Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) announced this week that applications are open for its 2021 accelerator program, newly renamed the DFA CoLab Accelerator. Any early-stage food product company working in some portion of the dairy supply chain is welcome to apply, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
The DFA, a decades-old cooperative of U.S. dairy farms, has run the accelerator program for the last five years, using it as a way for startups to get a foothold in agtech and for the dairy industry to keep an ear to the ground when it comes to new technologies and processes. The solutions that come out of this program showcase just how much milage the food industry could actually get out of dairy products. The 2020 cohort, unveiled last May, included, among others, a company that makes sustainable fashion from excess milk and one brewing up premium alcoholic spirits from whey.
“On the food front, the sky is really the limit as long as one of the main ingredients is dairy,” Doug Dresslaer, director of innovation at DFA, said in this week’s press release.
To that end, the 2021 program is looking for early-stage companies that are “dairy-focused or dairy-based” and using “applications or technologies related to any portion of the dairy value chain.” Some areas include supply chain optimization, traceability, data management, herd health management, and sustainability.
The 90-day program will be a mix of virtual and onsite training that takes place from April through June, 2021. Participants get mentorship opportunities with DFA executives as well as training around business development, finance, product development, brand building, supply chain logistics, and several other areas of running a business.
Applications are open through December 29, 2020.