When Pilotworks abruptly shut down last month, arguably the bigger story was not the closure itself but the number of startups left in the lurch by it. There were at least 175 food businesses at Pilotworks sites that suddenly had to scramble to save their ingredients from spoiling, find a new kitchen space to work out of, and keep maintaining their business to avoid losing too much revenue.
But as we noted at the time, out of that darkness shone the light of the food tech community, which quickly mobilized to help those impacted by Pilotworks by offering to transport or store goods and discounts on new space rental. Now PieShell, a crowdfunding site for food entrepreneurs, and OurHarvest, a New York online farmer’s market, have teamed up to raise funds to help out all the businesses Pilotworks abandoned.
The campaign has a number of “stepping stones,” the first of which is to raise $50,000 to help cover one month’s rent for all 175 companies that worked out of Pilotworks. Stepping stones two and three are at $25,000 each and geared towards helping businesses recover lost inventory and continue to distribute their products.
As the campaign makes abundantly clear, none of the money raised will go to Pilotworks. From the site:
“The funds raised by this project will go directly to, and be divided among, all the Pilotworks member-companies impacted by this closure. Rest assured that NONE of the funds raised by this project will be going to Pilotworks, and/or anyone employed by Pilotworks the company.”
Unrelated to this crowdfunding campaign, OurHarvest has a longer-term goal of raising funds to re-open the old Brooklyn Pilotworks site or establish a similar facility. But that is still a ways off and the details are still being worked out.
The campaign to help those affected by Pilotworks started two days ago and will go on for 28 more days. If you want to help out, you can visit PieShell and make a donation today.