The Good Food Accelerator (GFA) gets emerging Good Food CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands ready for prime time, giving them the skills to scale up. Now in its sixth year, this fellowship program for food entrepreneurs is based at 1871, Chicago’s center of innovation. Fellows are paired with industry-leading mentors and are connected to potential customers and investors. This is the nation’s first accelerator focused on building supply chains for sustainable local food.

GFA helps food entrepreneurs expand the production, marketing and distribution of locally and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities. We provide competitively selected fellows with coaching, mentoring, strategic support, and access to resources and sources of capital so they can thrive commercially and have a powerful ripple effect on the local economy.

The Need
Local and organic food is a fast-growing multi-billion dollar industry, and the market for Good Food is expanding rapidly. To take full advantage, food entrepreneurs need help developing skills and access to resources that foster the success of their enterprises.

The Goal
The Good Food Accelerator provides competitively selected Fellows with curriculum, mentorship, networking opportunities, ongoing resources and connections to sources of financing to grow profitable Good Food businesses.

The Impact
Upon graduation, GFA alumni have seen an average 133 percent increase in markets, 245 percent sales increase, 69 percent increase in FTEs, 8 percent profit margin increase, and a combined total of $17M+ in financing when combined with our Financing & Innovation Conference, businesses in our network have raised more than $84 million to date.



Program at a Glance

Good Food Accelerator at 1871 (GFA) and Good Food Accelerator Extension (GFAx).

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Application and Eligibility

Applications are now accepted for GFA’s 2021 Accelerate for Growth (A4G) entrepreneur cohort, with a deadline of January 15. Like the six previous competitively selected cohorts, the 2021 group will participate in a six-month intensive development program. Click the button below to access the application and learn more about the program.

Learn More About the Application and Eligibility

Program Benefits

Learn more about our Program Benefits.

Program Benefits

Our Fellows

Meet our Good Food Accelerator Cohorts

Meet Our Fellows

Our Associate Board

Meet our Good Food Accelerator Associate Board.

Meet Our Associate Board


Our Mentors & Network

Meet our Network

Meet Our GFA Network



New Leader for the Good Food Accelerator: Meet Shelby Parchman

Shelby Parchman, over the past several years, has played a crucial role in the success of our ground-breaking Good Food Accelerator (GFA) as the consu See full post...

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