Boston, Mass. – Makomas, an organic beverage company that features superfood ingredients from West Africa, won $75,000 from PepsiCo last week at the Boston MassChallenge Awards.
Makomas was one of 128 startups selected from over 1600 applicants worldwide to participate in Boston’s MassChallenge Accelerator program last spring. Participants receive access to corporate partners, mentors, potential investors, educational workshops, co-working space and scholarships. The program culminated on October 17 with the Awards held at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center.
For the first time, PepsiCo joined MassChallenge in granting prizes. After a rigorous six-week competition, PepsiCo awarded Makomas the Food and Beverage Prize for its innovative products and long-term potential for growth. The startup impressed the judges with its focus on healthy “real” ingredients, its unique flavor combinations, and the impact the company is having on women farmers in Burkina Faso.
After winning, Magbè Savané, the company’s founder said “I am so thankful to PepsiCo and MassChallenge. This prize will help us to expand our distribution here in the US more quickly, and ultimately this means more facilities and training for the hardworking women in West Africa.”
Makomas (www.makomas.com) was founded by Savané who resides now in the Greater Boston area. She started the company to share healthy, “healing” beverage recipes passed down through generations of her family in Côte d’Ivoire. Her mother also made and sold these beverages to support Savané’s family as she was growing up.
Savané’s other goal for Makomas is to help local communities in West Africa eradicate poverty and malnutrition by stimulating economic development. To this end, she founded the Makomas Foundation that today works with 350 women in Burkina Faso to provide training and education in sustainable farming. Savané sources the fruits, flowers and leaves in her Makomas products from this group. The Foundation is supported by proceeds from beverage sales and from donations.
Makomas juices and teas feature baobab and moringa. The baobab tree is an iconic symbol of Africa. The baobab fruit earns its title as a superfruit by virtue of its high level of Vitamin C, fiber, calcium and other minerals. Moringa is often called the “Miracle Tree” in Africa due to its wide range of medical benefits. Moringa contains Vitamins A, B and C as well as potassium and iron and it is often used as a source of nutrition when other resources are not available. All juices and teas are made from sustainably grown natural and organic ingredients, and do not have any added sugar, artificial colors or preservatives.
Makomas products are sold in retail and specialty stores throughout New England and on Amazon.com. For more information or store locations, visit www.makomas.com.
Makomas Healing BeveragesTM are made from 100% natural and organic fruits, flowers, leaves and roots, sourced from sustainable farms in West Africa. The delicious flavor combinations such as Baobab Guava and Moringa Honey Green Tea are based on traditional recipes and do not have any added sugar, artificial colors or preservatives. Through the Makomas Foundation, the company helps to facilitate economic development in West Africa by empowering women farmers to provide for their families.