So you want to launch a food company? As author Amy Cortese laid plain in our innovations issue, the city is suddenly crowded with resources to help. She compiled this killer list of everything from kitchens and networks to angel investors, all of which make the start-up process a lot less daunting. So what’s your excuse? We can’t wait to write about your business!
TRAINING & EDUCATION
Brooklyn Small Food Producers Network: Free resources tailored to the needs of the burgeoning food producer community in Brooklyn.
Farm School NYC: Learn how to become an urban farmer with hands-on training at NYC farms, gardens and other venues.
SCORE: A Small Business Administration program offering mentoring and workshops for entrepreneurs. Various locations.
City Cookhouse (upper Manhattan): Culinary classes and commercial kitchen space.
Hot Bread Kitchen (Harlem): Bakery, training ground for immigrant women and commercial kitchen space wrapped up in one pioneering package.
Mi Kitchen Es Su Kitchen (Long Island City): Professional kitchen facilities consultants as well as a caterer available for rent on an as-needed basis.
CULINARY INCUBATORS & ACCELERATORS
Accel Foods (Manhattan): A “TechStars for food,” this accelerator offers a virtual bootcamp with training, access to a network of prominent mentors and an initial investment of $50,000. Be prepared to give up a stake in your company in return.
HBK Incubates: Hot Bread Kitchen’s incubator helps newbies with a strong product concept and business plan get their businesses off the ground.
The Entrepreneur Space (Long Island City): A partnership between the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Mi Kitchen Es Su Kitchen, offering training and commercial kitchen space to aspiring food entrepreneurs.
The Organic Food Incubator (Long Island City): Run by BAO Food and Drink, offers vegan, gluten-free kitchen space, contract manufacturing, education and coaching
Union Food Lab (Morningside Heights): A new food incubator associated with Union Theological Seminary
NETWORKING FOR FOOD ENTREPRENEURS
NYC Food Manufacturer’s Growth Fund: A partnership of NYEDC and Goldman Sachs, provides low-interest loans from $50,000 to $750,000 to eligible NYC small food manufacturers
Whole Foods’s Local Producer Loan Program: The retailer makes low-interest loans to local and independent food businesses.
Sam Adams ‘Brewing the American Dream’: The craft brewer (in partnership ACCION USA) offers education and micro-loans of up to $25,000 to small food and beverage producers
ANGEL INVESTOR GROUPS
Foodshed Investors NY: A group of local investors looking to support local, sustainable food & agriculture enterprises
37 Angels: A group of women investors interested in early stage startups, including food
Kickstarter: Popular rewards-based crowdfunding site lets people contribute money to your creative project in return for rewards or products.
Indiegogo: Another popular rewards-based crowdfunding site that offers more flexible terms.
KivaZip: Interest–free loans for microentrepreneurs
AgFunder: Funds startups tackling global agricultural challenges
CircleUp: Links fast-growing food brands with equity investors
CraftFund: Equity crowdfunding for microbreweries, hop farms, food manufacturers and anything related to craft beer
Credibles: A web site & app that lets food-related companies pre-sell products to raise money – like a digital CSA.
Photographs By Scott Gordon Bleicher