Farm and Food Business Accelerator (FFBA)
Apply Now to Join the Accelerator Cohort!
The Farm and Food Business Accelerator (FFBA) - a newly established initiative offered by CADE and SUNY Cobleskill - is designed to deliver comprehensive business development services and support to a cohort of 10 established, promising agribusiness entrepreneurs ready to grow, expand, or transition into value-added production. Our goal is to accelerate their success, enhancing their capacity to impact the region’s agricultural economy and New York’s food system.
Who is the FFBA for?
The FFBA is designed for entrepreneurs who are:
In need of assistance bringing a new food or beverage product from idea or concept into commercial-scale production
OR ready to expand by bringing your existing value-added products to scale with enhanced production or processing systems
Entrepreneurs selected for this program must present a proposed new business venture for which they seek support that will have an impact in the Mohawk Valley region of New York State, whether as the result of an existing or new business location or as the result of sourcing goods or services from producers in the region.
The Mohawk Valley includes Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie counties - region 6 on the map to the right.
Mohawk Valley - Zone 6
The FFBA is an 18 month cohort program. Participants will receive services from November 2021 - May 2023.
Benefits of Participation
FFBA program cohort members will receive a complete suite of services and resources tailored to their specific needs from SUNY Cobleskill and CADE in the form of:
peer mentoring from agribusiness leaders across the State from the food, beverage, and fiber industries;
access to shared product development spaces at the SUNY Cobleskill campus in Schoharie County to test and pilot novel value-added food and beverage products and/or referrals to other processing facilities as may be needed depending on scale/production readiness, location, etc.;
support on new product development from food science experts, concept testing, feasibility and cost analysis, taste-testing, consumer analysis, production analysis, and evaluation of packaging and labeling;
assessments on optimal processing facilities to optimize cost efficiency and other technical assistance to improve processes and systems to produce and market value-added products;
business development support including assistance on business planning, marketing strategy, market research;
legal advisory services on business structuring, contracts, insurance, etc.;
technical support on branding and development (or upgrade) of branding assets (website, logos, social media accounts, labels, etc.);
outreach assistance connecting and maintaining positive relationships with distributors, retailers and wholesalers, institutions and restaurants, inside and outside the Mohawk Valley;
completion of scheduled processes by a Process Authority;
financial advisory services for the development or expansion of value-added products, as well as matchmaking with private investors, grant funders, or lenders to increase access to capital.
The Accelerator is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and/or other people of color farmers or agribusiness entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.
The Farm and Food Business Accelerator is a collaboration between SUNY Cobleskill and CADE, funded by one of just three USDA Agriculture Innovation Center grants awarded in 2020.
Applicants must meet the following qualifications:
Be in operation for at least 3 years
Produce farm, value-added, beverages (including distilleries, cideries, breweries, wineries), or fiber products
Are undergoing a transition or new business venture, such as expansion, launching a new product line, expansion to new markets, adoption of a new business model, etc.
Meet the geographic preferences noted above
Have a commitment to sustainable practices, innovation, local sourcing, diversity/equity/inclusion, transparency, and/or collaboration.
To begin the process of applying for the FFBA, please complete the application form linked below by September 27, 2021. Finalists will be invited for a follow-up interview. Applicants will be notified of decisions by October 29, 2021.
For more information, contact Program Coordinator Rhiannon Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or (484) 663-9727.
*Confidentiality: CADE and its partners in this program affirm that any confidential information collected from potential program participants will not be shared without permission.
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