Pompeian Olive Oil and Sodexo select three startups for the Maryland Innovation Lab

May 3, 2024

BALTIMORE, MD – May 3, 2024 – The inaugural cohort of the Maryland Innovation Lab, focusing on food and sustainability, has identified three startups for collaboration.

From an initial pool of over 600 startups and scale-ups identified by innovation specialist L Marks, nine were selected by Sodexo, SIMPLi, and Pompeian to present their innovations during an intensive three-day Bootcamp and Pitch event last month. The bootcamp enabled the teams to rapidly develop customized use cases with expert guidance and mentorship from the corporate partners, L Marks, WTCI, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and local business executives.

Leveraging insights from this collaborative effort, Sodexo and Pompeian have selected three teams to embark on a ten-week validation program. The startups joining the Maryland Innovation Lab are:

  • Assetfloow is an AI Forecast that helps retailers build accurate Behavioural Forecast models of shoppers to optimize inventory, pricing planning, and increase sales. They will collaborate with both Pompeian and Sodexo.
  • Vaayu is an automated software that empowers brands and businesses within the retail ecosystem to track and cut their carbon and environmental impact in real-time. They will develop their product with Pompeian.
  • Colateral is a UK-based provider of in-store marketing and communications management software that enables enterprise retailers and brands to plan, manage, and execute in-store messaging and prove compliance and effectiveness of spend. They will also collaborate with Sodexo.

Two additional companies, Parim and WholeChain will explore potential applications of their product with Sodexo, outside of the Maryland Innovation Lab.

“We are proud to play a pivotal role in the Maryland Innovation Lab, fostering international collaboration and driving innovation. Our commitment lies in empowering startups and businesses with the resources, mentorship, and global connections essential for expanding their reach. Together, we’re shaping the future of innovation in Maryland and beyond.”

Eddie Resende
CEO, World Trade Center Institute

The Maryland Innovation Lab operates on a model developed by UK-based L Marks, where corporations are matched with global startups in a 10-week accelerator. The Lab aims to assist corporations in bringing in new talent and ideas to scale innovation without requiring the in-house expertise necessary to run an accelerator program.

The inaugural cohort of the Maryland Innovation Lab will conclude after ten weeks with a Demo Day, where the selected startups will present their findings and celebrate the conclusion of the Lab.

About World Trade Center Institute (WTCI)

The World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) is a globally recognized non-profit organization that fosters international business growth and innovation. WTCI provides startups and businesses with the resources, mentorship, and global connections needed to expand their international reach. WTCI is committed to driving economic growth, technological advancement, and global collaboration across various industries.

About L Marks

L Marks is a leading innovation specialist that has created over 100 innovation labs and collaboration programs with its partners in Europe, Asia and North America. With a track record of successful collaborations, L Marks brings startups into established corporate ecosystems to drive innovation and growth. Through their expertise and global footprint, L Marks enhances the success and impact of startups across various industries, achieving a successful deployment rate of over 70%. L Marks annually identifies 10,000 startups from more than 80 countries.

About Pompeian Olive Oil

Pompeian Olive Oil is a trusted leader in the olive oil industry, with a history dating back to 1906. Dedicated to providing high-quality, authentic olive oils, Pompeian is committed to promoting healthier cooking choices and culinary innovation. With a focus on sustainability and responsible sourcing, Pompeian Olive Oil has earned the trust of chefs and home cooks around the world.

About Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 45 countries. Sodexo specializes in sustainable food service and valued experiences, in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam, at every moment in life: learn, work, heal and play. Additionally, the company indirectly supports additional jobs through its annual purchases of goods and services from small to large businesses. Sodexo North America is committed to meeting the challenges of everyday life with a dual goal: to improve the quality of life of our employees and those we serve, and contribute to the economic, social, and environmental progress in the communities where we operate. Our purpose is to create a better every day for everyone to build a better life for all

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