food startup accelerator

Food startup accelerator programs gaining in popularity

January 4, 2013
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food startup accelerators Food startup accelerator programs gaining in popularity

Food startup accelerator programs

When startups are mentioned, they are easily associated with tech companies, but they’ve now made their way into the food industry. In major cities like New York City and Los Angeles, companies are sponsoring food startups and accelerators in order to provide money, mentoring and career knowledge to food businesses that are just starting out. If you’re a food fanatic or just enjoy a good meal, you’re in luck. As more companies continue to apply for food permits and seek go-to-market strategies, these investments of money and resources will be invaluable to foodie entrepreneurs looking for a way to turn their passion into a business.

How it works

In densely populated cities where real estate is sold at a premium, accelerators offer rental kitchens where small companies can rent the space they need to make their product and sell it. Some companies are doing this on an ongoing basis as they find it easier than leasing or purchasing their own properties. Others do it periodically, ranging from every few days to keep inventory high, or every now and then for big events. If money takes precedence over space, accelerator programs also offer startup funding in exchange for a percentage of equity in the company.



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In addition to space and money, accelerators also provide mentoring and competitive strategy, as some are run close to industry giants like the ARK, located in Arkansas next to Wal-Mart and Tyson Food’s headquarters. This gives new businesses the opportunity to learn from veterans within the space who know the ups and downs of the market and the strategies needed to succeed. Parent companies also provide cooking classes, networking events and consultation services in order to get input on anything from recipes to social media strategies.

Foodie programs are taking off

This accelerator trend seems to be catching on in multiple industries as many companies are seeing the value in showing new entrepreneurs the ways of the game. These programs spur innovation within the parent company itself and provide a sense of goodwill to new companies entering the market. They also serve as a reality check for businesses just starting out as owners see which companies they will be competing against and what it takes to transform a few good recipes into a thriving business. Every company has to start somewhere – and being able to start within the confines of a company that’s proven itself in the market is a huge advantage.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.