Top-selling Greek yogurt producer Chobani LLC, Norwich, N.Y., announced today, May 10, it will launch a second food incubator class, following the success of its inaugural program, and opened its call for applications through June 4, 2017.
The food incubator program mentors and supports food entrepreneurs. For each class, Chobani selects six startups to participate and receive hands-on mentorship from Chobani leadership, including founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, a $25,000 grant and a dedicated work space in Chobani's New York offices.
Ulukaya launched the program in 2016 to help entrepreneurs aiming to challenge the food industry, improve broken systems and bring better food to more people—principles through which Chobani was founded.
“People are rejecting the way Big Food is doing things,” Ulukaya, says. “It’s creating a special moment for food startups with big hearts and big ideas to challenge how things are done. We’re searching for entrepreneurs who are passionate about getting more natural, more accessible and more creative foods out there, and who are driven by a purpose and mission to make the world better.”
The class will run from September to December 2017.
Team members participation on-site with Chobani groups and monthly programs at company locations across the U.S., including manufacturing facilities. Subjects will cover industry areas of expertise, such as building a sustainable business; team building and scaling; branding and marketing; packaging and pricing; sales and retail strategy; innovation and manufacturing food quality and safety; and nutrition and food labeling.
The incubator class will also get exposure to food industry thought leaders and top retail partners and receive digital support and community engagement between on-site programs.
The inaugural class, which concluded its six-month program in March, generated six startup brand graduates: Banza; Chops Snacks; Cissé Cocoa Co.; Jar Goods; Kettle & Fire; and Misfit Juicery.
Applicants will be asked to electronically submit information about their products along with a short video and biographical information by June 4, 2017. Chobani plans to notify accepted applicants in mid-July. Applications and more information are available at chobanifoodincubator.com.