We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re at the beginning of a good food innovation revolution. From field to plate, food innovators across the globe are working to create a food system that’s better for people, profit and the planet.
Since 2010, Food+Tech Connect has been humbled and honored to be the information and community hub for the good food innovation movement. But we’re not alone; there are scores of organizations that are helping to grow this movement.
We’ve rounded up 70 kick-ass organizations that are are building and nurturing the food innovation ecosystem by supporting entrepreneurs and creating platforms for collaboration. We know we didn’t get every organizations, so please add any you think we should include in the comments section below. Also, check out the 42 funding sources that launched in 2014 to support food and agriculture innovators here.
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AccelFoods: AccelFoods is an early-stage investment platform and business accelerator for the packaged food industry. It aims to create outsized returns for founders and investors through an operating team, industry engagement and impact capital while offering early-stage food companies the education and support they need to succeed.
AgFunder: This equity-based crowdfunding platform brings transparency and accelerated deal flow to the agriculture industry by making it easy to syndicate agricultural investment opportunities. Through its platform, agriculture, agtech and food processing startups with a lead investor can raise capital from accredited investors.
Applegate: Applegate’s mission is to change the meat we eat. As the largest natural and organic meat company, Applegate works to solve the challenges new farmers face and supports big ideas that can scale good meant production, distribution and consumption. They’ve partnered with us on many of our events to propel the good food innovation movement.
Ashoka: The largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, Ashoka provides startup financing, professional support services and connections to a global network from the business and social sector. It is a platform for people dedicated to changing the world.
Barnraiser: Barnraiser aims to help food innovators raise a collective $1 billion through its crowdfunding platform. It connects passionate consumers with sustainable food entrepreneurs to help share their inspirational stories and fund their success.
Bon Appétech: The inaugural conference will bring together food innovators, entrepreneurs, chefs, executives, food and beverage producers, farmers, technologists, global brands, investors, and journalists to celebrate and explore novel ideas, showcase amazing food products, and discuss how food innovation can help improve the food system.
Branchfood: Branchfood believes innovation will help fix our broken food system. Based in Boston, Branchfood offers co-working space, events and community for food companies. It also launched Boston Food Network, a database of boston’s food system actors.
Brooklyn FoodWorks: Launching in 2015, Brooklyn FoodWorks is partnership between Dinner Lab and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. It aims to premier platform to prototype, launch and grow innovative food businesses. It will offer entrepreneurs kitchen space, workshops, mentorship, procurement assistance and more.
Change Food – Change Food helps individuals change the way they eat by educating them around the vital importance of nutritions, delicious food and motivating behavior change when it comes to major food system challenges. Change Food has been the lead sponsor for TEDxManhattan Changing the Way We Eat for the last five years.
Chefs Collaborative: Chefs Collaborative believes that if we change menus we can change lives. The non-profit offers a network for chefs and food professionals that care about about sourcing, cooking and serving better food and improving the food system.
Cherry Bombe: Cherry Bombe is a biannual publication that celebrates women and food. The first Cherry Bombe Jubillee took place in March 2015 in NYC and offered day-long celebration and conversation with some of the most inspiring women in food, including Ina Garten and April Bloomfield.
Chipotle: Chipotle is striving to change the face of fast food. Its Cultivate Foundation backs initiatives that support sustainable agriculture, family farming and good food education. The restaurant chain is committed to shifting the future of farming, and has partnered with us to cultivate and support the community of good food innovators.
Civil Eats: Civil Eats is a go-to publication for the good food innovation movement. It publishes daily news and commentary about our food system and works to transform the conversation around sustainable agriculture. It digs deep into food policy issues, profiles food heroes from across the country and highlights food culture.
Clean Plates: Clean Plates aims to make it easier for eaters to enjoy healthy sustainable food. Its newsletters, cookbook, app and a website tell the stories of sustainable food pioneers and dishes and connect diners with healthy, sustainable, delicious eats.
DC Central Kitchen – DC Central Kitchen aims to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities. Its myriad programs reduce hunger with recycled food, train unemployed adults for culinary careers, serve healthy school meals and rebuild urban food systems through social enterprise.
DIG EAT ALL: This five week food tech accelerator takes place in San Sebastian, Spain. It includes mentoring from top chefs, corporate food executives and food investors and entrepreneurs, R&D and technical support, access to test kitchens, labs and food tech experts, networking events, co-working space and an investor demo day.
Dig Inn: This NYC-based veggie-forward restaurant chain believes everyone deserves to eat well. It is democratizing the farm-to-table movement by offering healthy, often locally-sourced food an an affordable price point, by working directly with farmers. Digg Inn is also a huge supporter of our work to grow the good food innovation movement.
