Tyson Foods
The company's focus on innovation leads to agreements with Plug and Play and 1871. 
SPRINGDALE, Ark. – As consumers and markets continue to change, Tyson Foods is doing its part to keep up. The Springdale-based company announced an agreement Feb. 15 to work with Plug and Play and 1871, two business incubators that will give Tyson a direct connection with business startups.

Based in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that connects startups to corporations around the country. 1871, based in Chicago, is the home of nearly 500 early-stage, high-growth digital startups.

“Our collaboration with Plug and Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing,” said Tyson Foods Group President of Prepared Foods, Sally Grimes. “By partnering with these organizations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”

By working alongside Plug and Play and 1871, Tyson hopes to “fuel new discoveries in food and find new solutions to meet business needs,” according to the company

“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food startups with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” says Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer of Plug and Play. “The Tyson Foods team brings depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value, and together they will look toward solving for the future of food.”

1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman added, “Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy. We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”