Home Strategy Lion, Slingshot partner to launch new start-up accelerator

Lion, Slingshot partner to launch new start-up accelerator

Australasian regional food and beverage company Lion has partnered with Australian accelerator specialist Slingshot to launch a new accelerator program for startups and entrepreneurs.

Lion’s 12 week accelerator programme — dubbed Lion Unleashed — designed in partnership with Slingshot, is aimed at connecting Lion’s brands such as XXXX, Hahn SuperDry, Dairy Farmers, Dare Iced Coffee and Steinlager, with world-class entrepreneurs to accelerate Lion’s innovation agenda.

Start-ups accepted into Lion Unleashed will exchange equity for up to $50,000 from the Slingshot Investment Fund.

And, in addition, Slingshot network partners can access technology, software, hosting, office space and catering benefits valued at over $500,000, along with mentoring advice from industry sector leaders like Kate Parker, chief executive of Your Tea, Alistair Venn, managing director of Menulog and Mark Moran, head of global partnerships at LaFourchette, a Trip Advisor company.

Lion chief executive Stuart Irvine says Lion Unleashed is an opportunity for startups and scaleups to work with Lion to unlock “even more value at every stage of the value chain and bring new ideas in the food and beverage sector to life”.

“Innovation has been at the heart of Lion’s 177-year success and is critical for our long term, sustainable growth.  Together with the R&D expertise of our parent company Kirin, we have a strong track record of evolving both our alcohol and dairy portfolios to meet the changing needs and tastes of consumers.

“But no one has a monopoly on great, disruptive ideas that can really challenge and grow our people and our business. Unleashed is an opportunity for us to collaborate with the best and brightest startups, who at the same time can benefit from Lion’s unique understanding of consumers across alcohol, dairy and juice, our deep manufacturing experience and potential partnership opportunities with our leading brands, including XXXX, Steinlager, Little Creatures, Dairy Farmers and Pura.”

Karen Lawson, chief executive of Slingshot, said, “The F&B industry is not only critical to the economy but also a meaningful part of our daily lives. We see a massive opportunity for disruption and exciting innovation in this space and are thrilled to partner with Lion to drive collaboration between two powerful forces – a leading global business and the startup communities in Australia, New Zealand and the broader APAC region.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).