Eastern Market: Located in Detroit, Eastern Market is the largest historic market in the country. It is supporting food entrepreneurs through a partnership with Food Lab Detroit. The joint program offers kitchen space, technical assistance and education to hep food entrepreneurs succeed.
Eat Retreat: Eat Retreat is a creative retreat for food leaders. It offers an annual immersive, hands-on weekend of cooking, eating and collaborating. Learning and sharing takes place formally through workshops and informally around the campfire. It’s like summer camp for food nerds.
EAT Initiative: EAT Initiative was established in 2013 as an international platform for interaction between stakeholders across science, policy, civil society and business. Bringing leadership from formerly siloed sectors and academic fields, EAT is guided by the core working hypothesis that productive food systems, global health, and a sustainable environment are all prerequisites for human development. It produces research and an annual forum.
Edible Communities: With local publications across the nation, these quarterly magazines and online publications tell stories of innovative local farmers, growers, chefs, food artisans and startups.
Fair Food Fund: Fair Food Fund is dedicated to building a more sustainable and just food system. Its initiatives help improve access to healthy food, inform food policy, strengthen funding strategies and increase knowledge sharing in the good food ecosystem.
FamilyFarmed: The Chicago-based non-profit works to expand the production, marketing and distribution of local, sustainable food in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities. Its Good Food Business Accelerator offers an intensive business accelerator program that helps good food startups scale. Learn more and apply here today.
Farm Hack: Farm Hack is an open-source community of farmers that builds, modifies and shares affordable and adaptable tools and technologies for agriculture. It shares hacks online and brings its members together offline at Meetups. Farm Hack believes that farmers are better when they work together.
FEED Collaborative: This program in design thinking and food system innovation and impact take places at Stanford University. It includes in-class learning, speaker series, field trips and experiential projects with for- and non-profit partners.
Finance for Food: Finance for Food aims to increase access to capital for sustainable food businesses. Through print materials, workshops, and other educational opportunities, Finance for Food informs entrepreneurs about the wide variety of capital opportunities available, helping them identify and secure values-aligned financing.
Food+Enterprise: Organized by the Northeast Foodshed Finance Alliance and Slow Money NYC, this three-day conference is dedicated to facilitating collaboration amongst individuals and organizations working to build and finance a more sustainable food future.
Food and Agriculture Organization: FAO’s core mission is to ensure food security. They focus on the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition, the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all and the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. FAO has a multitude of projects that support agricultural innovation around the world.
Food Book Fair: Founded in 2012, FBF celebrates the intersection of food culture and food systems. The annual weekend-long event features book signings, lectures, panels, dinners, a food periodical fair and much more.
Food Business School: A project of the Culinary Institute of America, The Food Business School is the world’s first business school dedicated to food entrepreneurship and innovation. It offers in-person courses, e-courses and intensives geared towards aspiring and established food entrepreneurs, career changers and leaders of internal changes at established organizations.
Foodbytes!: Hosted by Rabobank and SF New Tech this half-day conference bring together new ideas in food, innovation and technology with capital. By connecting innovative food and agriculture entrepreneurs with investors, it aims to create a platform to turn today’s new ideas into tomorrow’s solutions.
Food Craft Institute: The Food Craft Institute (FCI) works to create and improve the viability of small and medium-scale value-added food businesses in the U.S. It offers professional development and education, combining classroom and hands-on learning to teach makers both techniques and the entrepreneurial skills they need to build viable food businesses.
Food Hackathon: This annual food hackathon brings together leading food innovators, entrepreneurs and scholars with tech talent and emerging food leaders to collaborate on solutions to major food system challenges.
Food Innovation Program: Created by The Future Food Institute, this 10 month master’s program aims to shape the global food leaders of tomorrow. It was developed in partnership with the Institute for the Future and takes place at The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE).
Food Sol: A program of Babson College, Food Sol is an “action tank” that helps eater-entrepreneurs explore what they care most about when it comes to food and build those ideas into entrepreneurial enterprises. Food Sol Strives to create social and environmental value while nurturing economically viable and sustainable ideas and businesses.
Food Tank: Food Tank aims to build a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Through its blog, newsletters and events, Food Tank highlights environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty, and inspires the entire food ecosystem to build a better future.
FOOD-X: NYC-based FOOD-X is the first international business accelerator program focused on launching food-related ventures with a multi-stage fund. It partners with early-stage food entrepreneurs to help them take their products and services to market successfully.
Force Brands: Force Brands is a boutique recruiting and staffing agency for the food and beverage industries. It offers executive recruiting, interim placement and targeted industry job boards. The company is a huge supporter of our work to help food entrepreneurs succeed and has partnered with us for our Fail Friday Meetup series.
