As part of the activities of the first week of the “COP 28” conference, PepsiCo, SABIC, Astrolabs, and their strategic partners announced the launch of the “Mega Green Accelerator,” a new initiative aimed at nurturing the new generation of innovators in technology across the region.
The initiative seeks to support their efforts in developing new solutions to address regional and global sustainability challenges.
The Middle East region is experiencing a temperature rise at a rate double the global average . However, the support and investment in a sustainable innovation system in the region do not align with the urgent needs to address this increase.
Since 2010, fewer than 50 new climate technology startups have been established in the Middle East and North Africa, compared to about 5,000 in Europe and the United States
The “Mega Green Accelerator” program aims to bridge this gap, enhance regional collaboration, and build a network of innovators in the Middle East and North Africa to address the most pressing sustainability challenges in the region.
The priorities of the first phase of the accelerator program focus on circular economy, clean energy transitions, water, and agriculture – some of the most urgent issues in the Middle East.
In addition to initial funding and guidance, partners of the “Mega Green Accelerator” will provide participating entrepreneurs with access to key business leaders in the region.
Eugene Willemsen, CEO of PepsiCo for Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, stated, “Innovators in the Middle East and North Africa possess vast, expandable potential and are taking significant steps towards developing local solutions to address the unique challenges facing the region. The COP 28 conference highlights climate innovations in the UAE and the region as a whole.
In this context, PepsiCo is proud to support the new generation of climate leaders through the ‘Mega Green Accelerator’ program, to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and the networks and resources they need. We are committed to supporting pioneering startups as they expand the scope of sustainability solutions, grow their businesses, and establish fruitful connections.”
In addition to PepsiCo, SABIC, and Astrolabs, the “Mega Green Accelerator” will leverage the unique capabilities
and expertise of its strategic partners to provide the best possible support to participating entrepreneurs. Investment partners, including the Dubai Future Foundation, “VentureSouq,” and “Shorooq Partners,” will offer investment and guidance platforms to increase capital, enhance networking opportunities, and define operational and participation standards for maximizing success in investments.
On the other hand, ecosystem partners, such as the Entrepreneurship Club at London Business School, “Berytech,” the Project Lab at the American University in Cairo, the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park, and the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, will welcome applicants through their networks, disseminate information about the accelerator program, and introduce updates about applicants through their channels.
Schneider Electric will support the accelerator program as an award partner by participating in the final selection of participants.
Dr. Bob Mohan, Chief Technology and Sustainability Officer at SABIC, expressed pride in collaborating with PepsiCo and other partners to contribute their expertise, guidance, and resources to assist the brightest minds in the region in realizing their full potential through the “Mega Green Accelerator.”
He emphasized the importance of such cross-sector partnerships in effectively addressing complex and crucial issues such as climate change, contributing to improving local economies, and enhancing the well-being of people and the environment simultaneously.
Roland Daher, CEO of Astrolabs, stated that their partnership with PepsiCo and SABIC is a strategic step at a critical time to accelerate innovation in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, given the strong focus on sustainability.
With the flow of sustainable international companies and the increasing importance of the region as a global hub for testing modern innovations, they aim to make concerted efforts to create a system that allows these companies to expand into local markets.
They also aim to support the capabilities of the GCC countries to meet the current high demand for green solutions and enable them to lead globally in developing sustainable business practices.
It is worth noting that the focus of the “Mega Green Accelerator” on priority areas aligns with PepsiCo’s “+pep Positive” strategy and the sustainability agendas of other partners.
The program aims to strengthen collaboration with companies across the region to stimulate positive impact.
In the coming months, PepsiCo and its partners will provide additional details and information about the application process for the “Mega Green Accelerator.”