WEDC helps fund business accelerator for food, beverage cluster

FaB Wisconsin, which organizes a food and beverage cluster in the state, has received a $115,000 grant from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for a program that will help companies expand their production and market reach.

Organizers will begin accepting applications in late June for 10 spots in a yearlong program slated to begin in August, said Shelley Jurewicz, executive director of FaB Wisconsin. It is being called FaBcap, for building capacity and getting capitalized.

To participate in what Jurewicz calls a food finance accelerator, companies must be based in Wisconsin and generating revenue in food, beverage, ingredients, equipment manufacturing or related areas.

“We want folks that really have ambitions to grow a food company and have the products to do it as well,” Jurewicz said.

Participants will receive a financial coach, mentoring from industry executives and $10,000 and a chance to pitch to potential investors at a closing ceremony. FaB Wisconsin is searching for a director of innovation and finance to lead the new program and serve as the financial coach, Jurewicz said. That person will received training from the Food Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin Extension, she said.

FaB Wisconsin operates under the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

Journal Sentinel

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