After a successful and exciting inaugural round of programming, FoodFutureCo kicks-off its second cohort of disruptive small businesses. Even though FoodFutureCo works across the food ecosystem we recognize the impact of our program is amplified through focussed cohorts. Our second cohort is comprised of mission-forward CPG companies whereas our inaugural cohort centered on innovations in agriculture.
Managing Partner & Founder, Shen Tong, is an accelerator veteran having founded Food-X, named one of 2015’s most innovative companies in food by Fast Company, in 2014. From his experience at Food-X, Shen realized the need to serve companies at the scale-up stage — what Geoffrey Moore coined as the “scary chasm.”
“Unlike typical accelerator programs where ‘one size fits all,’ the FoodFutureCo program is customized and has a high-touch consultative approach.” remarks Shen. “Our speakers, mentors and topics are curated based on the needs of the cohort companies, so no two cycles will be exactly the same.”
The following companies have been selected for the 2nd cohort:
- Generation Fresh – providing clean, wholesome kids’ snacks to school districts and retailers like Sam’s Club across the country, Generation Fresh believes that snacks made with non-GMO and whole ingredients should be accessible to all families and children.
- Ozuké – women founded and self-described probiotic pickleteers, Ozuké makes organic raw krauts and kim chi, and brings a unique culinary flair to the healthful benefits of probiotics. Produced in its own zero-waste facility, Ozuké’s ingredients are sourced local to their headquarters in Boulder, CO.
- Seal the Seasons – founded in North Carolina, Seal the Seasons is a frozen fruit and vegetable brand whose mission is to make local produce available year-round. By partnering with local farms to source, freeze and market their produce, Seal the Seasons is building a localized sustainable food system that works for everyone.
- Unify Water – a certified B-Corporation, Unify is the only 100% American made spring water. Bottled directly at the source, with a natural PH of 7.3 and high in mineral content, its’ exclusive single source deep in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee ensures transparency and quality in every bottle. Their H20 Initiative donates water to communities in need both internationally and domestically.
“These companies not only have great products and brands/branding, but a mission that is changing the future of our food system.” says, Gigi Lee Chang, Managing Director of FoodFutureCo. “It isn’t enough these days to have a great concept — consumers, retailers and investors are looking for companies with a higher purpose.”
Collectively, the companies have distribution in nearly 3,000 stores nationally across natural, specialty and grocery banners, with a concentration in the Eastern and Southeast regions.
With great initial market penetration, “I think we are ready to take a long, hard look at the innards of our business and get some outside wisdom on how to keep the passion, increase the efficiency and deliver the very best product we can to the people,” says Willow King, Co-Founder and CEO of Ozuké.
With a core team of “been there, done that” entrepreneurs and an extensive network of nearly 400 mentors and experts from across the food ecosystem representing not just deep experience in CPG, but also culinary, agriculture, technology, IP, food tech, platform solutions and much more, FoodFutureCo uses a functional rather than sector approach to its programming.
According to Josh Sizemore, Founder and CEO of Unify Water, “there isn’t one main challenge I can pinpoint as the priority, but rather we have many. By partnering with FoodFutureCo, we hope to gain additional tools to help tackle them all more efficiently and effectively.”
“We are very excited to be working with these companies in the months ahead, being a thought partner and extension of their teams. With the first cohort, it was truly amazing to see the growth and progress made by the companies in such a short amount of time,” concludes Lee Chang.
FoodFutureCo is the first scale-up accelerator dedicated to mission-driven companies in food, agriculture, and social entrepreneurship. We help entrepreneurs with established market traction, generating real revenue “scale up” to the next stage. It’s uniquely innovative program blends a customized consultative approach, an extensive network of mentors, advisors and investors, and a curated speaker and content series to deliver high-impact value creation in a short amount of time.