Wisconsin’s FaBcap Accelerator program has expanded nationally and is now serving six times as many businesses across the U.S.
Instead of serving the usual group of 10 businesses, FaBcap will now assist 60 businesses in the food and beverage industries. Four cohorts of 15 will be grouped by specialty: two for food/beverage businesses, one for value-added agriculture, and one for processing/supporting technology businesses. The FaBcap Accelerator is offered in collaboration with the Food Finance Institute (FFI) and financed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC).
“Through our new model, in one year, we will touch more businesses than in the last five years combined,” said Sarah Larson, interim FFI director. “That means more businesses primed to excel, raise money and contribute to their local economies and communities. That’s a testament to the expertise and training we have built at FFI over the last eight years.”
The FaBcap program is intended to assist food and beverage companies with building “capacity and capitalization” by providing one-on-one financial coaching, access to investors, and group meetings and seminars. Past participants include MobCraft Beer, City Lights Brewing Co., Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Milwaukee Pretzel Company, Forage Kombucha, Agricycle and more. FaBcap launched their first cohort back in 2015.
The first of the four cohorts in the newly expanded program kicked off this month. The businesses include The Pink Bakery of Milwaukee; Pete’s Pops of Milwaukee; Crumbles Confectionary of Milwaukee; Aunt Ethel’s Pot Pies of Brooklyn, New York; Banzo of Madison; Bonnie’s Balls, LLC of Madison; DARI LLC, dba MOO’V of Clinton, Wisconsin; Doudlah Farms Organic of Evansville, Wisconsin; Drinkin’ Buds of Sheboygan; Greek Treasures LLC dba Helios Kitchens of Williams Bay, Wisconsin; Keene Garlic of Madison; Kul Beverages, LLC dba KUL MOCKS of River Falls, Wisconsin; Mama Bev’s Bakery, LLC of Hales Corner, Wisconsin; Oaterra of Larkspur, California; and SAE Unlimited, LLC of Burlington, Wisconsin.
As of June 2021, the FaBcap Accelerator program graduated five classes of 10 businesses annually. These 50 Wisconsin-based food and beverage product, ingredient and technology companies have attracted $864,250 in grant funding; $7,579,781 in debt funding; and $9,935,024 in equity funding, with their annual sales totaling $36,772,563.
“The food and beverage industry continues to be primed for growth – really, it’s the trend of the trends. The impact I’ve seen on Wisconsin food businesses has been astounding,” said Brad Rostowfske, program manager.
The accelerator program starts with a modified version of FFI’s foundational financial management boot camp. Then it transitions to weekly programming, which includes coaching calls and cohort meetings