Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said in a statement Amatil X would support the development of concepts, startups and early stage businesses that anticipate and address customer needs.
“Customers’ worlds are changing quickly, with increasing expectations driven by technology. At the same time, beverage trends and drinking occasions are evolving fast,” Watkins said. “While remaining focused on our core is critical, we need to find new avenues of growth. We want to continue to challenge ourselves to provide our customers with ‘Only at Amatil’ experiences.”
Coca-Cola Amatil said at the centre of Amatil X is AX Ventures, a multimillion dollar corporate venturing program, set up to invest in future revenue growth opportunities outside of Amatil’s core – and beyond innovation in beverages which sits within the core business. Investment opportunities will be identified via:
• Xcelerate – a corporate accelerator program to operate in Australia and New Zealand – powered by leading startup accelerator BlueChilli. Xcelerate will seek applications from entrepreneurs and early-stage companies, gaining first-hand access to emerging technologies and trends; building a pipeline of investible businesses and supporting the overall startup ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand. Applications for Xcelerate opened on 12 April 2018.
• Xponential – an employee venturing program. Xponential will leverage Amatil’s existing innovation programs and other initiatives to identify internal opportunities for AX Ventures to invest. Importantly, the programs within AmatilX are not open to proposals for new beverages, and do not compete with existing innovation pipelines provided by brand partners including The Coca- Cola Company. Instead, there are three broad themes:
- “Millions of moments of impact”: concepts for creating a sustainable future;
- “One step ahead”: concepts for redefining the customer experience and;
- “Route to me”: concepts for exploring alternative ways of getting customers what they want, when and where they want it.
The soft drinks giant said the programs will leverage Coca-Cola Amatil’s ability to rapidly test and validate relevant ideas and prototype solutions, which improve the customer experience or create potential revenue streams. At the end of the program, AX Ventures will review participants for further investment.
“Our team has been examining rapidly evolving companies across various sectors in Australia and overseas for the past six months,” Watkins said. “The result is Amatil X. Our aspiration is for Amatil X to set the benchmark for how to bridge the gap between large established corporations and the agility and innovation of startup businesses, so that we leverage entrepreneurs to help fuel our growth agenda. We are investing today for tomorrow’s growth. We want the startup community to know we’re open for business and supporting both the startup community ecosystem, and the Australian and New Zealand economies.”