PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Juntos Crecemos Edition returns with renewed focus on food and beverage startups

March 15, 2024
PepsiCo invites businesses to apply for its mentorship program and a chance to receive up to $120,000 in business grants.

PepsiCo Inc. announced the return of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) Edition – a collaborative program that provides funding and pairs breakthrough startups with PepsiCo experts to help grow their businesses. For the second consecutive year, this edition of Greenhouse Accelerator will focus on elevating high-potential Hispanic-owned CPG food and beverage startups that demonstrate the promise of transforming the industry with snacks and beverages that are better for people and the planet.

Aspiring food and beverage businesses engaged in the creation or sale of consumer goods on a national scale can submit their applications for the Greenhouse Accelerator: Juntos Crecemos Edition program. This initiative is part of pep+ (PepsiCo Positive)'s transformation agenda, aiming to foster a more circular and inclusive value chain. To apply, visit Applications close May 6.

PepsiCo will choose eight promising businesses from the applicant pool to receive a $20,000 grant and join the five-month mentorship program to address their specific business challenges, including brand development, scaling technology, business model development, product optimization and go-to-market strategy.

“We are so excited to launch year two of the program to be a catalyst of growth for emerging Hispanic-owned ventures in the food and beverage industry," Esperanza Teasdale, vice president and general manager, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Beverages North America, said in the announcement. “Last year's program was a reciprocal exchange of learning. Mentors provided mentees with invaluable business advice, and the mentees provided a thoughtful approach to their respective businesses and the industry at large. This cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives is what helps drive innovation within PepsiCo.”

Throughout the year, the finalists will present plans to address their individual business obstacles, progress and tangible results to an expert evaluation committee. In November, the committee will award a $100,000 grand prize to the most promising business to continue its expansion along with the possibility of working with PepsiCo and Juntos Crecemos.

“The success resulting from programs like this one showcases the power of the U.S. Hispanic entrepreneur,” said Antonio Escalona, senior vice president and general manager, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Foods North America, said in the announcement. “Embracing the spirit of innovation, our commitment at PepsiCo is rooted in meeting the dynamic demands of today's evolving consumers. We hope to give these Hispanic-owned start-ups the resources needed to shape the future of food and beverage with creativity, ingenuity and relentless dedication.”

Daniel Schwarz, winner of the inaugural mentorship program and founder and CEO of Mexican-inspired snack company CHUZA, used the grant and expertise he gained to raise product awareness and inspire brand love around the world through expanded branding and marketing efforts. Since November 2023, Daniel has been focused on product packaging improvements and working on new product innovations that he hopes to introduce later this year.

“I cannot thank PepsiCo enough for the financial and strategic support that I received through the first-ever Juntos Crecemos Edition of the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Program,” Schwarz said in the announcement. “I encourage all Hispanic business owners in the food and beverage sector to apply for this program and take advantage of all it has to offer because it can help transform your businesses to make an impact in the industry.”

Since expanding to North America in 2018, the Greenhouse Accelerator Program is now in its ninth iteration, supporting entrepreneurial growth and uplifting a wide range of suppliers with one fundamental goal: to foster the growth of entrepreneurs.