only possible to bring only a few into life, – notes Sidorok, – In Russia, it is also related to a lack of the existence of any clear rules: people generally prefer to put their money into bank and don’t feel free to exchange their shares into investments under a qualitative growth of scale. They remain low profile for years without using their full potential”.
In 2017, center for food startups changed its strategy and now it is helping PepsiCo with its program. International corporation is providing an acceleration program PepsiCo Lab in two spheres – Food LAB for “food products” together with Mabius and “technologies” together with Global Venture Alliance (GVA). Out of 500 applications, 24 projects were chosen for development. “Participants of Tech LAB will be able to receive a grant for 500 thousand rubles while Food LAB participants will only receive non-financial benefits that could include marketing concept’s development, new product design, production of a series of products or anything along the lines” says Ilya Maltsev, a head of PepsiCo Lab. The program was launched in the end of July.
Source (in Russian): RBC