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"FOOD IS INFRASTRUCTURE. It is like energy or water. With a strong food economy, communities prosper. Without a strong food economy communities suffer and the quality of life diminishes. Empowering entrepreneurs to design, build, and growth their food ventures is an investment in our local food economy."

 

Joe Bute - President - Food21 

 
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CONCEPT 

Building a resilient and sustainable food economy requires the development of the next generation of food businesses. The Food21 Venture Center works with business accelerator experts, networks of existing small business owners, and creative community development investors to create a unique environment where food entrepreneurs can thrive. Our services are designed to provide pathways to success for food entrepreneurs at all stages of business development. 

 

SERVICES

Food21 supports food venture development in our region by providing a variety of services aimed at the needs and opportunities food entrepreneurs face. We accomplish this by working with an established food entrepreneur accelerator, Catapult Culinary of Greater Pittsburgh and with dozens of entrepreneurs through our Food&Beverage network.

FEASIBILITY PLANNING

Food21's Enterprise Center works with entrepreneurs to determine the feasibility of their food venture. Various methods are used to determine what is the potential for success.

 

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One of the first things an entrepreneur needs to confirm is the feasibility of his/her venture idea. A series of interactions with an entrepreneur helps Catapult to determine if they are a good candidate for the cohort designated to receive services. Much of this has to do with the overall viability of the food venture concept they have.

MARKET ANALYSIS

Determining the size and characteristics of the market an entrepreneur wants to reach is an important first step in determining the potential for success

 

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Assistance is provided to help entrepreneurs quantify, describe, and fully understand the market they have targeted for their products or services. This analysis ties into the feasibility planning and ultimately the business plan they create for their business. 

BUSINESS PLANNING

Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. Business planning is an ongoing requirement with any successful venture, especially start-up ventures.

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The Venture Center can help entrepreneurs to produce practical business plans that use all of the information collected in the earlier stages of feasibility planning, to create financial projections, market strategies, operating budgets, and implementation plans. 

COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

The Food & Beverage Network is an excellent networking service that provides a forum for entrepreneurs to gauge what is going on in the marketplace..

 

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Additional services are available to assist entrepreneurs to assess the competition they will face as they introduce their products and service to the marketplace. 

Realistic assessment of the competitive environment is an important step for any entrepreneur. 

FINANCING

All food ventures must have strong financial projections and business plans to rasie the capital required to launch and run a food business. Financing is a key to success.

 

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The Venture Center has access to  experts that can create  financing packages for start-up food ventures. Once the need has been defined Food21 and other partners will be tapped to assist in creating access to funds needed to underwrite implementation. 

COACHING

One of the strengths of the Enterprise Center is its access to the coaching and mentoring services provided by Catapult Culinary.

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Coaching and mentoring are essential resources for men and women starting new food ventures. Food21 has a growing list of individuals and organizations to provide such support. At the top of that list is Catapult Culinary.

 
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FOOD & BEVERAGE NETWORK

The Pittsburgh Food and Beverage network has grown from less than 15 active members in 2019 to over 210 in 2021.  As this network grows, peer-to-peer value creation will increase, supporting the business needs of members and driving new customers to member businesses.

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PROJECTS

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OASIS ONLINE GROCERY

Food21 is partnering with Azoti to create a unique online grocery service designed specically to serve communities generally described as food deserts. 

SMOKETOWN AT

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Food21 is driving the establishment of the first Afro-Centric food hall in the region. It is designed to empower black food entrepreneurs.

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PEOPLE

The Venture Center is a community of individuals dedicated to empowering food entrepreneuers. The expertise and experience of the staff and advisors is a unique combination of talent and focus. Food experts, small business accelerator experts, developers, online techology experts, and hands-on food business operators provide the support and training that are essential to growing a food business.

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RICK TERRIEN

CENTER COORDINATOR

TAMMY THOMPSON

ADVISOR

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IRV WILLIAMS

ADVISOR

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JENNIFER FLANAGAN

ADVISOR

CHEF LOU

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ADVISOR

TAIECE BROOKS

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ADVISOR

 
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