Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Venture Capitalists Are Making Bigger Bets on Food Start-Ups" / New York Times.

"What if the next big thing in tech does not arrive on your smartphone or in the cloud? What if it lands on your plate?"

Venture Capitalists Are Making Bigger Bets on Food Start-Ups.    New York Times.

This is a strong article about the emerging business opportunities in food.   The work we are developing at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen speaks directly to the role professional, artisan food processing facilities can play in this discussion.

Here is the problem - "(food) ... a hard nut to crack because it’s a perishable item."

Here is our solution.  We help food businesses sell safely prepared foods for sale year-round.

Here is our focus.   Develop and sell profitable food business services to food entrepreneurs, restaurants, stores, and farms.  Develop community based jobs including those for people with disabilities.

From the Times article...  "Yet some investors say the projects have a better chance of success if they steer clear of selling actual food. 'The food category has been a hard nut to crack because it’s a perishable item,' said Mark Suster, an investor at GRP Partners. 'The No. 1 thing V.C.’s are looking for are scalable and repeatable, high-margin businesses. You can create those in food, it’s just harder.'”

Specialty food is an $86 billion industry with many business opportunities emerging.  Smart new processing centers are vital.  Our work developing the first Innovation Kitchen provides a tested, scalable model.

If you would like to support or participate in this work please get in touch.


Photo Credit:  Bryce Vickmark for The New York Times article.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Great USDA visit - Welcome USDA Under Secretary Edward Avalos

I had great meeting with senior representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday.

We met at the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.  In the photo is Edward Avalos USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

Mr Avalos leads one the seven major Agencies within USDA.   It was a great honor to be able to show off our work.

Also joining the visit were old friends Stan Gruszynski,  Wisconsin State Director of USDA Rural Development and Brad Pfaff, Wisconsin State Director of the USDA Farm Services Administration (FSA).  Thanks for a great visit all the positive encouragement!  I look forward to working with USDA to advance the work we've begun.

Thanks also to my friend Margaret Krome from the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute who organized the visit and joined us, with others, for a great discussion.

The work we are doing to foster business development in food and agriculture continues to receive regional, national and even international attention.  Many thanks to all those supporting this work!

USDA Rural Development State Director
Edward Avalos bio at USDA