Meet the Five Ventures in the Food Business Accelerator 2022
Connecticut-based food entrepreneurs recently graduated from the
Food Business Accelerator 2022, run by Collab and CitySeed
April 1st, 2022, New Haven, Connecticut — This week, five food businesses graduated from the Food Business Accelerator, a partnership program between Collab and CitySeed.
The Food Business Accelerator is an annual program between Collab and CitySeed to support New Haven and Connecticut entrepreneurs. Now in its fourth year, the Food Business Accelerator has nearly 40 graduates. Of those graduates, 85% are led by people of color and 61% are led by women.
A cohort of five entrepreneurs were selected among almost 40 applicants to participate in the 12-week program that includes in-depth 1-on-1 coaching with Collab and CitySeed staff, an educational curriculum focused on entrepreneurship fundamentals and food business-specific workshops, such as access to CitySeed’s commercial kitchen space, ServSafe Managers training and certification, opportunities to vend at the CitySeed Farmers’ Market, and more.
On Wednesday, March 30th, there was a private, culminating graduation ceremony at Bloom (795 Edgewood Avenue) for the graduating entrepreneurs. This ceremony was a time for the graduating ventures, Collab staff, CitySeed staff, and key partners to attend to celebrate the ventures’ success.
“It’s always exciting to see entrepreneurs reaching milestones of success and today is no different. We are very proud of these graduates and everything they’ve accomplished in the past 12 weeks,” said Dawn Leaks, Executive Director of Collab. “While this is the end of the accelerator, it’s certainly not the end of our relationship. As with all of our graduates, we hope to be a steady and consistent part of their entrepreneurial journey as they take their businesses to the next level.”
“The Food Business Accelerator graduation is such a special celebration every year. The passion and vision of these entrepreneurs is inspiring, and reminds us how powerful collective support can be,” said Cortney Renton, Executive Director of CitySeed. “And this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to welcome these ventures into the CitySeed commercial kitchens, as vendors at our Farmers Markets, and to support their growth along the way!”
“The Food Business Accelerator program was the community and support I needed to begin my journey to success!” said Silvia Loney, Founder of Chef Sil’s Vegan Kitchen and graduate of the Food Business Accelerator 2022.
LIST OF GRADUATING VENTURES
Founder: Azhar Ahmed
Kandaka seeks to be both a piece of home and a new experience by introducing the light and traditional flavors of Sudan to Greater New Haven.
Chef Sil’s Vegan Kitchen
Founder: Silvia Loney
Chef Sil’s Vegan Kitchen is a Latinx, woman-owned market providing plant-based eats for the health-conscious consumer.
Momma Kiss Kitchen
Founder: Kismet Douglass
Momma Kiss Kitchen provides convenient, nutritious, and accessible ready-to-eat meals
Founder: Daniel Kim
Kkot-gil aims to provide authentic, approachable Korean food that features fun and innovative flavors in the heart of New Haven.
Dinner for a Dollar
Operators: Allison Batson, Bob Bergner and John Cerritelli
Dinner for a Dollar is a nonprofit delivering fresh, hot, tasty, accessible meals directly to your Greater New Haven neighborhood on our food truck – all for only $1!
Past graduates from the Food Business Accelerator have gone on to create successful ventures, receive investment, create local jobs and more. Notable graduates include Oh Shito!, Kawit!, Je T’aime Cupcakes and Cocktails, Fantastic Foods, and Bo-yi.
The Food Business Accelerator 2022 is supported by the generous contributions of the New Haven Cultural Fund, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Citizens, and Farm to Institution New England.
Learn More About Collab
Collab is an early-stage accelerator that supports individuals in using entrepreneurship to build wealth for themselves and their families, create local jobs, build economic power and shape their communities with a focus on people of color and women entrepreneurs. Since 2017, Collab has supported hundreds of entrepreneurs, including almost a hundred graduates on their Accelerator. Of those graduates, 83% are people of color-led and 74% are women-led. For more information, head to Collab’s website at www.collabnewhaven.org.
Learn More about CitySeed Incubates
CitySeed Incubates delivers food business incubation services for early-stage food entrepreneurs. Our network of 400 entrepreneurs includes caterers, chefs, food trucks, packaged food products, and farmers. CitySeed Incubates aims to remove barriers to food entrepreneurship for all by supporting food businesses led by women, immigrants and refugees, Black, Latinx, Asian and other POC-led ventures, and low income entrepreneurs. Some of our support services include: commercial kitchen space at below-market rent, entry into CitySeed’s Farmers Markets, a monthly newsletter with grants and opportunities, connections to pro-bono legal services, and advising and workshops on licensing, marketing, professional cooking techniques, menu development, business planning, and procurement. Learn more here: https://cityseed.org/food-