New Accelerator Cohort Adds Spice To Taste of the GFA
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed
The 1st annual Taste of the GFA fundraiser/tasting event on Thursday, October 25 was a huge success. This article features the lineup for the Good Food Accelerator’s fifth entrepreneur cohort, which begins an intensive six-month development program in early November.
Most organizations make a big announcement and then throw a big party to celebrate. Chicago non-profit FamilyFarmed flipped the script on Thursday evening, holding its 1st annual Taste of the GFA fundraiser, presented by Quarles & Brady and The Boston Consulting Group, to benefit our Good Food Accelerator‘s programs — and using the event to do the big reveal of the 10 businesses that will participate in the Accelerator’s upcoming fifth cohort.
These businesses will engage in an intensive six-month entrepreneur development program, beginning in a couple of weeks, featuring a curriculum delivered weekly at 1871 Chicago (also site of the Taste of the GFA event), industry-leading mentors, networking opportunities and access to investors.
Many of the Accelerator’s “rookies” — and many of the 35 graduates from the Accelerator’s first four cohorts — participated in the highly successful Taste of the GFA, the first event staged by the program’s recently created Associate Board. The event drew more than 200 attendees, with tickets selling out a week in advance, and they were treated to delicious samples from the Accelerator businesses, amazing dishes prepared by Lula Café, Kimski and Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar, and a cocktail concocted by Billy Sunday. All of the restaurant recipes used products made by Accelerator alumni. (Read more about Kimski and Heritage on Good Food News, with articles to come about Lula and Billy Sunday.)
Now meet the 10 rising-star businesses who you’ll be reading lots about on Good Food News over the next six months (all businesses located in Chicago unless otherwise noted):
Product: Clean-label chicken sausage
Accelerator Fellow: Eugene Shelby
Product: Flavored vegan kale chips
Accelerator Fellow: Dean Kasal
Product: Non-dairy (banana-based) frozen “nice cream”
Accelerator Fellows: Jessica Gartenstein and Erik Garten
Product: Premium extra virgin olive oil
Accelerator Fellow: Giorgios Karayannis
Product: Superfood snack bar for children
Accelerator Fellow: Mike and Matt Mulroe
Product: Plant-based, fresh grab-and-go meals
Accelerator Fellow: LaForce James Baker
Product: Nutrient-dense vegan gelato
Accelerator Fellow: Kailey Donewald
Product: Monkfruit-derived sugar/sweetener replacement
Accelerator Fellow: Michelle Francis-Winer and Corey Winer
Product: Plant-based coffee creamer
Accelerator Fellow: Lori and Elise Lefcourt
Product: Granolas (various flavors) for mindful eating
Accelerator Fellows: Brittany Chibe
Good Food News will provide continuing coverage of the Good Food Accelerator. Please check back next week for additional stories focused on the Taste of the GFA fundraiser.