The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA) and the Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC) are launching the Food Business Incubation Network (FoodBIN) at an inaugural conference at Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, on September 13-14.
“FoodBIN is a global network of food business incubators, accelerators, and shared-use kitchens that will serve as the world’s leading voice for advancing best practices in food business incubation, innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Lou Cooperhouse, Executive Director of the Rutgers FIC and founder of FoodBIN.
Attendees at the FoodBIN conference on September 13 will learn about best practices for servicing the food entrepreneurs in their community, region, state or nation. Over twenty speakers who lead incubator and accelerator programs will present, including program leaders from across the US (including Hawaii, California, Oregon, Nebraska, Minnesota, Louisiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey) and from Canada, Nigeria, Uganda, Ireland, and Australia. The second day of the event, September 14, will feature a tour of Rutgers University’s two leading business incubator programs: the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgeton, NJ, and the Rutgers EcoComplex, in Bordentown, NJ.
Keynote presenters at the conference will include Carlos Barroso, SVP, Global Research and Development and Quality at Campbell Soup Company, who will present “Food Innovation and the Future of our Industry,” and Phil Kafarakis, President of the Specialty Food Association, who will speak about “Trends and Growth Opportunities in the Specialty Food Industry.”
Cooperhouse indicated that “the global food industry is evolving and growing rapidly. Consumers are demanding more specialty, healthy, and sustainable food options, and corporate and venture investment in the food sector has become significant. Business incubation and acceleration programs are meeting the needs of our many food business entrepreneurs, and are growing dramatically in size and scope worldwide. Each of our programs is so different in terms of organizational infrastructure, clients served, services provided, geographic reach, areas of focus, etc., and we look forward to identifying opportunities in which our collective programs can further collaborate.”
Kirstie Chadwick, President and CEO of InBIA, added, “We are excited to support the business incubation and innovation leadership from our food and agricultural sector, with the specific resources that this fast-growing industry requires. FoodBIN is the first of our sector-specific programs we will be creating at InBIA to support the needs of our members, and we are very thankful to the Rutgers Food Innovation Center for partnering with us to make this initial program a success.”
The Platinum Event Sponsor at the FoodBIN conference is the Specialty Food Association (SFA), the world’s leading association representing the interests of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs, and the owner and producer of the Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows. Phil Kafarakis, president of SFA, said, “We are pleased to support these incubators as they assist and inspire food manufacturers to develop innovative products and bring them to market.”
The Transportation and Tour Sponsor at the FoodBIN conference is the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, which provides economic and project development services to companies looking to establish a presence in Cumberland County New Jersey. Other sponsorships of the FoodBIN conference are available, including opportunities to exhibit.
The Rutgers FIC is a globally recognized business incubation and economic development accelerator program of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers. Funding from USDA Rural Development to the Rutgers FIC provided seed capital that enabled FoodBIN to be launched.
InBIA is a global nonprofit that represents over 2,200 entrepreneurship support organizations in over 62 countries. It provides industry best practices through education while enabling collaboration, mentorship, peer-based learning and the sharing of innovative ideas for entrepreneurs across the globe.
The FoodBIN conference is targeted to food industry corporations and entrepreneurs seeking new models for innovation and access to some the world’s leading food incubators and accelerators; economic development organizations and government agencies looking to develop and enhance food entrepreneurship in their communities; and investors and service providers looking to access the high-performing clients from food incubation, acceleration, and entrepreneurship development programs worldwide.