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Tyson Foods Teams with Startup Incubators to Shape the Future of Food

Springdale, Ark. – February 15, 2018 – Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) is tapping into entrepreneurs to speed up the pace of innovation, embrace emerging technologies and become more agile in its pursuit of sustainable growth. Today, the company announced an agreement to work with two business incubators, Plug and Play and 1871, that will directly connect it to the startup communities of Silicon Valley and Chicago.

It is a unique opportunity to develop the future of the industry by combining the expertise of America’s largest food company with the energy, innovation and entrepreneurialism of startup culture.

“Our collaboration with Plug and Play and 1871 are examples of how we are adopting new growth models to innovate faster than consumers and markets are changing,” said Sally Grimes, Group President Prepared Foods, Tyson Foods. “By partnering with these organizations and combining Tyson Foods’ resources, capabilities and team members with the energy and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and Chicago, we can have a positive impact on the industry and the food system.”

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform based in the Silicon Valley, which will help match Tyson Foods with promising new businesses in the startup community. By working alongside these businesses, Tyson Foods can help fuel new discoveries in food and find new solutions to meet business needs.

“Working with Tyson Foods means that we can create greater collaboration opportunities for food startups with an emphasis around solutions that have a positive impact on our food system,” says Michael Olmstead, Chief Revenue Officer of Plug and Play. “The Tyson Foods team brings depth and breadth of experience that entrepreneurs will value, and together they will look toward solving for the future of food.”

1871, known as the “hub” of Chicago’s “thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem,” gives Tyson Foods unparalleled access to a community of entrepreneurs who are working toward building a better and more sustainable future. This partnership enables Tyson Foods to further its commitment to creating a more sustainable food system that can feed an ever-growing population around the world.

“Our corporate partners play a major role in supporting 1871’s mission to serve Chicago’s entrepreneurs and elevate its economy,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “We look forward to working with Tyson Foods to foster greater innovation within Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This partnership speaks highly to its ongoing commitment to drive real growth and encourage new thinking.”

About Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 122,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it.

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. We connect startups to corporations and invest in over 150 companies every year. Since inception in 2016, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in 26 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 6,000 startups and 200 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $6 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information, visit Plug and Play.

About 1871

1871 is the home of nearly 500 early-stage, high-growth digital startups and more than 1,500 members supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. Located in a 150,000 square-foot space over four floors in The Merchandise Mart, 1871 has more than 600 current mentors available to its members, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations that make its extensive matrix of resources possible. For more on our partners, visit 1871, or become a partner by reaching out to


Media Contact: Gary Mickelson, 479-290-6111