List: Food Startup Accelerators & Incubators


Incubators and accelerators can be useful to entrepreneurs who are looking to move their start-ups forward. In addition to mentorship and training, many food startup accelerators will offer funding. (Note that this funding is often in exchange for a portion of equity). They also tend to offer co-working space, community, connections to distributors, and introductions to angels and venture capitalists looking to fund businesses like yours.

Note: Originally published on April 23, 2015. The current publication date reflects the last time the list was updated. Thanks to all who write in with additions to the list!

The List: Food Startup Accelerators & Incubators

Without further ado, here are some of the incubators and accelerators that have popped up across the globe for you. These programs are focused on food, beverage, consumer goods and/or agriculture businesses. Check ’em out.

Program NameCityStateDescription
33 EntrepreneursFranceHas a Food & Beverage cohort
Accelerating AppalachiaLouisvilleKYFood and ag, looks for “innovative triple bottom-line businesses”
AcceleriseFranceFoodtech and agtech acceleration program
AccelFoodsNew YorkNYLooking for innovative food products in markets of at least $100M
Agro Innovation LabViennaAustriaAgro Innovation Lab is the innovation platform of BayWa & RWA, two major players in the global agricultural industry
Bits x BitesChina“Our mission is to shape the future of good food by investing in people and technology to create more sustainable food systems.”
BranchfoodBostonMAFocus on food innovation in New England
Break Fast & LaunchSan AntonioTXCulinary business accelerator with focus also on CPG
CanvasglobalMarriott’s concept lab for incubating entrepreneurial food and drink ideas
Chobani Food Incubatorglobal4-month program with 25k grant
Cinnamon BridgeUnited KingdomFood & beverage companies with social impact
Dairy AcceleratorMinneapolisMN“The entity must utilize dairy as a primary ingredient in its product idea. Any aspect of dairy including but not limited to: yogurt, cheese, whey or other milk-based proteins or ingredients can be used. However, the applicant’s idea cannot be focused on butter or butter-based spreads.”
Dig Eat AllSpainFoodTech
Food Ecosystem AcceleratorNetherlandsThemes: FoodTech & Data, Food Delivery & Commerce, and Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Food FoundryChicagoILFocuses on seed-stage startups in middle of food value chain; offers 75k in funding
Food HatchNew YorkNYInvests cash in a wide variety of early-stage food companies
Food System 6San FranciscoCAHelps startups working to change our food system
Food-XNew YorkNYWorks with startups across the food chain; boasts 300+ startup founders in their alumni network
FoodFutureCoNew YorkNYTargeted at startups with 1M+ in revenues with the idea of helping food businesses scale
Good Food Business AcceleratorChicagoILStarted by the folks at FamilyFarmed
Good Food MakersGlobalBLU1877’s collaboration program for Barilla employees and startups, powered by KitchenTown. Teams work one-on-one with a team of Barilla leaders in an 8-week pilot project to scale solutions to business challenges.
Good KitchenLondonUnited KingdomThe Good Kitchen is a social enterprise accelerator for organisations working to tackle food poverty
H-FarmItaly4-month program, food and ag
IKEA BootcampÄlmhultSwedenStart-up food companies can spend three months in one of the company’s labs in Sweden, receive more than $22,000 and free housing, and benefit from the expertise of scientists
Just EatLondonUnited KingdomFoodtech
Kendall College IncubatorChicagoILpart of a culinary school
LIFEIstanbul, Mersinfood entrepreneurship incubation program — supports refugees and host communities
Plug and PlaySunnyvaleCAFood program partners with Molson Coors, Hershey’s, and PepsiCo
RevTech AcceleratorDallasTXrestaurant, retail focus
Rutgers Food Innovation CenterBridgetonNJfocused on developing, commercializing, marketing and selling food and beverage products
ShakeUpFactoryParisFrance“farm to forrk”
Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG)ProvidenceRICPG, New England regional focus
Startup Next by Land O’LakesMinneapolisMNpre-accelerator for startups in the food and tech industry, Land O’Lakes and TechStars collaboration
Startupbootcamp FoodTechglobalLooks for high growth startups operating within all segments of the food chain
Target Takeoff!MinneapolisMNTarget and Techstars collaboration for better-for-you brands
TerraSan FranciscoCAaffiliated with FoodBytes!
The KitchenIsraelfounded by the Strauss-Group

Accelerators Adjacent to Food & CPG

The below groups aren’t focused on food or CPG, but work in adjacent spaces. They sometimes include CPG companies in their cohorts.

Incubators vs. Accelerators

With all this talk of accelerators and incubators, you might be wondering: What’s the difference between an accelerator and an incubator? I’ve got you covered. Check out: What’s the difference between an accelerator and an incubator?

Are Accelerator Programs Worth Giving Up Equity?

Is it worth giving up equity to participate in an accelerator program? As someone who has been through an accelerator (Chicago Booth’s Polsky Accelerator Program) and has interviewed for and gotten into YCombinator, I understand the question.

As accelerator program money tends to be expensive capital, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be getting more than just money out of the program. What benefits do you expect to also get? Connections? Prestige? Access to VC capital? Give this some thought, and also check out our post: Are startup accelerators worth the equity you give up?

Do Accelerator Programs Work?

Do accelerator programs work? These stats on accelerator success rates might be helpful. It seems that YCominbator leads the pack (but rarely admits CPG companies) in ROI. (YC helped launch Airbnb, Reddit, etc.) All of this said, the success and metrics of accelerator programs in general are opaque.

Questions and List Additions

Have questions? Want to chat? Think I missed a program worthy of being listed? Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment below. I’m happy to help.

8 Comments on "List: Food Startup Accelerators & Incubators"

  1. you might want to add Break Fast and Launch in San Antonio, TX to your list.

  2. Hi Erin, Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) Project is an incubator supporting refugees and cross-cultural engagement in food sector in Istanbul.

  3. Hi Erin, great work and overview! METRO Group (one of the biggest European retailers) is also very active with a FoodTech Programm called Best regards Fabio

  4. What about ShakeUpFactory, the startup accelerator from farm to fork in Station f, the world’s largest startup campus.

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