Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the third class of ventures for the Chipotle Aluminaries Project, an industry-leading accelerator program designed to support growth-stage ventures across the nation that focus on building sustainable, equitable, and efficient food systems. Sponsored by the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation in partnership with Uncharted, both nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, the program will give eight new ventures the opportunity to receive the tools necessary to scale their solutions and maximize their impact.
Each venture will receive six months of mentorship and direct coaching from world-renowned industry leaders, including Grammy-winning musician and farmer Jason Mraz, who is a longstanding avocado supplier for Chipotle restaurants. Participants will also get access to Chipotle ‘fuel’ in the form of free burritos for a whole year as well as catering for the duration of the program.
“These new ventures are helping to address issues that are greatly affecting the food system, and we’re dedicated to giving them the tools and resources necessary to drive real change,” said Laurie Schalow, Chief Corporate Affairs and Food Safety Officer, Chipotle.
With a challenging past year amidst a global pandemic, all eight selected ventures offer an essential product or service that helps make responsibly sourced and sustainable food more accessible. The selected ventures include:
Advocates for Urban Agriculture: Advocates for Urban Agriculture is a coalition of urban farms, community and school gardens, individuals, and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the Chicago region.
Babylon Micro-Farms: Babylon Micro-Farms is building the world's largest fully distributed vertical farm. Their remote management platform eliminates barriers to entry allowing foodservice operations to grow their product on-site using modular vertical farms. Babylon is based Richmond, VA and has customers across the U.S.
Black Farmers’ Market: The Black Farmers’ Market, based in North Carolina, is building self-sustaining markets that provide access to fresh foods from Black farmers directly to customers while changing misconceptions about healthy eating and creating economic opportunities for Black entrepreneurs within the food system.
East Denver Food Hub: East Denver Food Hub is a social enterprise committed to feeding communities and building a regenerative, resilient, and accessible regional food ecosystem that champions values-aligned farmers and BIPOC producers.
Foodshed.io: Foodshed.io, based in Livingston, Montana, is a local food marketing and logistics platform that makes it easy for independent farms to sell into major retailers and institutions nationwide. The company is building a local and regenerative agricultural system by working together with stakeholders across the country.
Symbrosia: Symbrosia, based in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, is a CleanTech startup that aims to reduce livestock methane emissions with a novel seaweed feed supplement.
Ubees: By combining traditional beekeeping expertise with innovative science and technology, the New York City-based Ubees works to reduce bee mortality rates and help sustain pollination at the industrial scale.
Vence: Vence, based in San Diego, is a livestock management system founded to improve the affordability and availability of sustainable animal protein.
Since 2019, Chipotle has pledged to help reinvigorate the fading farming industry for future generations. Chipotle gives back to the farming community by locally sourcing as well as offering education, scholarships, grants, and guaranteed three-year contracts to young farmers nationwide. Chipotle and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation have committed $5 million over the next five years to support the next generation of farmers.