The FFI Fellows Program is designed to build investible business models supported by a comprehensive plan that includes a financing strategy you need to grow. This national program serves Food/Beverage, Value-Added Farm, and Processing/Supporting Technology businesses.
What is the FFI Fellows Program?
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely and isolating journey… This program pairs entrepreneurs with an industry-expert coach that works with you through all key areas of your business: sales, operations, accounting, finance, food safety, and marketing plus branding. In addition, it leverages peer learning through facilitated bi-weekly peer learning groups. Each cohort cycle lasts 6 to 8 months, kicking off with our foundational Financial Management Boot Camp and ending with your investor pitch. The FFI Fellows Program is based on the FaBcap Accelerator Program which transitioned to FFI in 2020 and is now the FFI Fellows Program.
FFI Fellows Program Overview
All Fellows receive:
- Financial Management Boot Camp
- 1-on-1 Coaching
- Full access to Edible Alpha Learning Center offerings, including:
- Expert Industry Connections and Introductions
- Bi-monthly Fellows Only Cohort Meetings with Training on:
- Accounting, Sales Management, eCommerce, Branding & Marketing
- Operations Development, Process & Supply Chain Optimization
- Food Safety, Quality & GFSI, Legal/Risk Management
- Financial Planning, Raising Equity, Sources & Uses of Capital
- Investor Pitch Presentations
- Fellows Alumni meetings: Including new Fellows in and outside of WI
- FFI Broader Network access: investors, UW and UW-System IBE
- Exclusive access to FFI Partners Products & Services
As a Fellow, you receive access to over $10,000 in support, training, and services from FFI and our network!
Apply for the Fellows Program
- Owner participation in the FFI Fellows Program commitment schedule – details coming soon!
- Reporting to the Food Finance Institute with your revenue, sales, and employment count for three years
- On-going participation in FFI Fellows Program related activity as requested and available
- Must have demonstrated success in sales with a growth focus
- Must have an actual website beyond a Facebook page
- Must be operating in the food space, read about our cohort groups here
- Apply to the cohort that feels best to you, if accepted, we will ensure you’re placed into the correct cohort
- Applicants will be scored by an esteemed group of industry judges that will rank each company/product based on:
- Product or service scalability and extendibility
- Product and brand differentiation
- General business awareness, focus, and acumen of ownership
- Other cohort consideration
Meet Our Coaches
Core FFI Fellows Program leadership includes Brad Rostowfske and Andy Larson. Additional subject matter experts provide training and coaching throughout the targeted topic-focused cohort meetings. Learn more about our team!
Have questions? Reach out to FFI Fellows Program Manager, Brad Rostowfske.
The Fellows program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Email us or call 608-263-7794.