The 10 businesses – whittled down from more than 300 applicants - will participate in an intensive 14-week program in New York City culminating in a demo day in June when they will pitch their business to Food-X’s co-investor network.
They will also get up to $50k funding ($20k cash and a $30k convertible loan note on completion of the program) in exchange for a 7-10% equity stake and intensive coaching in all areas required for launching and running a business, as well as mentoring from a team of seasoned food & beverage entrepreneurs from Runa co-founder Dan McCombie to Blue Hill founder Dan Barber.
While VCs often invest in and mentor early stage technology companies, this is still a fairly new model in the food industry, where incubators have historically provided practical support (kitchen space, technical advice) but not money, while investors have often been reluctant to part with cash until firms have proven themselves.
However, the landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years as smaller food and beverage firms have driven a lot of the growth in the industry, and new platforms have been created to support them, said Food-X marketing and communications manager Martin Noble.
The 2016 spring cohort is below:
- Barley + Oats: A pregnancy and postpartum meal delivery service and lactation snack company.
- Bite: A platform for restaurants and brands to tell their story through digital menus.
- Eattiamo:A service that offers Italian artisanal food producers a platform to sell their wares through several online sales channels.
- FreshSurety: A supply chain management service reporting freshness of produce & fresh meat at the carton level using sensors and radio frequency technology.
- Lotus Scoop: Artisanal ice cream combining whole fruits with fresh vegetables.
- Mölli: A line of Mexican cooking sauces and marinades.
- Plasma Nutrition: Changing the functional properties and bioavailability of protein powders and other products using gas plasma technology.
- ProTings: Pea protein-packed chips maker.
- Saucey Sauce: Vietnamese-inspired dressings, marinades, cooking & finishing sauces and ketchup.
- Wine Sherpa: A mobile platform for connecting wine lovers with their favorite wine shops, pairing each drinker with a personal guide.
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