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Collaborating with Startups: Lessons Learned

Kelly Van Dyke, Director - R&D External Innovation

“When starting a collaboration with a start-up, you should ask yourself the following three questions: Is it the right company, with the right technology, at the right time?”

In this episode, we catch up with Kelly Van Dyke, Director - R&D External Innovation at PepsiCo. Her mission: Identify new technologies to disrupt the CPG category through strategic partnerships and business opportunities, and to drive product innovations that truly delight consumers.

This highly entertaining conversation focuses on PepsiCo's start-up collaborations. In addition to an introduction to the company's tripartite collaboration strategy, including a brief look at the partnerships between different areas of R&D, we also return to the PepsiCo Positive (pep+) Journey: A sustainable approach to creating growth and shared value with a focus on sustainability and human capital. Want to learn more about PepsiCo's projects with startups? Then grab your headphones and tune in!

The episode at a glance

Getting to know Kelly

    • Who is Kelly? (00:00:53)
    • Kelly, please complete the 3 sentence starters… (00:01:54)
  • PepsiCo External Innovation 

    • A walk-through the 4 stages of  PepsiCo’s framework for open innovation:  “Want”, “Find”, “Get” & “Manage” (00:09:23)
    • Sneak peek into PepsiCo’s ecosystem: How do you operate? How do you reach out to external companies? (00:12:22)
    • Kelly’s most important lessons learned in collaborating with startups (00:14:37)
    • About recent success stories of external collaboration (00:20:43)
    • PepsiCo’s current (technology) needs and opportunities (00:22:20)


    • Kelly’s #1 do and #1 don’t about innovation (00:24:00)
    • Looking ahead: What are your biggest challenges at the moment? (00:26:27)
    • Kelly’s actionable key recommendations to take away from this episode (00:28:35)
    • Looking back: Kelly’s Innovation Rockstar moment (00:29:36)