Chipotle introduced the launch of an accelerator program as we speak designed to search out new and revolutionary corporations within the meals and farming house, primarily ones that concentrate on technology-focused options to issues within the agriculture trade. This system, referred to as the Chipotle Aluminaries Venture and sponsored by the corporate’s basis, will final seven months and fund growth-stage corporations “with a shared imaginative and prescient to domesticate a greater world.”

“Chipotle has been dedicated to the way forward for meals with integrity since opening our first restaurant 25 years in the past,” stated Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol in a press release. Niccol joined the corporate in February from Taco Bell, the place he helped architect the quick meals chain’s resurgence during the last decade. “By sponsoring the Chipotle Aluminaries Venture, we’re seeking to advance the work of the subsequent era of entrepreneurs who’re disrupting the meals panorama,” Niccol added.

Chipotle is in search of non- and for-profit ventures to affix this system, and its working with Uncharted, a non-profit associate that may assist Chipotle host this system and choose its first eight contributors. Entrepreneur and restaurant proprietor Kimbal Musk, the brother of SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a board member of Chipotle, might be one of many mentors alongside Prime Chef star Richard Blais. Based on BuzzFeed, Chipotle’s basis is investing $200,000 into this system, and the corporate stated it’s open to buying any of the taking part ventures or not directly combine their know-how into its current provide chain.

For Chipotle, it’s not clear how the accelerator program will assist its ongoing points, together with declining recognition and an repeated meals security crises — essentially the most of current of which occurred in Ohio final week — that’s crippled the businesses gross sales and inventory worth since its 2015 excessive. Chipotle’s Caitlin Leibert, its director of sustainability, instructed BuzzFeed that it anticipates seeing no less than some candidates for this system which are targeted on meals security, however that it’s not a core focus. It’s additionally a risk that investing in know-how might assist Chipotle rethink options to issues that ultimately result in meals questions of safety, like extra sustainable agriculture practices and plant-based meals which are extra immune to micro organism.

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