HUDSON VALLEY AGRIBUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES FARM AND FOOD BUSINESS ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
Applications Now Open for Exclusive Mentoring and Training Program to Cultivate Hudson Valley Food Entrepreneurs and Position Them for Growth
Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) has announced its inaugural Farm and Food Business Accelerator (FFBA) Program, an intensive training program designed to help farmers and food entrepreneurs develop the necessary skills and materials to scale their business, build sales, and access financial sources. The six month curriculum will begin in October 2016, and culminate with participants having the opportunity to pitch potential funders in spring 2017. Applications are now being accepted for this exclusive program at www.hvadc.org and will close August 15. Accepted applicants will be notified mid-September. Through a customized curriculum, FFBA participants will engage in a series of online training activities, expert instruction, one-on-one mentoring sessions, group interaction and industry networking events to learn how to talk to investors, discover new market opportunities, and pitch to potential funders. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with the growing network of New York City and Hudson Valley-based funders that are seeking to invest in ventures that support the local food system. Training and sessions will be conducted by HVADC, its industry partners, industry professionals, and institutional and retail stakeholders in the Hudson Valley food system. “The FFBA program is a wonderful opportunity for Hudson Valley farmers and food entrepreneurs who have ideas about how they would like to scale up their business, such as launching a new product, introducing a new crop, seasonally expanding production, or finding new distribution channels,” said Mary Ann Johnson, Projects Director, HVADC. “It’s basically a fast track program for those who need additional business, financial planning, management, marketing, and capacity building training . . . and most importantly, an opportunity to access to capital sources,” she continued. FFBA applicants must be a farm, food, fiber or agriculture-dependent business having their home office, farm or production facility in the Hudson Valley, and sourcing the majority of their product ingredients from the region, as well as the majority of their labor force. They must be able to make a commitment to the time and resources required of the training program and be able to commit the same to future FFBA participants as a peer or mentor. There is a nominal application fee of $15 for the FFBA program. Funding for FFBA was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 15LFPPNY0025 in addition to matching funds from HVADC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA. Additional details about the FFBA may be found at www.hvadc.org or by calling 518-432-5360 About HVADC: The Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) is the only economic development agency in the Hudson Valley with a specific focus on the viability of the agricultural economy in the region. HVADC’s charge is to enhance the agricultural sector in the Hudson Valley by assisting both new and existing agri-businesses, and supporting policies and regulations that recognize and support New York State’s agricultural economy.