Venture fund SOSV announced today it is retiring its Food-X accelerator program, which the company founded back in 2015. Moving forward, startups that apply with SOSV will be funneled into either its IndieBio or the HAX programs.
In a blog post on Medium, SOSV’s Shawn Broderick wrote that since starting Food-X, his company has seen “a clear pattern” for food startups emerge: “Those promising the most radical innovation landed at our ‘hard tech’ oriented accelerators, notably IndieBio but also HAX, where they benefited from the deep technical resources those programs offer.”
The IndieBio accelerator, in particular, has fostered some of the food tech world’s most notable startups over the years, including Memphis Meats, Perfect Day, and NotCo. Broderick’s Medium posts suggests accelerators like this are the best places to cultivate major innovation in the food industry. “Our decision to retire the Food-X accelerator is a recognition that IndieBio has emerged as our best setting for disruptive food startups,” he wrote.
Over a phone call today, Food-X Partner and Managing Director Peter Bodenheimer told me the massive successes of some of those cellular ag-related companies ultimately shifted SOSV’s focus more towards those areas.
Going forward, founders in the SOSV family working on biology and sustainable engineering challenges will go to IndieBio, while those working in production, automation, and consumer devices will go to HAX. SOSV will still run its Chinaccelerator and MOX programs.
Food-X was one of the first food tech accelerator programs in the U.S. and grew to become one of the country’s largest. It wasn’t unusual for the program to receive 500-plus applicants for each cohort. Over the years, the program was home to 11 cohorts and over 100 startups.
Bodenheimer said that in that time, he and his team built a strong community and network of mentors around the food space in New York, where Food-X was headquartered. The hope is that the community continues to grow and thrive even after Food-X has closed its doors for good.
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