Press Release Details

Retail Business Services Partners with Other Ahold Delhaize USA Companies, Venture Café Cambridge to Launch Third Annual Start-Up Immersion Program

Mar 18, 2021

“SEED Immersion: Your Express Lane to Grocery” provides training and mentorship to help start-ups succeed in grocery

QUINCY, Mass., March 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the third year, Retail Business Services is partnering with other Ahold Delhaize USA companies and Venture Café Cambridge, a non-profit organization focused on growing inclusive entrepreneurship, to help early-stage entrepreneurs enter the retail grocery industry. The 10-week immersion program is designed to help start-ups build critical relationships to accelerate their companies’ successfully. New this year, the scope of the program has been expanded from supply chain focused technologies to include a wider range of start-ups with technologies applicable to all aspects of omnichannel consumer experience, from product origin through the supply chain to physical and digital store shelves and ultimately to consumers’ homes.

“Over the past several years, this program has shown benefits for emerging entrepreneurs by providing start-ups with a greater understanding of the industry and helping them expand their networks within the retail grocery space,” said Harsh (Harshvardhan), innovation specialist for ADUSA Procurement, a supply chain company of Ahold Delhaize USA. “Likewise, the program has helped Ahold Delhaize USA companies with innovation discovery. With this expanded scope of this year’s program, each of the supporting Ahold Delhaize USA companies looks forward to engaging with a new cohort of start-ups to further the future of grocery retail.”

The program will combine the best of Venture Café Cambridge’s programming prowess with exclusive access inside the grocery retail ecosystem. Six companies will be chosen to join the program. Finalists will gain in-depth information, feedback and support from leaders at the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA, in addition potentially an accelerated path to a pilot. This will help the start-ups prepare for an introduction to the market.

“Participating in the program offers abundant opportunities for evaluating product and bringing it to the market,” said Sridhar Iyer, Founder of Produce Pics, a 2020 alum of the Seed program. “The large group of people supporting you in the program are very approachable and are genuinely rooting for your success. This helped direct the focus of the company towards building a truly useful and much needed solution.”

Applications are open to start-ups until May 31, 2021, with programming taking place July 8 - September 16, 2021. The program will conclude on Sept. 16, 2021, with a virtual Innovation Conference organized by Venture Café Cambridge. The start-ups will pitch their solutions for an opportunity to be named the most viable technology for the future grocery retail.

Entrepreneurs can apply at:  

About Retail Business Services  
Retail Business Services, LLC, is the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, currently providing services to five East Coast grocery brands, including Food Lion, The GIANT Company, Giant Food, Hannaford and Stop & Shop. Retail Business Services leverages the scale of the local brands to drive synergies and provides industry-leading expertise, insights and analytics to local brands to support their strategies with services including Information Technology, Pharmacy Services, Not for Resale, Store Services, Financial Services, Legal Services, Communications, Supply Chain and People Systems and Services. For more information, visit  

About Venture Cafe
Venture Café Cambridge, activated by Innovation Studio, an inclusive 501(c)(3) non-profit and leader in offering free innovation resources, through a constellation of virtual and physical community spaces. Over the years, Innovation Studio has run 5,000+ program sessions, held 2800 office hour sessions, welcomed 250,000+ public lounge users and 265,000+ program attendees. At Venture Café Cambridge, we support entrepreneurs of all stages and industries in the City of Cambridge and beyond. The flagship Thursday Gathering program continues to offer virtual weekly WorkshopsOffice Hours consultationsVirtual Conferences and networking opportunities to facilitate innovation and help community members launch successful businesses.

Christy Phillips-Brown

Erin DeWaters

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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