APPLICATION and ELIGIBILITY
The application period for the 2020 GFA Fellowship Cohort is closed.
For future reference, see below for Eligibility and FAQs.
If you have any questions about the GFA program please email Chelsea Callahan Huson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application may ask you questions concerning one of more of the following: your business model, services/products, revenue, current funding, competition, and impact on the Good Food supply chain. You may be asked to submit current and past financial statements.
The application is hosted on F6S and you will need a Facebook or LinkedIn account to use the F6S site.
All information submitted in your application is confidential and will only be shared with members of the Selection Committee who review and evaluate submissions.
The Good Food Accelerator is not for every company. Acceptance into the program is dependent on meeting the following criteria. By submitting your application, you certify that the applicant and the applicant’s business meet all of these important requirements.
1. Values: The core values of the applicant’s business must align with FamilyFarmed’s definition of Good Food: Delicious, healthy, and accessible food produced as close to home as possible, by producers who use sustainable, humane, and fair practices.
2. Geographic Area: Program participants must be located in the Midwest Region of the U.S. (IL, IA, KS, MO, ND, SD, NE, WI, MI, OH, IN, MN) or serve the Chicago Food Shed (any state that borders IL).
3. Documentation: During the application and selection process, applicants may be asked to submit financial and business information and or documents including: cash flow projections, profit and loss statements, partnership agreements, etc.
During the course of the program, participants may be asked to provide detailed business information including balance sheets, investor terms sheets, page one of tax returns and other financials, and other information as needed to best provide resources and coaching to the participant, and to establish baseline program metrics. Upon graduating the program, participants understand that they will be required to provide yearly metrics that will be collected via email survey, and reported in aggregate form only to program funders.
4. Commitment: Applicant acknowledges making a commitment to invest the time, focus, and hard work to meet the requirements of this intensive, rigorous program.
5. Accurate disclosure: Applicant certifies that all information provided to FamilyFarmed is accurate. Applicant acknowledges he/she is willing to disclose sensitive personal and business financial information.
6. Good Faith: Applicant acknowledges that FamilyFarmed and the Good Food Accelerator team provide assistance in good faith and that the success of applicant’s business will ultimately depend on the applicant.
The Good Food Accelerator definition of Good Food (Local, Sustainable, Humane and Fair) aligns closely with the Center for Good Food Purchasing’s values and criteria for the Good Food Purchasing Program. For more information visit goodfoodpurchasing.org.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Q: IS THIS A TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, INCUBATOR, OR ACCELERATOR PROGRAM?
A: The Good Food Accelerator (GFA) is an intensive accelerator program providing core and custom curriculums to Fellows to help them develop their business plan, build their business sales, and become investment-ready and poised for growth. The GFA is not an incubator; applicants must have a product developed before applying.
Q: WHO CAN APPLY?
A: Food businesses with a model that includes a CPG product can apply, and may include food artisans, farmers, and foodservice providers whose core business values are focused on local, sustainable, humane and fair practices. Businesses must be located in the Midwest Region of the U.S. (IL, IA, KS, MO, ND, SD, NE, WI, MI, OH, IN, MN) or serve the Chicago Food Shed (any state that borders IL).
Q: HOW FAR ALONG DOES MY COMPANY HAVE TO BE TO APPLY?
A: We consider applications from pre-revenue and post-revenue companies for our program. Pre-revenue companies must have a team in place that has prior food business experience. Revenue-generating companies must demonstrate through their application that they are ready to and intend to scale up. All companies must have a developed product, we do not accept businesses in ideation phase.
Q: WHAT CAN I EXPECT IN AN AVERAGE WEEK AT THE GOOD FOOD ACCELERATOR?
Curriculum – Approximately 6-8 hours of business training through hands-on workshops, seminars, and guest speakers, in addition to a minimum 1 hour of pre/post-curriculum preparation/follow-up.
Mentorship – 2-3 hours each week of one-on-one mentoring with your Super Mentor and the GFA team.
Work on Your Business – When you are not in class or meeting with mentors, you should be out in the field refining your product, gaining customers, engaging with the greater network of experienced GFA and 1871 business professionals, and applying your customized GFA goal plan to business operations.
Community – Peer-to-peer learning and collaboration with GFA Fellows and the 1871 community.
Q: WILL I RECEIVE AN INVESTMENT FROM FAMILYFARMED? DO I HAVE TO GIVE UP EQUITY?
A: This Accelerator is operated by FamilyFarmed, a non-profit organization, so it is different from other accelerators. Fellows do not receive an investment from the Accelerator itself, nor do they give the Accelerator equity. Instead, Fellows will be required to pay an annual fee to FamilyFarmed based on the increase in revenue of their businesses. Without sales growth, Fellows will not pay any fee. See fee structure here.
Q: HOW LIKELY IS IT THAT I WILL RAISE CAPITAL FROM OUTSIDE SOURCES WITH THE HELP OF THE ACCELERATOR?
A: This program may increase the likelihood that Fellows will raise money. Fellows in similar accelerators have achieved 50 percent or more success rates in fundraising. There is no guarantee, however, that Fellows will raise funds.
Q: HOW WILL APPLICATIONS BE EVALUATED?
A: Our Fellows Selection Committee will review each application based on the overall business concept, company values, team, business model, value proposition, and potential for increasing the supply of Good Food.
Q: DO I HAVE TO WORK FROM 1871 FOR THE DURATION OF THE PROGRAM?
A: There are onsite requirements that require participation in one day a week of programming at 1871, plus possible additional events during the course of the six-month GFBA program. Our program is not for everyone as it is intensive and requires face-to-face mentorship and business training. You will get the most out of the experience by immersing yourself with the other Good Food Accelerator entrepreneurs and the 1871 community.
Q: WHAT IF I’M NOT SURE ABOUT APPLYING?
We invite interested applicants to schedule a time to meet with our program staff. Please email email@example.com to schedule an appointment.