July marks one year since Nestlé launched HENRi, its open innovation platform designed to help support startups and entrepreneurs in addressing specific business and brand challenges. Its aim is to revolutionise the nutrition, health and wellness sectors, enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.
Already in the past year, HENRi has attracted submissions from across the world and from a range of high quality startups against its initial six challenges. From assessing and diagnosing micronutrient deficiency to finding a complementary and sustainable material in replacing plastic water bottles, HENRi has attempted to solve some of the most challenging issues facing our society.
HENRi@Nestlé brings together the creative spirit and ingenuity of startups, entrepreneurs and innovators across the globe, with the scale and expertise of a 150-year-old company. HENRi features real business challenges from across Nestlé and opens up applications to any business who thinks they can solve that challenge best. Chosen startups then embark on a “partner-pilot-proof of concept” collaboration with HENRi, having access to the Nestlé senior sponsor and $50,000 funding from Nestlé to support the in-field pilot.
Gerardo Mazzeo, Global Innovation Director and CSV Manager, Nestlé, said: “We’re proud of the work we have done so far on open innovation to help change the culture within Nestlé and to enhance our brands and service propositions for the better. We have a huge ambition and breadth – looking at business challenges from helping families with portion control and tackling obesity to addressing packaging sustainability within our bottled water business. It’s just the beginning, and I’m looking forward to working with the team at Nestlé and new startups to make a difference on projects that matter.”
Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital and Social Media, said: “We launched HENRi@Nestlé in 2016 with the aim to work with the most creative and innovative startups on projects that will make a real difference. We’ve already hosted six great projects, and are looking forward to seeing the pilots launch into the real world, and open more projects in the year to come.”
Throughout the year HENRi has been in conversation with some of the best startups, presenting a new breed of collaborative innovation that is founded upon mutual value exchange and a genuine peer-to-peer approach.
HENRi is sponsoring The Next Big thing at ad:tech this year and is now open for applications from top startups.