Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced the eight food industry startups that will be participating in the Chipotle Aluminaries Project.
Chipotle, partnering with the Denver-based non-profit Uncharted, has selected growth-stage food-focused ventures to benefit from the mentorship program by providing the "resources needed to grow and make a positive impact to scale", per a press release.
In a statement, CEO Brian Niccol said: "Since our founding, Chipotle has been committed to cultivating a better world, and we believe the best way to lead the future of food is to inspire others to come along with us on the journey and be a force for good in our industry."
"The eight selected companies represent the best and brightest of what's next in the food industry, and we can't wait to help them reach their full potential with the launch of the Chipotle Aluminaries Project," added Niccol.
The eight food startups were chosen by Chipotle for their innovative work in the food industry and include AgVoice, a mobile voice-activation service that tracks animal and plant production; American Ostrich Farms, an ostrich meat producer that "leaves a fraction of the environmental impact"; Asarasi, a sustainable and renewable water producer; Grubtubs Inc., a producer of economical animal feed made from food waste; Impactvision, startup that specializes in real-time food quality control; Novolyze, a food safety innovator; Rex Animal Health, a startup that uses date to improve livestock health and finally, Sophie's Kitchen Plant-Based Seafood, a sustainable plant-based seafood producer.
According to Forbes, coming March, the food startups selected will attend a 5-day boot camp of sorts in Venice Beach, California where they will receive coaching from industry leaders, including Top Chef alum Richard Blais, entrepreneur and philanthropist Kimbal Musk, and a number of Chipotle executives. and prepare and create their plans to scale. In addition to the boot camp, the startup members will have regular one-on-one meetings with their mentors where they will receive investor readiness training and introductions to relevant investors. "At Chipotle, we feel we have a responsibility and opportunity to forge a path to a more sustainable food future," Caitlin Leibert, Chipotle's Director of Sustainability said.