New start-up program launched to support entrepreneurs building circular economy


New start-up program launched to support entrepreneurs building circular economy

Program provides mentorship, advising, and $300,000 in equity-free grants to companies

Today, the U.S.-based nonprofit Food System 6 (FS6) announces the launch of a comprehensive startup program in partnership with global sustainable food packaging leader Huhtamaki. The Huhtamaki Circular Economy Startup Program by Food System 6 is designed to accelerate the development of young and promising companies working for a more sustainable future. It will focus on identifying and developing early-stage companies with innovative and promising sustainable solutions in areas such as waste diversion, sustainable packaging alternatives, new materials innovations, and regenerative production models.

“Our program is happening at a critical time. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities that already existed in our fragile food system,” said Caesaré Assad, Chief Executive Officer of Food System 6. “We need solutions now that will support regeneration and circularity across agriculture, food distribution and production. By supporting entrepreneurs, we can rectify the problems that impact people and our planet to create a stronger, resilient, and equitable world.”

The program will focus on fostering innovative solutions for the development of a circular economy across the food system value chain with the aim of increasing the long-term health and resilience of our planet. Through the partnership with Huhtamaki, FS6 is providing critical mentorship, advising and networking resources to give direct support to selected participants to help build on their ideas and work towards building to scale. In addition, up to $300,000 in equity-free grants will be disbursed to eight selected companies.

“At Huhtamaki we know we need to act today, educate for tomorrow and take bold innovative bets, if we are to deliver viable sustainable solutions for future generations. Creating a circular economy is one of the most important steps towards delivering a sustainable food system. We have partnered with Food System 6 to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions,” said Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki. “Huhtamaki is committed to protecting people, food and the planet. Our partnership with Food System 6 is an important part of creating the future we believe is possible.”

The Huhtamaki Circular Economy Startup Program by Food System 6 is open for applications. Diverse companies and entrepreneurs that have real solutions that can help create circular economy solutions are encouraged to apply. The submission deadline is August 15. Selected participants will be announced in the fall 2020. More information about the application process and guidelines can be found at

For further information, please contact:

Nicholas Turton, Account Executive,, tel. + 1 213-343-5264
Reeta Eskola, Senior Communications Manager, Huhtamäki Oyj, tel. +358 40 779 9574

Global Communications

Food System 6 (FS6) is a non-profit based in the San Francisco Bay Area whose mission is to support impact driven entrepreneurs as they transform how we grow, produce, and distribute food. The organization runs a comprehensive accelerator program that mentors entrepreneurs by coaching them through a wide range of business and organizational needs. FS6 also works to educate stakeholders on the unique capital needs as related to redefining the food system.

The FS6 program prioritizes working with entrepreneurs who are building a food system that focuses on health, sustainability, and justice - whether through food-tech, supply chain, or access-focused solutions. Learn more at

Huhtamaki is a key global player in sustainable food on-the-go and food on-the-shelf packaging solutions. Our innovative products help billions of consumers around the world make responsible lifestyle choices every day. Today, packaging plays a significant role in food safety and convenience. We are committed to making packaging more circular and we embed sustainability in everything we do. We are focused on achieving carbon neutral production and having all our products designed to be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.

To mark its 100-year anniversary Huhtamaki is donating EUR 3 million to global sustainability initiatives with a local impact. We are acting today, educating for tomorrow and funding innovation for the future, making a difference where it matters most to help address global sustainability challenges and build circular economy initiatives.

With 100 years of history and a strong Nordic heritage, we operate in 35 countries and 81 sites around the world. Our 19,000 employees are working to deliver smart next generation packaging. Our 2019 net sales totaled EUR 3.4 billion. Huhtamaki Group has its head office in Espoo, Finland and the parent company Huhtamäki Oyj is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. Find out more about our Sustainability Action Plan and our ambition at