Hospitality giant Marriott International has announced plans to become involved in the growing food and beverage startup space with the launch of CANVAS, a new food and beverage incubator.
CANVAS will give entrepreneurs, chefs, bartenders and artisan food producers the opportunity to pitch food and drink concepts specific to various Marriott hotels, according to a statement from the company. The chosen winners, selected by local committees made up of restaurant owners, hotel owners and industry experts, will see their ideas come to fruition, backed by Marriott funding. After six months of operations, each concept will be reviewed based on its success and return on investment.
“We believe the key ingredient of CANVAS is to marry the best ideas of local entrepreneurs with Marriott’s resources, space and capital that will transform ambition into action right inside out hotels,” Wolfgang Lindlbauer, Chief Discipline Leader of Marriott’s Global Operations, said in the statement.
Beginning with two hotels, the JW Marriott Shenzhen in China and the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, the program will expand to approximately a dozen other Marriott locations worldwide within the first six months of its launch. The selected entrepreneurs’ journeys will also be told through documentary-style webisodes that chronicle their CANVAS ventures from the ideas’ inception to opening night of the businesses.
CANVAS marks the latest in a handful of companies launching food incubators as a way to broaden the scope of their operations. In November, Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani, announced plans to launch a food incubator in New York city for upstart food businesses looking to scale. With an opening budget of $2 million, the Chobani Food Incubator plans to back 10 companies in its first round of funding.