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Food Finance Institute FaBcap Accelerator chooses 10 businesses for Class of 2020-21

MADISON – Ten emerging food and beverage sector entrepreneurs have been selected to join the Food Finance Institute (FFI) FaBcap Accelerator.

The Class of 2020-21, chosen from 35 applicants, represents eight Wisconsin cities and showcases innovation across multiple categories. This year’s group includes two technology companies and eight food brands that highlight baked goods, meat, snack foods, frozen food, beverage and syrup.

  • B&E’s Trees, Viroqua. Bourbon-barrel-aged maple syrup leveraging partnership with Central Waters Brewing Co.
  • Betterbin, Wausau. Technology-based app providing product-specific composting instructions based on where you live.
  • Bunch Bars, Sheboygan. Enabling the buying and giving of delicious, nutrient-rich snacks through a tech-driven business model.
  • Driftless Provisions, Viroqua. Dry-cured salami crafted with humanely- and sustainably-raised pork.
  • Elsie Mae’s Canning and Pies, Kenosha. Bakery using local produce and family recipes to preserve traditional canning and baking through award-winning pies and jams.
  • Empanadas Pachamama, Milwaukee. Frozen, take-and-bake empanadas rooted in Peruvian street food, from the founders of Triciclo Peru restaurant.
  • Field to Freezer, Hartland. A technology-based app that streamlines meat processing through connecting hunters, farmers and consumers with processors and their offerings and streamlines ordering and fulfillment.
  • Slide Gourmet Potato Chips, Madison. Hand-packed chips made from Wisconsin potatoes, available in nine flavors.
  • Soul Brew Kombucha, Milwaukee. Organic, small-batch kombucha creating culture for better health.
  • WI Soup Co, Wauwatosa. Small-batch soup available for home delivery, made with home-grown, seasonal ingredients, freshly distilled water and curiously lovely recipes.

The nine-month accelerator program, in its fifth year, includes coaching support from food business and innovation expert Brad Rostowfske and business optimization programming. The courses — in finance & accounting, sales/distribution, marketing/branding, operations/organizational planning, sources/uses of capital and food safety — are available á la carte through the FFI Scaler Series.

The Class of 2020-21 will be introduced Sept. 24 during a virtual FFI FaBcap Accelerator Kick-Off Event, which also will includes a presentation on data-driven innovation in the food sector.

FFI began hosting the accelerator and scaler series this year in partnership with their founding organization, FaB Wisconsin. The effort is supported in part by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, as well as our newest corporate sponsors Farm Credit and Madison Gas and Electric.

“The Scaler series paired with other services from FFI are a great way for businesses who are not yet accelerator ready to better position themselves for profitable growth,” said Rostowfske, FFI FaBcap Accelerator Program Manager. “As the FaBcap Accelerator settles into FFI, we look forward to leveraging existing programming -like our Financial Management Boot Camp and partnerships with the SBDC – to fulfill FFI’s mission of providing technical assistance to all expanding food and farm business.”

About Food Finance Institute

The Food Finance Institute (FFI) leverages and supports a collaborative network of professionals focused on building and funding profitable businesses in the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector. Through training, coaching, resources, tools and mentorship, FFI fulfills its mission of making sophisticated financial technical assistance available to growing enterprises. In addition, FFI is the home of the Edible-Alpha® brand. Edible-Alpha® is a digital resource hub that includes the Edible-Alpha® podcast and our insights newsletter. FFI is part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. www.foodfinanceinstitute.org | www.edible-alpha.org

Food Finance Institute to help businesses become more resilient in COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

A program boosting the financial resilience and growth of the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector has received a $370,000 federal grant to deepen its work in Wisconsin and across the country.