Saturday, November 06, 2010

Opportunities in food entrepreneurship

I thought we had a very good workshop at the Innovation Kitchen last week. We welcomed our regional Southwestern Wisconsin Small Business Development Center’s to our workshop on food entrepreneurship.

Wonderful questions. My measure of a good meeting is when the people who came for one thing end up interacting with one another across all sorts of new ideas after the main session is over. We had plenty of that! The entire evening was a great discussion I thought. Thanks!

The general topic was food safety certifications and business planning for food entrepreneurs. The specific topic was utilizing the Innovation Kitchen to execute those plans. I believe the SW WI SBDC will sponsor this seminar again next March.

People get PhDs in small but critical areas of food processing. My 90 minute seminar is certainly not intended to be anything other than a brief introduction to the topic and important homework you’ll need, but I thought it was a good start.

Workshop topics included:

- State and health regulations/ certifications, how to source
ingredients and other resources

- Scaling recipes

- Introduction to commercial food business and marketing

- Requirements and opportunities for utilizing the Innovation Kitchen

This workshop was presented by:
Iowa County Area Economic Development Corp.
The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

This workshop was presented in partnership with:

Blackhawk Technical College
Southwest Wisconsin Community Action Agency
Southwest Wisconsin Small Business Development Center
Southwest Tech
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation

The following are taken from the feedback form Gary from the SBDC sent back I’m including these because I had the same feelings for the folks attending. This idea of food entrepreneurship is an amazing story to share and I really enjoy doing it.

Feedback collected by the SBDC for our Workshop ‘Food Processing Business Workshop’:

• Rick was very thorough about starting a food business
• Excellent Presentation – personal examples are best!
• Presenter’s enthusiasm
• Clearly understood presentation of the issues
• Very Informational meeting on everything, the “ins & outs” of business start-up
• The range of topics (covered)
• Good presentation, very helpful
• Great over view of process & regulations (state & Feds) and of facility… I was inspired by Rick’s presentation"

This was a really fun presentation to be a part of. It was the first detailed business analysis I’ve been able to write based on the Innovation Kitchen’s first full quarter of food preparation operations. What an opportunity this is.

Thanks to everyone who attended last evening!

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