WeWork Is Launching An Accelerator Focused on Food Tech Startups

WeWork Labs has its eyes set on food tech startups, according to TechCrunch. The innovation program was relaunched by WeWork, the coworking space giant, about a year ago. Now, it is hoping to grab the attention of early-stage startups from across the world.

Currently, WeWork Labs has locations in Washington, D.C., New York City, Houston, and Seattle, along with various other international locations. The labs feature workshops, introductions to VCs, mentorship and pitch events to help founders grow their businesses and skills.

WeWork Labs’ food tech initiative comes as more investors lean into food tech and other food-focused businesses. According to a report by Food Tech Connect, $1.08 billion in venture capital investments were made to 99 beverage and food industry agreements in 2017.

“I do have to say, food carries a disproportionate amount of weight and attention,” Global Head of WeWork Labs Roee Adler said to TechCrunch. “We think it is one of the most exciting areas in the world right now, because this isn’t merely about encouraging businesses — this is about the future of the world, no less than what our children will eat.”

Companies like Seamless and UberEats have led the way for food delivery platforms, while others like Goodr are providing a sustainable, philanthropic way to conserve food waste. These startups can target a variety of issues including food insecurity, grocery shopping, and delivery services.

Food-focused startups are becoming increasingly popular and now some of these companies are hoping to make it big. Instacart, the online grocery shopping startup, announced it wants to IPO later this year. The company raised more than $600 million in funding last year to gear up for the big move.

WeWork is hoping to tap into the food tech gold mine by leveraging its tools and connections for blooming companies. The company told TechCrunch that there may be more specialized initiatives from WeWork Labs in the future.

Goodr Is Partnering With The NFL To Eliminate Food Waste During Superbowl Week

With more than 700,000 people expected to descend on Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII, one company is looking for a way to repurpose excess food accumulated over the weekend. Goodr, the Atlanta-based startup working to eliminate food waste nationwide, has teamed up with the NFL and NFL Green, the organization’s environmental program, for this year’s Super Bowl.

Goodr uses blockchain technology to find uses for excess food in communities. Corporate clients can donate food through the Goodr app, monitor pickups and deliveries, and track the amount of food donated over time.

NFL Green is focused on making the Super Bowl the most sustainable sports championship in America. The program has also partnered with Verizon Green and Zoo Atlanta for this year’s big game.

Handling the NFL’s official events will be no small feat. Goodr CEO Jasmine Crowe said the team began expanding when it got the green light for the partnership a few months ago. The company also had to buy more equipment for this weekend’s event. Goodr will continue serving its Atlanta clients, who are also set to benefit from the influx of tourists in the city, throughout the weekend.

“We’re making sure that the food collecting expands far and wide outside of Atlanta,” Crowe said. Goodr is sending its donations to non-profit companies located in neighboring counties to reach a broader set of residents.

In August, the company raised $1.25 million to expand to Raleigh, N.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. One of Goodr’s largest clients is Hartsfield–Jackson International airport.

Crowe said she plans to continue the partnership for next year’s game in Miami. Earlier this month, Goodr launched a “pop-up” grocery store in partnership with the Atlanta Hawks.  The company also provided surplus food for senior citizens on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

 

Goodr’s CEO on Food Donations: ‘Technology Was The Game Changer’

As the holidays quickly approach, many people are finding ways to donate and give back to their communities. Some choose to donate clothes, while others donate to their local food bank, but one Atlanta-based startup is helping restaurants give back year round. 

According to a survey by the American Dairy Association Mideast, the average American throws out more than 250 pounds of food each year. When used effectively, this food could go towards feeding families across the nation.
Goodr is looking to change these statistics through blockchain technology.

Goodr is a platform that manages food waste and allows restaurants to donate their surplus food to those in need. The business-to-business company’s mission is to “feed more, waste less.” 

“It’s like Uber Eats in reverse,” Goodr Founder and CEO Jasmine Crowe said.

Goodr provides food waste analytics by tracking the amount of food rescued, the dollar amount of tax savings a company will receive once its surplus food is donated and the donation’s community impact through the platform’s dashboard.

Messages that are sent through the app signals employees to pick up the food and take the donations to local nonprofits.

Founded in 2017, Crowe said she’s proud her company has been able to recover more than 1 million pounds of surplus food since its inception. The company also recently helped hip-hop producer Mike Will Made It and I Will Survive, Inc. serve Thanksgiving meals to seniors and veterans in the city.

Before starting Goodr, Crowe spent years volunteering to feed people in her community and realized that many companies were not donating their surplus food to food banks. Crowe decided that there needed to be a more effective way to analyze food data.

“Technology was the game changer,” Crowe said. “A lot of food gets donated to banks, but it wasn’t being tracked.”  

Goodr is active in Raleigh, N.C., Durham N.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami and Seattle. Crowe said the company is currently expanding and hopes to be in 20 cities by 2020.

“There’s so much work that needs to be done,” Crowe said. 

In the meantime, Goodr was able to donate thousands of pounds of surplus food from the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to people in need before Thanksgiving.

 

 

Goodr Raises $1.25M To Continue Eliminating Food Waste

Photo: ATDC
Did you know that one out of every seven people goes to sleep hungry? On the other hand, more than 70 billion pounds of food are thrown in landfills every year. Apps like Goodr are looking to bridge that gap.
The Atlanta-based startup that allows people to connect excess food with those in need announced last week that it raised $1.25M. Goodr is working to eliminate food waste, and although they’ve redistributed about one million pounds of food, they’ll be able to help even more people with this new pot of cash. Goodr plans to launch pilots in Chicago, Raleigh and L.A.
For corporate employees who want to find a good use for their excess food, they can list what will be left on the app and a Goodr driver will plan to pick up the food and take it to the communities who need it. They’ve worked with major clients such as Hartsfield–Jackson International airport and more.
On the tech side of things, the Goodr team uses Blockchain technology to track the food from where it originates to where it is distributed in the community. Within that app, corporate clients can check how much they have donated and also how much they are able to save in tax reductions.
Goodr wants to license out the technology they use to big food companies via SaaS. Campbell’s is amongst the big food brands that are in talks to try it out. And with all of the food waste they’re eliminating, the Goodr team is also exploring alternative energy and what’s possible to make out of the food waste they recover.
“We did it,” said Jasmine Crowe, founder of Goodr, on Instagram. “We believed that hunger and food waste we’re[were] worth fighting for and now the real work begins. Thank you to all of you – our amazing supporters who have believed, shared our story and given us your unwavering support. We’re expanding to more cities, creating more jobs, keeping more waste out of landfills and making sure that EVERYBODY EATS! Make sure you’ve signed up on our connection form and get the news first of our next launch city.”
This round was led by Precursor Ventures and also included investment by Trail Mix Ventures, Techstar Ventures, Halogen Ventures and various angel investors.