The Greater Toronto region's food industry is a key sector of the economy and the second-largest food cluster in North America – ahead of Chicago and second only to Los Angeles.
The Food Venture program – launched by the City of Toronto, Food Starter and the Province of Ontario – aims to strengthen Toronto’s position and maintain or better this ranking in the future.
“Currently there are over 700 food-producing businesses operating in Toronto,” says Chris Rickett, Manager, Entrepreneurship Services in the City of Toronto’s Economic Development & Culture Department. “The Food Venture Program will ensure that Toronto’s food sector continues to develop homegrown talent.”
Food Venture recipients will be granted funds to be used to access the Food Commercialization Program offered by Food Starter, Toronto’s food business incubator and accelerator. Companies will get four months of access to shared production and packaging facilities as well as training, mentorship and marketing activities so that they can commercialize their products and get them into market.
“Since we opened in November 2015, Food Starter has been flooded with inquiries from innovative people who have great ideas for food businesses,” says Food Starter Executive Director, Dana McCauley. “Although our weekly tour is always full, we see many great ideas go undeveloped because these innovators lack the funds required to commercialize and launch their ideas. Food Venture will make a big difference for these under-capitalized food entrepreneurs.”
Applications for the Food Venture program are now available online and programming will begin in April 2017. To apply please visit http://foodstarter.ca/program/food-venture-program/