FSE Network: The FSE Network envisions a world without food waste. It organizes international events to bring together food surplus entrepreneurs ascross Europe, like the Food Waste Collab. It also connects them on a regional level with FSE Hubs. It also showcases the food surplus entrepreneurs movement through its online map and social media presence.
Glynwood: Located in the Hudson Valley of New York, Glynwood strives to ensure a vibrant regional food and farming culture. It promotes regional food systems through its farmer training and resources, farm tours, events and more.
Google: Google brings leading thinkers and doers in the food space to apply their knowledge and passion towards imagining and shaping the future of food through its Innovation Lab For Food Experiences. It also supports entrepreneurial innovation through its cafeterias, GoogleScience Fair and through its work with organizations like The Culinary Institute of America. It has also be a key partner in helping us grow this innovation community.
GRACE Communications Foundation: GRACE develops strategies to increase public awareness of environmental and public health issues caused by the planet’s food, water, and energy systems. Through partnerships, GRACE promotes policies that support a more sustainable future.
Heritage Radio Network: Heritage Radio Network shares the stories and voices of good food movement. The non-profit radio station broadcasts 40+ free shows a week covering everything from food waste to food tech innovation, and guests include food luminaries like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan.
Hot Bread Kitchen: NYC-based Hot Bread Kitchen supports foreign-born and low-income women and men by giving them access to the food industry. It does this through its culinary workforce and business incubation programs, Project Launch and HBK Incubates. Hot Bread Kitchen sells multi-ethnic breads at farmers markets that are inspired by its bakers using local and organic ingredients.
La Cocina: Located in San Francisco, La Cocina cultivates and supports low income food entrepreneurs by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. It focuses primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities.
Local Food Lab: Local Food Lab is a startup academy and online community for food entrepreneurs. It offers events and courses and a job board. It also covers food startup and policy news on its blog.
MIT City Farm: As part of the MIT Media Lab, MIT City Farm explores the technological, environmental, social and economic design of scalable systems that are capable of producing healthy, affordable and sustainable food in urban environments.
Mixing Bowl: Mixing Bowl aims to stimulate the adoption of IT innovation in the food and agriculture industries through business-focused dialogue and events that gather food industry players, startups, investors and more.
National Young Farmers Coalition: NYFC supports, mobilizes and engages young farmers and works to ensure their success. It supports independent farms, sustainable farming practices and affordable land for farmers. Its blog shares resources and tools – like Q&As, farming guides and forum recaps – that help arm new farmers for success in the field.
Natural Gourmet Institute: NGI provides exceptional,innovative and interdisciplinary health-supportive culinary education. It also offers a number of training programs, including its food entrepreneurship certificate program and sustainable farming certificate program.
NEXT Accelerator: A project of New Hope Media, producer of the Natural Product Expo, NEXT Accelerator offers resources and community to help natural products entrepreneurs succeed. The platform offers tools, mentorship and access to service providers they need to help ramp their businesses up for long-term, sustainable growth.
NPR The Salt: A blog from the NPR Science Desk, The Salt explores what we eat and why we eat it. It serves up stories about food science, culture, policy and innovation.
Open Source Ecology: Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers and architects who are developing a set of open source blueprints for the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), a set of the 50 most important machines that it takes for modern life to exist. The GVCS includes everything from a tractor, to an oven, to a circuit maker.
Reimagine Food: This Barcelona-based platform creates and attracts innovative initiatives that are disrupting food and agriculture in the 21st century. Reimagine Food aims to bridge the gap between food and beverage companies and investors. It trains and advises food innovators on design, production and global distribution and helps them attract capital.
Robyn O’Brien: A former financial and food industry analyst, Robyn O’Brien triggered an allergic reaction in the food industry when she asked: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?” She has helped to lead a food awakening among consumers, corporations and politicians. Food companies responding to Robyn’s work include Kraft, Coca Cola, Burger King, Chipotle, Nestle, Target and others. She sheds light on how the changing landscape of food and health are impacting the food industry and our economy.
Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream: Created in partnership with non-profit microlender Accion, this program increases the success of small food, beverage, craft brewing, and hospitality businesses by giving them access to business coaching and capital.
Smorgasburg/Brooklyn Flea: From April to November, this outdoor food market showcases 100+ local and regional food vendors to upwards of 10,000 visitors. These markets allow food artisans to test new concepts and build a following.
Seeds&Chips: Seeds&Chips is the first international food tech conference and exhibition bringing together startups, big food companies, academics, investors, media and the public to explore the “Internet of Food.” The 2nd annual event will be held in May, 2016.
