Blu1877, Barilla’s Venture Group, Launches Good Food Makers Global Accelerator

The Italian Food Company Seeks to Collaborate With Start-Ups on Addressing Sustainability, Technology and Consumer Challenges

BLU1877Barilla’s Venture Group, announced its call for start-ups to participate in the fourth Good Food Makers global accelerator. The program, which launched in 2018 in collaboration with KitchenTown, a San Francisco-based incubator, selects a small group of young companies from around the world to work directly with Barilla teams in developing and implementing innovative business solutions. For this cohort, the global pasta leader has identified four specific challenges that reflect the trends, technologies, consumer behaviors and values that will shape the future of the food system:

  • Circular Economy: solutions to upcycle three specific side streams — pasta regrind, wheat bran, and bread crust — in order to create a healthy, safe, and nutritious circular food system.
  • Better Food Delivery: creative solutions in preparation, delivery logistics, automation, packaging, recipe development, and more to deliver high-quality meal experiences – in particular for pasta – through new restaurant and delivery channels.
  • Digital Nutrition Guides: digital platforms to co-develop transparent, honest and accurate guides for nutrition, well-being, sustainability, or even just what to put in your shopping cart.
  • Easy Meal Routines: better-for-you meal services, kits, or products to meet busy eaters where they are without sacrificing on nutrition or sustainability.

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SF New Deal is Distributing $1,000,000 to Small Businesses For Debt Relief

Small business debt is rising even as reopening expands. SF New Deal expands its outreach and launches debt relief program to provide $2500 grants to 400 San Francisco businesses.

SF New Deal is launching a micro-grant program to distribute $1,000,000 to small businesses in San Francisco, many of whom are struggling with debt even as post-covid reopening expands. In order to support small businesses and strengthen local communities, SF New Deal is providing grants of $2,500 to 400 small businesses.

A March 2021 SF New Deal survey of San Francisco restaurants found that the number of restaurants facing debt, as well as the amount of debt, has increased significantly. 60% of restaurants are currently in debt, compared to 34% in March 2020, the start of the first shelter-in-place order. On average, debt nearly doubled, increasing from $62,000 to $114,000.

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Uncle Nearest Announces $50 Million Venture Fund To Invest In Minority-Founded And Owned Spirit Brands

Fawn Weaver, founder of Uncle Nearest

Launch of Fund Coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Destruction of Black Wall Street

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the fastest-growing American whiskey brand in U.S. history and the most-awarded Bourbon of 2019 and 2020 worldwide, announced the formation of the Uncle Nearest Venture Fund. The $50 million fund was created specifically to invest in rapidly growing, minority-founded and owned spirit brands. According to Fawn Weaver, Uncle Nearest founder and CEO, it’s by design that the timing of the announcement comes on the 100th anniversary of the destruction of Black Wall Street.

“On June 1, 1921, an entire community of wealthy and successful African Americans was wiped out in a matter of hours. We are talking about 35 square blocks known as Black Wall Street,” said Weaver. “As an African American, learning about that history broke my heart because we, as a people, were really onto something in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were lifting one another up and creating wealth within our own community, and then showing others how to do it for themselves. We cannot go back and undo the past, but I do believe we have full power over our future, and that recreating a Black Wall Street of sorts within the spirits industry is a great place to start.”

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Posted in Beverage (Wine, Beer, Spirits) - Industry Trends and News, Entrepreneurship and Mentorship, Small Business Funding - News and Opportunities | Leave a comment

Diversity and Inclusion Event Grants Program Returns After COVID-19 Hiatus

The Brewers Association opens in new window (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers—has reinstated its grant program that funds local and regional events that thoughtfully and intentionally foster a more diverse and inclusive craft beer community.

The Diversity and Inclusion Event Grants program returns with an abbreviated 2021 grant cycle that runs from May through the end of 2021. Funding priorities are for events that work to create a more inclusive and diverse craft brewing community for brewers, industry partners, and beer lovers everywhere. In addition to the shorter grant cycle, the Brewers Association has implemented a major change to the proposal process: grant proposals will be accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis through November 1, 2021. Continue reading

Posted in Beverage (Wine, Beer, Spirits) - Industry Trends and News, Education Scholarships (Food, Drink Travel), Small Business Funding - News and Opportunities | Tagged | Leave a comment

Crate & Barrel and CB2 Trade Program Launches ‘Taking Care of Business’ to Help Deserving Small Businesses Welcome Customers Back in Style


In partnership with notable interior designers Michel Smith Boyd, Kara Mann and Ross Cassidy, Crate & Barrel and CB2 will invest more than $100,000 in three local businesses impacted by COVID-19

In March, Crate & Barrel Holdings successfully launched its new Trade Program, delivering a superior level of service to designers and businesses with exclusive benefits. Following a challenging year for the restaurant and hospitality industries, Crate & Barrel and CB2 will take their commitment to design to the next level by investing in the “Taking Care of Business” contest. Crate & Barrel and CB2 are looking for small businesses in the hospitality industry that were impacted by COVID-19 for a chance to win a complete design refresh for brighter days ahead.

Crate and Barrel and CB2 will partner with renowned interior designers and friends of the brands to work with small businesses to create inspiring and impactful designs. Atlanta-based interior designer Michel Smith Boyd will lead the design for Crate & Barrel and Kara Mann and Ross Cassidy are confirmed for CB2.

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