Mars seeks entrepreneurs looking for growth acceleration – podcast

The food giant’s accelerator offers funding, mentorship for purpose-driven businesses.

Heather Granato, VP, Partnerships & Sustainability

April 8, 2019

Innovative companies populate the healthy food space, all of whom are seeking ways to increase their reach while delivering great taste to consumers. Unfortunately, this crowded industry is tough on entrepreneurs, who are seeking both funds and business guidance to stand out and succeed long term. To address the challenge, Mars Inc. recently launched its Seeds of Change Accelerator, and is seeking six U.S. and four Australian companies for its first cohort, with an application deadline of May 31. Heather Granato, vice president of content, spoke with Gary Arora, head of accelerator and global lead, launchpad, about the company’s mission and values, and why now is the right time to support next-gen businesses.

Key points of this podcast include:

  • Mars Foods’ values and its alignment with the Seeds of Change accelerator.

  • How emerging technologies and experiential offerings are among the unique selling points that will help prospective applicants rise to the top.

  • The types of mentors—both internal and external—that will offer guidance during a four-month mentorship program.

Got feedback? Email Heather at [email protected] or tweet to @NatProdINSIDER using the hashtag #INSIDERPodcast.

Links and Resources:

  • Insights about the genesis of the accelerator program, and specifics about how companies can apply.

  • Nutrition Capital Network’s (NCN) Deal Download outlines some of the 942 transactions in 2018, and where transaction activity is the strongest.


About the Author(s)

Heather Granato

VP, Partnerships & Sustainability, Informa Markets, Food EMEA division

Heather Granato is a 30-year veteran of the natural products industry, currently serving as vice president, partnerships & sustainability, in the Food EMEA division of Informa Markets. She is based in London, and leads efforts related to industry partnerships and broader sustainability initiatives for the Vitafoods and Food ingredients brands. She has been a presenter at events including SupplySide, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Natural Products Expo, the Natural Gourmet Show and the Folio: Show. Her publishing experience includes Natural Products Insider, Food Product Design, Vitafoods Insights, Country Living's Healthy Living, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Magazine and Granato serves as the founding president of Women In Nutraceuticals, a global non-profit founded in 2022 focused on empowering women in the nutraceutical industry; she is also on the board of directors for the Organic & Natural Health Association. From 2016 to 2022, she was a vice president on the national governing board of Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity. Granato was named to the FOLIO: 100 list of top media professionals in 2018, and was selected as a 2015 Top Woman in Media by FOLIO:. She received the 2014 Visionary Award and the 2018 Journalistic Excellence Award from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); and was honored with the CEO Merit Award for Content from Virgo in 2014. Granato graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond, Virginia, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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