Sort by
Sort by

Nestlé launches the Nestlé Hatcher to support start-up businesses

Back to Press releases

Best-in-class innovators presented with an opportunity to be future Nestlé suppliers

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 10 March 2021.Nestlé today launched, in partnership with COOi Studios, the Nestlé Hatcher: a ground-breaking, open-innovation platform that will offer innovators and start-up businesses opportunities to work with the food manufacturing company to collaborate, in solving some of the current business challenges across the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

Bruno Olierhoek, Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé ESAR said: “Innovation, business adaptability and strategic partnerships remain some of the bedrocks of our business, particularly during today’s challenging business environment. The Nestlé Hatcher innovation programme is part of our research and development efforts to accelerate the innovation of products and services that meet local consumer needs whilst collaborating with various stakeholders.”

“We are therefore cognizant that today’s business challenges cannot be resolved by a single organisation but through bringing different yet complimentary skills sets. Our fundamental goal with Nestlé Hatcher, is to work collaboratively with start-ups to identify sustainable and scalable solutions that help to accelerate the innovation of products and services in order to meet local consumer needs,” added Olierhoek.

Outlining the Nestlé Hatcher application process and how to get involved, João Barreto, Innovation Project Lead for Nestlé ESAR stated that Nestlé has developed the Nestlé Hatcher website where different business challenges will be published, starting on 10 March 2021.

“These business challenges will include detailed briefs on what type of solution we are looking for, as well as any pertinent application criteria. If you identify a challenge you would like to apply for, simply click the Apply Now button on the website and fill out the required details through our partner website, YouNoodle, to enter the challenge,” highlighted Barreto.

The Nestlé Hatcher process works across these four steps:

  • Search - A challenge will be posted on the Nestlé Hatcher platform with a detailed brief of and applications for proposals will be opened.

  • Select - After applications close, all applications will be reviewed and rounds of interviews will be conducted to identify and select the best-fit proposal based on the challenge’s criteria. The selected start-up will formalise a partnership to pilot the solution with Nestlé.

  • Incubate - The finalist will proceed to pilot their proposed solution, with assistance from Nestlé along the way, which includes mentorship, business, technology support and industry expertise.

  • Scale - Once the project has successfully passed pilot, Nestlé will decide if they will scale the startup solution or not. If they are to scale, start-up will commence to being a vendor to Nestlé.

The first challenge, Project UNO, focusing on our beverages business was announced today; inviting all innovators and start-up businesses to answer to the challenge therefore presenting them with an opportunity of becoming a Nestlé supplier. 



Zweli Mnisi, Corporate Spokesperson 
Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region

Tel: 082 312 8940

Email: [email protected]


About Nestlé

Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favorites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.