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
Venture Park Labs
Venturepark Labs is a non-profit supporting early-stage entrepreneurs in the food & wellness categories. It was initially founded in 2015 as District Ventures Accelerator and District Ventures Kitchen by Canadian business icon Arlene Dickinson.
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.
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.