At the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, we understand the importance of investors in food startups. Our investor network is deep and we ensure that our clients have access to and are ready to pitch to investors. There are many ways in which our innovation center is engaging the investor community, although we do not provide funding for our clients:
Our major focus is our Business and Technical Mentoring Program. We help focus our clients on what makes their product truly differentiated so they can develop their unique selling position and investor pitch.
Moderating State, National and International Events
The FIC is often represented at numerous state, national and international events that are typically attended by the venture capital and corporate investment community. This brings awareness to the FIC, and that it is essentially a mechanism and catalyst for deal flow to the venture community. Examples of these events include the Seeds and Chips event in Milan, the FoodBIZ NJ event, and the Future Food Tech event in NYC.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs)
The Food Innovation Center has MOU's in place with multiple VC firms in other nations. A few examples of these include a MOU between Rutgers and First Athens in Greece, as well as with Food Lab Capital in Israel.
We've developed and implemented the first-ever acceleration program at Rutgers, called RutgersX. This program is to act as a vehicle for growing companies to pitch. Thanks to seed funding from the US SBA, the FIC was able to implement this in 2015. Now the Rutgers EcoComplex is launching something that follows a similar format.
The FIC has organized the first-ever global conference of food incubators, accelerators and shared-use kitchens, called FoodBIN. Follow the FoodBIN link for more information on the conference taking place on September 13th-14th. You can also register directly from here.