Applications For Chobani’s Incubator Program Are Now Open

Chobani wants to help food and beverage startups bring better food to more people.

Food Loves Tech, Chobani, Chobani’s Incubator program, food incubator

Photo: David Joshua Ford

Editor’s note: We’re chronicling how tech is changing the way we eat and drink as we lead up to this fall’s Food Loves Tech. Our annual deep dive into appropriate food and ag technologies returns to Industry City on November 2–3, 2018 and you can get $20 off the regular admission price while our early bird special lasts.

Chloe’s Fruit, Misfit Juicery, Grainful and Rumi Spice are each innovative companies, helping to change the food the drink industry with the intent to do good. Each was also part of the Chobani’s Incubator program: the yearly course designed to help small companies bring better food to more people, and they’re now accepting applications for their fourth class of food and drink startups.

“This year is Chobani’s ten-year anniversary, and no one knows better than our founder Hamdi the challenges that food entrepreneurs face,” Chobani Incubator director Jackie Miller said. “We know the next generation of ‘little guys’ is making better, more innovative food, and we’re positioned to help them navigate the system to bring it to more people. All boats will rise with the tide!”

As part of the four-month program, the selected early-stage companies will have monthly meetings at select Chobani destinations featuring guest speakers, workshops, mentor rotations and more as well as regular remote check-ins with a digital support team. The goal of the program is to help startups build sustainable businesses, by focusing on the various aspects of running a company including team building, branding, packaging, retail strategy, manufacturing, nutrition, food quality and safety.

“In true startup fashion, we try to iterate and improve our programming with each class to tailor it to their needs,” Miller said.

This year Chobani is also encouraging food tech starts to apply for a residency. Similar to the traditional incubator program the Food Tech Residency will consist of visits to Chobani, workshops, connections to farmers and more.

“We want to work with all kinds of innovators who are addressing major challenges at every level of the supply chain, not just consumer-facing brands,” Miller said. “A modern food company really has to be a tech company no matter what—packaging, data and insights, interacting with customers—all of these layers are becoming more integrated with tech.”

Applications for both programs, which are due July 2, are available on Chobani’s website.

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Bridget is the digital strategy editor for Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn, Edible Long Island and Edible East End.