Kingston Economic Development has launched the Food Venture Program to support food and beverage entrepreneurs in all stages of their business.
“This program gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn from leaders in the industry to help them either start or pivot their food businesses. We encourage local food and beverage entrepreneurs to explore which bootcamp that would fit best fit their business needs. After completing the bootcamp, they will start by either pivoting or launching a new business that is future proven and ready given the unpredictability of today business environment,” says Norman Musengimana, Small Business Advisor, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.
According to a release from Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev), dated Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, three Bootcamps are available for interested business owners and entrepreneurs. Each have unique experiential workshops as outlined below:
The 12-week Food Venture Bootcamp is aimed to help entrepreneurs who are in the idea stage to launch their food business. The bootcamp will cover business plan writing, sustainability in food processing, packaging, food safety, financial feasibility, how to pitch your business, and more. The applications close on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and the bootcamp starts on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.
The 5-week Restaurant Pivot to Consumer-Packaged Goods bootcamp is designed for restaurants that have a selected assortment of recipes that they want to package for their clients to take home. This bootcamp will cover topics around e-commerce platforms to sell packaged foods, nutrition labelling, brand identity, and more. The applications close on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and the bootcamp starts on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.
The 5-week Tourism Recovery Initiative is for entrepreneurs with a food and beverage business or a farm product that could be well positioned and maximize its revenues from the tourism industry both locally and regionally. This bootcamp focuses on selling and promoting local foods with a tourism lens. This bootcamp will cover topics on retail food sales, food science and recipe development, food packaging, and more. The applications close on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and the bootcamp starts on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.
Each bootcamp has only 20 seats available and each participant that successfully completes any of the Food Venture Program bootcamps is eligible to pitch for a grant up to $5,000 through the Starter Company Plus program in the spring of 2021, Kingston EcDev said in the release.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has showed how resilient our food & beverage sector can be. They were able to pivot from full operations to curbside pickups and deliveries to heated patios and back to curbside pickups and deliveries. We understand these changes are not easy for them and this program aims to help them utilize their assets even more,” says Donna Gillespie, CEO, Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “The delivery of the Food Venture program aligns with the priorities of the Integrated Economic Development Strategy when addressing solutions to food security by fostering home grown talent and utilizing resources locally. The response so far has showed how dedicated food entrepreneurs are on working to bring innovative locally prepared foods to market.”
For more details on each bootcamp, and to apply, visit KingstonEcDev.com/FoodVenture.