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This article was published on August 23, 2018

Chipotle is opening a startup accelerator, and I volunteer myself

Free Mexican food? You best believe I can come up with something.

Chipotle is opening a startup accelerator, and I volunteer myself
Matthew Hughes
Story by

Matthew Hughes

Former TNW Reporter

Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.

Chipotle is good at two things: 1.) making tasty burritos, and 2.) poisoning the people who eat its burritos with norovirus. But now it’s branching into new territory. Buzzfeed News reports the casual Mexican chain is launching a new startup accelerator.

According to Buzzfeed News’ Vanessa Wong, Chipotle, which is valued at roughly $14.2 billion, wants to invest in startups working a variety of sectors that intersect with its key interests. These include alternative farming, agritech, food waste management, and plant and alternative products.

The chain is working with Uncharted — a Denver-based social benefit accelerator — in order to help eight ventures. To help make this happen, Chipotle has donated $200,000 to Uncharted, and has pledged marketing and communications support for any startup that ultimately takes part in the program.

As an added perk, the chain is throwing free food at teams, who get complimentary monthly Chipotle catering for their offices, as well as personal Chipotle “celebrity cards,” which entitle the bearer to one free burrito a day. Think of them as like the coveted Nando’s black card.

Free Mexican food, lads. Now, I don’t have a startup, but like the best opportunists out there, you better believe I’m tempted to pull one out of my arse to get in on this.

Burrito bowls on the blockchain, perhaps? Tokenized tacos?

Mull it over and give me a call, Chipotle.