Coke launches technology incubator Fizzion

Coca Cola will get first rights to test new business ideas from Fizzion start-ups.

Coca-Cola has formed a technology incubator, Fizzion, to help start-ups get off the ground, The Financial Times reports.

Coke will house 10-15 companies at its Altanta facilities and will nurture their business ideas applicable to the beverage industry. The business plans would not involve developing ideas for actual drinks, which is handled mostly by Coke’s beverage innovation centres around the world. Coke would get first rights to test new business ideas from Fizzion, but not exclusivity.

The formation of Fizzion is part of an overall strategy to bring in new technologies and ideas as the drinks giant restructures. In exchange for helping incubate the startups, Coke will get a 12 per cent stake in each company. Coke stipulates each start-up must have a capitalisation of no more than $1m and employ less than 10 people. In some cases Coke would provide up to $250,000 funding.

Douglas Daft, the chairman and chief executive of Coke, is aiming to transform the soft drinks company into an all beverage corporation. Fizzion is part of this strategy to grow, as well as acquire, new products and business lines.

“The range of ideas we are looking for goes all the way from applications on how to make packages more environmentally friendly to how to better market or sell in the e-commerce world,” said Chris Lowe, president and chief executive of Fizzion.

Fizzion is being partnered with a local university, Georgia Tech, whose own incubator, Advanced Technology Development Centre, has helped develop such companies as , Earthlink, the internet service provider.