Back in 2008, the Belgian/Brazilian beer company, InBev announced their intention to acquire Anheuser-Busch in one of the most monumental mergers in the long history of the industry. Both business had unique cultural identities to bring to the new partnership. InBev brought a rich history and tradition of Belgian brewing that dates back to the 12th century, including brands like Leffe, Stella Artois, and Hoegaarden. Anheuser-Busch brought many of its own iconic brands, but also its pioneering American spirit. After all, Anheuser-Busch was the first U.S. brewer to use mechanical refrigeration and refrigerated railroad cars. It was the first to bottle beer at scale and to incorporate pasteurization to keep beer fresh.
In keeping with that forward-thinking culture and understanding that technology is changing how beer is bought and consumed, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has just announced a joint accelerator with Techstars, dubbed Techstars Connection. This program is looking to fast-track the next generation of entrepreneurs that are focused building technology that helps connect people and bring them together for new social experiences, connect people to products based on their specific preferences, and connect people to places where those products are served.
Techstars Connection will operate out of a brand-new, customized space in New York City from October through January 2017. Anheuser-Busch joins some of the most innovative Fortune 100 companies who are already running accelerators with Techstars including Disney, Barclays, and Virgin Media.
Techstars Connection is funded by ZX Ventures, the new global incubator and venture capital arm of AB InBev. Patrick O'Riordan, ZX Venture's Head of Exploration, is clear about their vision for this accelerator and the fund overall, "Our overarching goal is to make products, services and experiences that bring people together and celebrate the best life has to offer. We are excited to partner with Techstars to help invest in and support the next generation of entrepreneurs who are building groundbreaking technology that the world hasn't even imagined."
*In addition to her role at Savvy, Ms. Devine is a member of the convenient solutions team under ZX Ventures.