ACCELERATING F&B ENTREPRENEURS

New Zealand’s largest alcohol manufacturer, Lion has launched Lion Unleashed. A trans-Tasman innovation initiative, the programme will see Lion partner with start-ups and entrepreneurs in the food and beverage space in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

In New Zealand, entrepreneurs are invited to register to attend an information session on July 3 at the IceHouse in Auckland, at unleashed.lionco.com.

The 12-week programme, designed in partnership with leading corporate accelerator specialist, Slingshot, will connect Lion with aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Lion Unleashed is an opportunity for start-ups and scale-ups to work with Lion to bring new ideas in the food and beverage sector to life,” said Lion NZ managing director Rory Glass. “Innovation is critical for our long term, sustainable growth. But no one has a monopoly on disruptive, transformational ideas.

“It might be an existing small business looking to take the next step, or just someone with a big dream and a business plan. Unleashed is an opportunity for us to collaborate with the best and brightest, who in turn can benefit from Lion’s unique understanding of consumers and manufacturing.”

Start-ups accepted into Lion Unleashed will exchange a negotiated equity stake for up to $50,000 from the Slingshot Investment Fund. In addition, start-ups will be able to access technology, software, hosting, office space and catering benefits valued at over $500,000. A panel of mentors including Kate Parker, CEO of Your Tea, Alistair Venn, managing director of Menulog and Mark Moran, head of global partnerships at LaFourchette (A Trip Advisor Company) will be available to provide advice and support.

“The food and beverage industry is critical to the economy and a meaningful part of our daily lives,” said Karen Lawson, CEO of Slingshot. “We see a massive opportunity in this space and are thrilled to partner with Lion to drive collaboration between a leading global business and the start-up communities in Australia, New Zealand and the broader APAC region.”

“Lion Unleashed represents the first Slingshot accelerator programme actively recruiting across New Zealand which will ensure we attract the best and brightest in F&B and deliver tangible business outcomes both for Lion and the start-ups.”

Interested parties can apply at unleashed.lionco.com.