The role of a food entrepreneur is not an easy one.
You’ve got an incredible product, but successfully taking your brand to market is a journey full of challenges. You’ve got to stand out on a shelf, build brand loyalty, figure out financing, strategize packaging and distribution, engage with your community, and target your marketing efforts. Phew.
We have worked with hundreds of food & beverage brands all across the food value chain, and in every stage of the business cycle. And we know that while challenges exist no matter the growth stage your brand is in, it can be particularly daunting for start-up brands with limited resources to bring on a marketing partner.
If you are still in the start-up phase, aren’t quite ready to bring on a marketing partner, but still, need the support, we have compiled a list of resources just for you.
Food, Beverage & Natural Product Accelerators
District Ventures Accelerator
A community of business, brand, culture, and CPG specialists. Together, they help all aspects of business—from funding some companies, to marketing others—scaling, reinventing, and strategizing—to drive business growth for their partners.
Natural Products Canada
NPC works with a wide range of partners to identify and develop innovative natural solutions that can meet the growing global demand. They are the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster, providing support, guidance, introductions, programs and investment.
YSpace @ York U
A five-month Food Accelerator program helping scale high growth food and beverage ventures through customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles. The program will provide founders with the tools, skills and connections they need to scale and thrive in the consumer-packaged goods industry.
A community of entrepreneurs, researchers, accelerators, and service partners, committed to driving innovation across Canada in the agri-tech and food industry.
AWESOME Virtual Accelerator
The proportion of women-led and women-owned businesses in Canada, quite literally from farm to table, continues to increase. While this progress is modestly positive, women remain underrepresented in the food sector and continue to face significant barriers.
The AWESOME Accelerator provides 10 weeks of focused learning, sales development and connections for women entrepreneurs in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba with emerging businesses.
TAP: Trade Accelerator Program
The World Trade Centre Toronto presents the award-winning Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) virtually and focused entirely on the Agri, Food and Beverage sector. The Trade Accelerator Program is an innovative program designed to help small to medium-sized enterprises accelerate growth by expanding internationally.
FMA: Food Marketing Accelerator
A vibrant and global community of marketers that are launching, building, and influencing the food world for good.
BC Food Hubs Network
Through the BC Food Hub Network, there are currently regional food processing and innovation hubs (‘food hubs’) operating or under development in twelve communities in B.C.
The BC Food Connection
BC Food Connection is an online industry resource to help your business succeed.
Peer Network Groups
UBC Farm: Feeding Growth
Feeding Growth is brought to you in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, Vancity, and Brand Natural. Initiated in 2015, Feeding Growth is an education and community building initiative that aims to amplify the local food economy by supporting and growing a resilient, socially just, and globally significant community of British Columbia-based, progressive food businesses.
Core to this aim is Feeding Growth’s Scale Your Progressive Food Business, a 5-part workshop series that provides practical tips to environmentally progressive, organic, ethical, and socially responsible packaged goods companies at critical stages of expansion.
Let us know if you have a great resource that should be on this list!