Tasty Futures For Local Foodpreneurs

More than 100 local entrepreneurs converged at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast for the GrowCoastal 2019 Accelerator launch where they celebrated the announcement of thirteen of the most innovative local food and beverage businesses selected for this years’ program.

After extensive interest in the program, 20 businesses were shortlisted based on innovation, product viability, growth potential and entrepreneurial tenacity. Competing for just 13 final places, applicants participated in a one day bootcamp and product showcasing event on 5 February 2019.

A big congratulations to the following businesses who have been chosen for entry into the 2019 Grow Coastal Food Innovation Accelerator Program:

Dancing Bean Enterprises – innovative alcohol-infused coffee beans and coffee products.

Earth2Plate – Convenient Paleo, Vegan, Allergen free bread and pasta options, including Pizza, Tortilla, Gnocchi, and Naan bases.

Electropops – Healthy natural fruit ice blocks, full of electrolytes and made with real fruit juice.

Falafel Baraka – Traditional Middle Eastern food, including falafels, dips and sweets. Fresh, healthy and delicious, all vegan and some gluten free.

Gourmet Fudge – Smooth creamy fudge in a range of decadent flavours.

Handcut Deli – Handmade organic gnocchi.

Hum Honey – Pure, raw, cold extracted honey sustainably harvested using organic beekeeping methods – Original Hum Honey, Hum Honeycomb and multi-award winning Cold Fusion cold infused honey.

Little White Goat Cheese – Lovingly hand crafted, fresh and seasonal Goat, Buffalo, Camel and Cow Cheese.

Piggy in the Middle – Lamb, pork, poultry and eggs ethically farmed and unique products including Bacon Salt and Bacon Butter.

Pomodoras Fine Foods – Balsamic Dressings, just not for salads. Made with natural preservatives and no artificial colours or flavours.

Pure Mill Chocolate – Dark, organic, high quality chocolate in unique flavours, made using ethically sourced, organic cacao beans.

The Fermentier – Handcrafted, gourmet, traditionally fermented food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tielka Tea – Multi-Award Winning Specialty Fairtrade Organic Tea.

The program designed by the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and delivered in partnership with the Food & Agribusiness Network (FAN) commences on 5th March. With funding from Advance Queensland, the 13 businesses will access over $8,000 in value via the 12 week accelerator program, designed specifically for producers looking to scale fast, bring their vision to life and deliver new food and beverage innovations to the world.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said the Growcoastal program is a great platform for Sunshine Coast businesses.

“The Sunshine Coast is well known for food and agriculture, with the industry valued at over of $700 million. We’re proud to continue to support local businesses, providing connections and access to programs like Growcoastal. It’s these type of programs that is fuelling the collaborative regional ecosystem of foodpreneurs, cultivating progressive business growth, exports and high value employment on the Sunshine Coast.

“Congratulations to the businesses selected, the Sunshine Coast community is backing you 100%!

Innovation Centre CEO Mark Paddenburg said “Now in its’ third year, the GrowCoastal program has demonstrated growth opportunities for its members with 24 new staff employed and an aggregated increase in revenue of 82%. These are just the metrics – the founders and their stories are even more exciting.” he said.

2018 Grow Coastal graduate – Ann Ross, Founder of Hive Haven said “The program really accelerated our business and we’re much more confident and readier to scale, and we’ve got our business model in check. It helped us identify our target markets, develop suitable packaging, logistics, legal practicalities of labelling and compliance and marketing strategy.”

The 2019 Grow Coastal participants will learn from industry experts and mentors covering topics like: lean startup, market research, customer engagement, business planning, financial management, public relations and marketing, legal and intellectual property, distribution and fulfilment, exporting, pitching and securing early stage capital.

“Additional events and networking opportunities are regularly provided to the GrowCoastal participants, like FAN’s Meet the Maker event on 11th March, which all provide significant exposure and generate new sales leads”, said Program Manager, Jacqui Price.

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