Since the last few months of the year tend to yield fewer accelerator programs taking applications, now’s the time to look at programs taking new applicants year-round. With that in mind, two-thirds of our picks this month accept startups on a rolling basis. If you’re considering a taking your company through a program but aren’t quite sure when or where you’d like to do that, first read up on some basics about startup accelerators and incubators, then check out the programs below.
Founded by Strauss Group, Israel’s largest food and beverage company, The Kitchen is an incubator for food startups using tech to solve issues up and down the food system, from healthier products to more sustainable production methods. Notable members of the program’s portfolio include Zero Egg, who makes a plant-based liquid egg, food safety device-maker Inspecto, and plant-based meat producer Aleph Farms.
Since there’s no application deadline, startups can apply at any point in the year. The Kitchen provides equity financing ranging from $600,000 to $900,000, mentorship and networking opportunities, as well as access to potential investors. There’s no set time period for how long companies stay within the incubator. While 18 months is common, some have stayed as long as 30 months.
Union Kitchen picks food companies it can launch in local D.C.-area stores then scale regionally and nationally. The program focuses mainly on CPG companies, which The Kitchen guides from concept all the way to distribution.
Chosen participants get access to mentors, potential investors, and distributors, as well as three months of work onsite at Union Kitchen’s shared commercial kitchen. During the 12-week program, food startups develop and refine their company mission, launch strategy, retail and distribution strategies, and design, branding, and packaging.
Like The Kitchen, applications are taken on a rolling basis. Interested startups can apply here.
The Food Foundry
Founded by Relish Works, The Food Foundry looks for early-stage startups working in a diverse range of areas in the food economy, from blockchain solutions to autonomous vehicles to fighting food waste.
For the 16-week program, chosen startups get $75,000 of VC funding, as well as mentorship opportunities with individuals from Relish Works and its program partners, Gordon Food Service and Chicago startup hub 1871. Actual programming is a mix of learning curriculum, mentor sessions, and visits to Gordon’s facilities. Participants should be willing to relocate to Chicago for the program.
Unlike the other two companies on this list, The Food Foundry has a hard deadline for applications: October 16 of this year.
The world of food tech accelerators is constantly growing and changing, with new programs popping up all the time. If you know of one you would like to see it on this list, drop us a line.