Social Nest and Danone launch “Scale the Impact”, an acceleration program for startups with social and environmental impact

· The project seeks to accelerate growth and business opportunities for impact startups, in addition to getting B Corp values included into their management model.

· The three-month long program gives the selected entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to secure funding, receive training and make connections with the investing world.

· Applications will be accepted starting today, November 15, and ending on January 30, 2023.

Barcelona, November 15, 2022 - Social Nest Foundation , the global platform for entrepreneurs and impact investors, and Danone, a leading food production company operating in four health-focused categories, join forces to launch Scale the Impact, a pilot program for accelerating 20 startups operating in the areas of social and environmental impact. Scale the Impact was created for the purpose of encouraging the founders of startup companies to include B Corp values and practices into their management models, while also boosting their responsibility and transparency regarding their social and environmental impact.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Social Nest to support positive impact startups in Spain," says Gian Maria Bruno, the Global B Corp Director at Danone. "We are impressed by the drive and passion that today's entrepreneurs have for building sustainable businesses while accelerating systemic change. Given Danone's commitment to becoming a B Corp, this program was a natural step toward accelerating the growth of the B Corp movement. We are proud to support Social Nest in integrating the B Corp mindset into the Technology and Innovation ecosystems."

Under the premise that there is no future without sustainability, and no sustainability without social growth, Danone has positioned itself as a leader in transforming the current business model towards one that is more sustainable and fairer. This year, the company celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Marseille Speech delivered by co-founder and then Chairman, Antoine Riboud, where he first introduced the pioneering concept that the dual purpose of business should link economic goals and social ones and, therefore, success in business must always go hand in hand with social progress.

For this reason, Laia Mas, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Danone, says "companies must lead the way and be bold when coming up with a roadmap for providing measures that will get governments and institutions to accelerate change. In this vein, Scale the Impact is one example of how another way of doing business is possible, one demonstrating that by exchanging experiences, projects and ideas, we will be prepared to tackle the economic, social and environmental challenges we face. Purposeful innovation is the driving force behind our ability to lead a true transformation".

Margarita Albors, founder and president of Social Nest Foundation, states, "This is a magnificent opportunity for startups to accelerate their growth process. We want to help entrepreneurs with social or environmental impact push ahead with their business projects as a tool for social change as well, by catalyzing us into B companies who seek to generate a greater positive impact through open innovation".

Scale the Impact also has B Lab Europe and B Lab Spain as collaborators, who will offer general advice on program design, stakeholder relations, access to B Lab tools, in addition to other resources. This initiative further aims to bring together the entire innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in our country, as well as the impact entrepreneurship movement and B Corps. To do so, strategic partners have been collaboratively brought onboard as supporting partners. Some of the most notable are Alto Comisionado para España Nación Emprendedora, Impact Hub, Area 101, Fi Impact Investing Forum, Women in Tech Spain, Ship2B, Quiero, Endeavor, Startup Valencia, Valencia Digital Summit, 4YFN and South Summit.

Startups in their growth phase operating in the following areas of social and environmental impact are eligible to apply for one of the 20 spots that the program is offering: Sustainable, regenerative and resilient agriculture; Food tech; Circular economy; Inclusion and diversity platforms; Future of retail; and Specialized nutrition.

Applications will be accepted starting today, November 15, and ending on January 30, 2023. The acceleration program will last 3 months, from March to June 2023, and will have a hybrid format, with online training modules and some optional face-to-face modules to coincide with events in the innovation, technology and investment ecosystem in Spain. As part of the program's value, the startups will be given free tickets, connections and visibility at these events with international scope. In addition, the participating startups will have the best experts at their disposal in individualized mentoring sessions designed according to their growth needs.

The program will end with a Demo Day, when the participants will make their pitch to the investment community and a jury made up of leading figures in the national and international innovation ecosystem, who will award one of startups prize-winnings of 30,000 €.