Investing in the Future of Food: JPG Garden offers early stage food entrepreneurs ‘library’ of answers

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Investing in the Future of Food startups Entrepreneurship

Most startups have more questions than funding, which means when they come across something they don’t know they lose time, resources and occasionally their businesses finding the answer the hard way – but a new program from the food brand builders at JPG Resources is flipping this script by offering foundational tools and scalable consulting that early stage food entrepreneurs need at a price they can afford.

Created by founders, entrepreneurs and former food industry executives, JPG Garden launched in January with a mission to be a one-stop-shop for young brands looking for answers and to offer either the occasional helping hand or a partner to take them through the process step by step.

“What we know about startups is they have a lot of questions, and they don’t usually have a big budget. So, we came into this thinking, ‘how can we serve them, meet them where they’re at and provide value for a smaller investment”​ without taxing the experts at JPG Resources too heavily, said Veronica Lehman, business partner and emerging brand specialist of JPG Resources.

The answer was to create a library for self-directed learning that includes materials to answer frequently asked questions, including how to find a co-manufacturer, how to source ingredients, how to market a product, what is a distributor, how to price a product and other foundational points, Lehman said.

“Beyond that we wanted to connect them with co-manufacturers that can possibly manufacture their idea or their product,”​ and provide access to our team of experts, she added.

To provider entrepreneurs the right mix of these three components, JPG Garden offers three plans – Accelerator, Coaching and Strategy. They also offer an option for a customized package.

For $1,000, the Accelerator program offers entrepreneurs access to JPG Garden’s library, connections with co-manufacturers and minimal coaching. It is designed for pre-revenue or very early stage businesses or entrepreneurs who are considering if and how they can make a dream come true, Lehman said.

The second package comes in at $2,500 and includes 10 hours of coaching from JPG experts in packaging, manufacturing, ingredient sourcing and other area.

The third package is a strategy workshop designed for businesses that are further along and need more in-depth strategy assistance, said Dean Sinclair, a business partner and CPG business development expert of JPG Resources. He explained that this tailored option can help companies create a business or go-to-market plan in six to eight weeks.

A partner for startups and incubators alike

JPG Garden also stands apart from other incubators and accelerators in that they offer more than money or space – they offer expertise and a willingness to partner with other stakeholders to fill in gaps and better support the growth of startups.

“A lot of incubators, even if they’re funded by the Kellogg’s-types of the world, most of them focus on space and financial support. But once they give that financial support, they’re like, ‘Okay, have at it! … And then report back to us in a couple of months,’”​ Sinclair said. “So, we want the incubators of the world to know about us and that we’re not competitors.”

Rather, Sinclair said, he likes to think about JPG Garden as “co-opitition”​ for incubators and accelerators, meaning JPG Garden wants to cooperate with different partners with the knowledge that everyone will learn from each and work together to help incubator brands grow.

Entrepreneurs and other players in the industry interested in learning more about JPG Garden can learn more at​.

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