Sleep Well’s mission to help the world get a better night’s sleep has been accelerated following news the company has been selected to join Agropur’s prestigious ‘Inno Accel’ programme.
Leading Canadian Dairy Cooperative Agropur launched Inno Accel, the largest open innovation initiative in the North American dairy industry, in 2018. Following an international Inno Accel call for applications, fifteen shortlisted businesses pitched to win a slot on the 2019 cohort, with Agropur selecting four dairy-related start-ups from Canada, the US and the UK to join the programme which starts this week.
The selected businesses will spend 12 weeks in Inno Accel, challenging convention and generating exciting new solutions to maximise their chances of North American success.
Inno Accel will help Sleep Well develop products and market-appropriate solutions with a fully customised coaching programme. The Sleep Well team will be supported by two mentors – a successful entrepreneur and a member of Agropur senior management – and at least 20 coaches with different areas of expertise, from marketing and sales to R&D and strategy.
The coaches will provide guidance and help Sleep Well develop in an environment that simulates real-life conditions in the business world and the agri-food industry. Each selected business will receive several months of support, worth $25,000 CAD, as well as $20,000 CAD cash to contribute to travel and living expenses. The Sleep Well team will fly to Montreal, Canada for four one-week sprints as part of the programme.
“Agropur is one of North America’s biggest dairy co-operatives and this is a huge opportunity for our brand and our product”, says Sleep Well founder Sam Watts.
“Canada’s dairy industry is renowned for its creativity and innovation and to be selected from so many strong contenders for a place on the programme is an immense achievement for the business and the team. North America has always been high on our target list and this has the potential to accelerate our growth in one of the world’s biggest consumer markets. Above all, we are going to benefit from three months of intensive product and business development coaching and the expertise of a highly professional and experienced company, creating undreamed of opportunities.”
Caroline Miron, Agropur’s Director for Innovation, Architecture and Strategy said: “We want to team up with the best in order to come up with new ideas and create the dairy products of the future. From a pool of start-ups from around the world, we have therefore selected businesses that are innovative and ambitious to join Inno Accel. Thanks to our solid acceleration programme developed in collaboration with OSMO foundation, we can provide a springboard for start-ups that have a sound business model, products with a competitive advantage and strong growth potential and we believe Sleep Well has the potential to be part of the next wave of innovative dairy products.”
The popularity of Sleep Well – the natural milk drink that helps all ages over 12 months to relax and get a better night’s sleep – has increased rapidly since launch only two years ago. Available online at sleepwellmilk.com, Amazon.com and selected online food retailers, Sleep Well is also sold in more than 200 independent stores across the UK and Channel Islands, including 110 Sainsbury’s. The team were also at Speciality and Fine Food Fair last week maintaining UK focus and building other potential listings whilst the North American dream starts to take shape.