If you thought to yourself yes! or nodded your head in agreement with the title of this article… then you should get to know our FFI Fellows Program!
In 2021, we took our acclaimed FFI FaBcap Accelerator and expanded it into the national FFI Fellows Program. Now we can help even more food and agriculture businesses build financial resiliency, become profitable, and access the capital they need to grow and scale.
The FFI Fellows Program provides a unique, impactful opportunity that requires only a minor time commitment but yields a major reward. Each food-focused entrepreneur is paired with an industry-expert coach, and together, they work through sales, operations, accounting, finance, food safety, marketing, branding, and other key areas of business. The program also facilitates peer education and support through bimonthly learning groups with fellow cohort members.
Additionally, fellows get access to our suite of on-demand courses, workshops, and immersion trainings, such as Raising Equity and Scenario Planning. Each cycle lasts roughly seven months, kicking off with our foundational Financial Management Boot Camp and culminating in an investor pitch.
Right now, we are busy gearing up for our 2023 FFI Fellows Program. We are excited to host three cohorts of 15 fellows each this coming year, giving 45 food and ag entrepreneurs from Wisconsin and across the U.S. the opportunity to enrich their businesses.
There will be two Food Brand cohorts—one running from January to June 2023, and the other running from July to December 2023. We will also offer a cohort for technology, value-added agriculture, and processing (TAP) businesses, and that will run from April through October 2023.
Oh, and here’s some even sweeter news: the FFI Fellows Program is completely FREE, thanks to funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the support of our sponsor network.
We will provide more details and precise dates—and make the callout for applications—very soon! We hope you will consider applying or encourage your network and clients to apply. This is truly a transformational opportunity that helps take a business to the next level.
If you would like us to contact you when the application period opens, fill out our contact form to add your business to the Fellows Program interest list.
And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…
Business Model Insights
- Food and Beverage Manufacturers Win Seasonal Peaks with Structural Flexibility (Food Industry Executive)
- Strategies to mitigate risk and boost production include increasing supplier diversity, optimizing logistics networks and creating flexible capacity.
- Using AI to decrease food waste, improve sustainable food production (Food & Beverage Insider)
- Should You Prioritize Growth or Profitability in a Recession? The Answer May Surprise You (Entrepreneur)
- Regenerative agriculture is anything but ‘just business’ (AgFunder News)
- “The number of capital providers in the room doesn’t matter if they aren’t ready to think of themselves as capital partners instead of capital providers.”
- Key Takeaways from the 2022 RFSI Forum (Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum News)
- How Aura Bora Convinced Siddhi Capital of Its Business Viability (Forbes)
- Neutral Foods Could Change Everything for Organic (Organic Insider)
- If Bill Gates–funded Neutral Foods can empirically demonstrate that small organic farms are a key solution to the climate crisis, the company could convince Gates and other influencers that organic, not GMOs, is the best path forward.
- Survey: Purpose-led Brands See Far Higher Revenue Growth than Incumbents (The Food Institute)
- 4 Ways Smart Packaging Optimizes the CPG Experience (Food Industry Executive)
- Survey Reveals Four Ways Americans are Cutting Food Costs (The Food Institute)
- More than half of all U.S. consumers have changed their eating and drinking habits due to inflation—here’s how.
- Dairy consumption hits record level in U.S. (Food & Beverage Insider)
- Frozen food sales stay hot despite inflation (Supermarket News)
Farming and AgTech
- With New Federal Funding, Has Agroforestry’s Moment Arrived? (Civil Eats)
- USDA’s new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding program will invest up to $2.8 billion in 70 projects, including $60 million to advance agroforestry.
- 4 ways to narrow the gap between academia and industry in order to advance sustainable agriculture (AgFunder News)
- Op-Ed: A Super-Powered Ally to Solve the Hunger, Poverty, and Climate Crises (Food Tank)
- Square Roots teams up with UNFI to expand access to locally grown leafy greens: ‘We have the shortest supply chain possible’ (FoodNavigator-USA)
- Square Roots is expanding its indoor farming footprint of teched-out converted shipping containers by co-locating a new farm at UNFI’s distribution center near the Twin Cities.
- Shark Tank Contender Proper Good Bags New Capital to Bring Ultra-Convenient Meals to Walmart (Forbes)
- BioVeritas gets $65M for fermented upcycled ingredients (Food Dive)
- Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation Annual Convention Training Session: Manufacturing Resiliency: 12/3
- FFI Level 1 Consultant Training: 12/7
- FFI MVP Series Workshop: Financial & Accounting Processes: 12/15
- FFI Level 2 Consultant Training: 1/18
- Midwest Food Products Association 2022 Annual Convention: 11/29–12/1 in Wisconsin Dells, WI
- Organic Grower Summit: 11/30–12/1 in Monterey, CA
- Iowa Organic Association Annual Meeting: 12/1 in Marion, IA
- NOSH Live Winter 2022: 12/1–12/2 in Santa Monica, CA
- BevNET Live Winter 2022: 12/5–12/6 in Santa Monica, CA
- American Seed Trade Association CSS & Seed Expo: 12/5–12/8 in Chicago, IL
- Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance Organic Intensives: 1/7 in East Lansing, MI
- The Winter Fancy Food Show: 1/15–1/17 in Las Vegas, NV
- International Production & Processing Expo: 1/24–1/26 in Atlanta, GA
- Sustainable Foods Summit North America: 1/25–1/26 in San Francisco, CA
- Global Organic Produce Expo: 1/30–2/2 in Hollywood, FL
- The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers Show: 2/1–2/3 in Orlando, FL
- Organic Vegetable Production Conference: 2/3–2/4 in Madison, WI
- UNFI Natural and Conventional Spring and Summer Show: 2/7–2/9 in Orlando, FL
- World Ag Expo: 2/14–2/16 in Tulare, CA
- National Farm Machinery Show: 2/15–2/18 in Louisville, KY
- Marbleseed 34th Annual Organic Farming Conference: 2/23–2/25 in La Crosse, WI
- American Frozen Food Institute AFFI-CON: 2/25–2/28 in San Diego, CA
- Refrigerated Foods Association Annual Conference & Exhibition: 2/26–3/1 in Kiawah Island, SC
- Sierra Harvest Sustainable Food & Farm Conference: 3/3–3/4 in Grass Valley, CA
- International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York: 3/5–3/7 in New York, NY
- Annual Meat Conference: 3/6–3/8 in Dallas, TX
- Natural Products Expo West: 3/7–3/11 in Anaheim, CA