Food Accelerator

Scaling food and beverage companies.

Our five-month Food Accelerator program helping scale high growth food and beverage ventures through customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles. The program will provide founders with the tools, skills and connections they need to scale and thrive in the consumer-packaged goods industry.

 

Program Components

The Food and Beverage Accelerator is a five-month accelerator focused on supporting high-growth consumer packaged goods ventures in scaling up their operations and acquiring new distribution channels. Our customized educational workshops and dedicated team of mentors and advisors works closely with the founders for both personal and professional growth. We believe that at the core of all successful ventures are it's founders and our program provides the key foundational elements needed to help build up our founders.

Please click here to read some profiles of our 2021 cohort.

Develop industry knowledge through hands-on workshops from industry leaders and influencers.

Dedicated industry mentors from creating operational efficiencies to develop branding and sales strategies.

Access to private and exclusive networking sessions to grow your network within serial CPG entrepreneurs, investors, and retailers.

Gain constructive feedback on both your retailer deck as well as your investor pitch through monthly peer to peer and expert feedback sessions

On-demand office hours with industry experts as required creating unique engagements by listening to the company needs.

Program Timeline

January 14

Applications Open

March 11

Applications Close at 11:59 pm

April 8

Participants are Selected & Notified

May 2

Programming Kicks-Off

May - September

Weekly Sessions

October 2022

Demo Day

Accelerator Criteria

1
Product is in the market through a minimum of 10 points of sales

Points of sale can include independent stores (i.e. coffee shops, convenience stores, etc.), grocery, retail, online, etc.

2
Full-time founder(s) can commit 5-months to YSpace programming

The program includes a varity of workshops, fireside chats with investors, serial entrepreneurs and mentorship sessions. It is key that the founding team stays committed to the program to get the most out of it.

3
Venture active for over a year with Monthly Recurring Revenue of $3,000 - $5,000

If ventures are under the age of one, we will review the monthly recurring revenue and growth accordingly.

4
Focus on growth and scaling to achieve high impact

Our primary goal is to help ventures scale, therefore a growth mindset is key.

5
A driven, coachable and collaborative leadership team.

Drive and coachability is a major factor as our team of dedicated mentors and advisors are leading experts from the industry.

Application Form

Please use the link below to access our application form.

Our Entrepreneurs in Residence

Chris Rodkin

President of BritOn Solutions Group Inc.

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Chris Rodkin, President of BritOn Solutions Group IncChris is a Toronto native who has an extensive CPG based sales and marketing background. A passionate architect and builder, Chris loves the challenge of collaborating with his customers to help them sustainably overachieve and outperform.

Expertise:
Business Strategy | Pricing | E-commerce | Channel Strategy | Category Management | Consumer Research

Julie Bednarski

Founder/CEO at Healthy Crunch

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Julie Bednarski is a dynamic and energetic entrepreneur with almost ten years of experience in the food and nutrition industry. In July 2014, Julie started Healthy Crunch – as a way to satisfy her craving for super crunchy kale chips that were BIG in size and BIG in flavor. With Julie’s ambition for success Healthy Crunch grew to have over 25,000 points of distribution within Canada within the first 2 years in business. Healthy Crunch now distributes their products throughout the world including Canada, USA, Europe, and the Middle East. Since the start of her business, Julie continues to expand Healthy Crunch’s product lines to include coconut chips, trail mix, granola bars, rice crispy squares, chia jam, seed butter, instant lattes, kale chips, and dark chocolate fruit bites.

Expertise:
Business Strategy/KPI | Pricing | Category Management | Sales (Broker/Dist rel’n) | Innovation development | Marketing | Social Media | Financial | Inventory Control | Production Optimization | Co-packing

Iram Blajchman

Founder & CEO of MAAV Inc

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Iram Blajchman, founder & CEO of MAAV Inc, leverages almost 20 years of experience working in all facets of CPG sales to deploy resources that help brands both large and small execute growth strategies at retail. His experience, including leading sales teams for brands like Nivea and Philips, and running go to market strategies for Heinz, allow him to bring a wealth of knowledge to early stage brands, and he takes great pleasure in helping founders understand the marketplace, how to fund growth at retail, and avoid the pitfalls that can prevent brands from achieving their goals.

Expertise:
Business Strategy/KPI | Pricing | Category Management | Sales (Broker/Dist rel’n) | Leadership | Team-building | Negotiation | Retail Strategy and Execution | Commercial Strategy

Sheryl Johnson

President of Strategic Insight Marketing

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Sheryl Johnson is the founder and managing partner of Strategic Insight Marketing Inc. (SIM) a Toronto-based marketing consultancy and advertising firm, with informed expertise to also help clients reflect more mindful diversity and inclusion considerations in all their efforts and actions. Through her company Strategic Insight Marketing, Sheryl channels her 25+ years of business wisdom, agency experience, and personal passion to help clients reflect, engage and include the diverse audiences they serve in a more mindful way. Connecting brands to people and people to brands is Sheryl’s passion, rooted in her strong expertise in research, insights, strategy, execution, and measurement. She is known for re-building brands by turning data into insights and using those insights to action strategies for short-term and long-term growth. Sheryl has helped to build the equity, revenue and profit for a mix of global brands as a senior executive with Fortune 500 companies including Kraft, Kellogg’s, Intuit and Manulife.

Brittany Charlton

Founder of Ohh! Foods

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Brittany Charlton founded Ohh! Foods, a snacking company dedicated to creating tasty, allergen-friendly snacks for all! Since launching, Brittany has bootstrapped the company to national distribution in Canada with some of the top retailers: Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wholefoods and many other Canadian retailers. Developing her own food allergies at 18, led her to creating a world where Inclusive Snacking is possible!

Tara Longo

Founder of The Healthy Butcher

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Tara Longo is an entrepreneur with a deep passion for food. In early 2005, she became a leader in the food industry by opening the first Certified Organic retail store in Ontario called The Healthy Butcher. Over the next 15 years, she expanded into 3 locations in Toronto and Kitchener, and opened an online grocery delivery business. Moreover, she made an impact on how animals were raised, how farmers were treated, and how food was sold in Ontario.

Tara has a business education, with strong skills in finance and operations and has been recognized for her accomplishments several times, including Impact’s Green Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Star Women in Grocer, and Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award. Tara brings her passion to the business community through various programs and groups working with entrepreneurs to help them succeed.

Daniel Bartek

Co-Founder & President of Iconic Brewing Company

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Daniel is a serial entrepreneur, proven operator and start-up investor in the CPG industry. He was the Co-Founder and President of Iconic Brewing Company when it merged with Ace Hill in 2020 to form Ace Beverage Group (ABG). In his current role as COO of ABG, Daniel is overseeing the operations of one of Canada’s fastest growing beverage makers today. ABG's portfolio of 6 brands with over 50 unique SKUs is generating over $100M in annualized retail sales. Daniel has held many roles throughout his entrepreneurial career but his main focus is on: innovation, early stage financing, supply chain negotiations, and profitability. Apart from his active role in the beverage alcohol space, Daniel is also a founding member of several fast-growing start-ups and serves as an active advisor and board member to help scale his portfolio of companies.

Our Partners & Funders