Slow Food USA: Slow Food’s mission is to ensure good, clean and fair food for all. Through tastings, workshops, social opportunities and more, Slow Food explores how we can collectively can prioritize wholesome living over convenience.
Slow Money: Slow Money catalyzes the flow of capital to local food and farm enterprises. It supports the generation of entrepreneurs that is reimagining our local food systems by working to ensure that the capital available to them is sufficient. It has invested over $4M in 404 food enterprises since launching in 2010.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture’s Growing Farmers Initiative: This New York State-based non-profit farm trains new farmers through its Growing Farmers Initiative. Its intensive Apprenticeship Program, workshops, Technical Consultancy Program, National Young Farmers Conference, and the Virtual Grange are designed to equip the next generation of farmers with the knowledge and hands-on experience to create economically viable and ecologically resilient farm-business enterprises.
Techtable: Happening on September 10, 2015 in NYC, the inaugural TechTable Summit will bring together leaders from the hospitality and technology industries to work towards building better tools that drive towards shared solutions.
The Culinary Institute of America – The CIA is a private, nonprofit college that provides world-class culinary education to the next generation of chefs. Its Menus of Change initiative, in partnership with Harvard, address business-friendly solutions to pressing social and environmental concerns, and promotes collaboration among America’s chefs, nutrition, scientists, farm and fisheries experts, foodservice executives and policy makers. It also produce ReThink Food, in partnership with MIT, a conference exploring innovation at the intersection of food, technology, design and behavior.
Food+City: A project of the University of Texas at Austin, Food+City encourages and motivates students to engage with innovative food systems research and provides support to food entrepreneurs that leverage university research. Though its research, initiatives and events, it aims to catalyze exploration, experimentation and innovation in our food system.
The Food Loft – Leading cookbook publisher The Harvard Common Press launched The Food Loft in Boston in 2013. It is the first co-working space dedicated to food and food tech startups. In addition to office space, The Food Loft provides networking opportunities and business insights.
The Food Stand: The Food Stand’s good food discovery and community app lets eaters find crowdsourced food recommendations near them. The startup also hosts Food Spotlight events that bring give food entrepreneurs a platform to pitch their ideas and get feedback from the good food community.
The Institute for the Future: IFTF is an nonprofit research group that identifies emerging trends and discontinuities that will transform global society and the global marketplace. Its Food Futures Lab helps people make sense of emerging technologies, social behaviors, and scientific breakthroughs that will transform the global food system. It developed the Seeds of Disruption Map as a tool for starting conversations about how technologies can be used to close important gaps in the food system.
The James Beard Foundation: The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to preserve, nurture, and celebrate the diverse culinary heritage and future in the United States. It offers events and programs that educate, inspire and entertain, as well as promote a more holistic understanding of culinary culture.
Think Food Group: Founded by world-renowned Chef Jose Andres and Rob Wilder, this restaurant group aims to help future generations of activists and innovators change the world through food. Think Food Group also created the World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization that focuses on smart solutions to Hunger and Poverty.
Thought For Food: Thought For Food is building a powerful community of optimistic, tech-savvy students from top universities around the world, who are tackling the food part of the abundance equation through bold, breakthrough solutions.
The Rodale Institute: Through research and networking, The Rodale Institute develops and shares best practices in organic farming. Rodale conducts scientific studies and educates the public about the value of organic food on its operating organic farm in Pennsylvania.
Toklas Society: Toklas is a network of women in the food and hospitality industry. It hosts panels, workshops and networking events and recently launched a mentorship program that provides professional support to help women advance in their culinary careers, as well as financial support for women looking to launch their own food businesses.
United States Healthful Food Council: USHFC is dedicated to fighting diet-related disease by realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. Its REAL Certified program offers a mark of excellence for foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. Chairman Lawrence Williams is a regular contributor to Food+Tech Connect.
USDA Start2Farm: Developed to assist beginning farmers, Start2Farm includes programs, resources and tools from federal and state agencies, educational institutions and grassroots organizations.
Virgin Startup: This non-profit founded by Virgin helps entrepreneurs from England get the funding, resources and advice they need to launch and grow their businesses. Its upcoming Foodpreneur Fest will give food entrepreneurs the opportunity to have their products tasted and judged by some of England’s top food experts.
Whole Foods Market: Whole Foods Market is a huge supporter of small business. Through the Local Producer Loan Program, it lends money to small, local, independent producers to help them expand their businesses. Through its Whole Planet Foundation, it supports over 1 million micro entrepreneurs in 67 countries around the world.
Winrock International: This non-profit works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. It links local individuals and communities around the world with innovative technologies in agriculture, natural resources management and clean energy.