Fellows Program

Supports food-focused entrepreneurs through the process of building an investible business model which includes a financing strategy unique to your business, to grow and scale.

This national program serves Food, Beverage, Technologies, Value-Added Agriculture, and Processing businesses.

What is the FFI Fellows Program?

In the FFI Fellows Program, you will work with a coach and peers in similar situations as yourself in what we call, cohorts. This program is FREE and open to any food-focused entrepreneur in the United States.

Each cohort cycle lasts 6 months, kicking off with FFI’s foundational focused Financial Management Boot Camp and ending with your investor pitch. During the program, your learning will be provided through regular virtual meetings with your cohort and 1-on-1 with your coach, on all key areas of your business:

  • Sales
  • Operations
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Food Safety
  • Marketing & Branding

The FFI Fellows Program is based on the FaBcap Accelerator Program which transitioned to FFI in 2020 and is now the FFI Fellows Program. The 50 Wisconsin-based food and beverage product, ingredient, and technology companies that went through the original Accelerator Program 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.

Over $800K
Grant Funding
Over $7M
Debt Funding
Over $9M
Equity Funding
Over $36M
Total Annual Sales

Program Overview

All Fellows receive free:

$10,000 in Benefits
As a Fellow, you receive access to over $10,000 in support, training, and services from FFI and our network!

Participant Commitment

– Owner participation in the FFI Fellows Program commitment schedule (see button below)
– 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

Participant Commitment Schedule

Program Eligibility

– 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
– Business in the United States

Selection Criteria

Applicants will be scored by an esteemed group of industry judges that will rank each business/product based on:
– Product or service scalability and extendibility
– Product and brand differentiation
– General business awareness, focus, and acumen of ownership
– Other cohort consideration

Apply for the Fellows Program

Applications open soon, to add your business to our interest list complete our contact form below.

Food & Beverage Brands

Are you a food or beverage business looking to build your brand and for new markets? We offer two cohorts with specific programming for food and beverage brands.
Apply Here

Supporting Technology, Value-Added Ag, & Processing

Not exactly a food or beverage brand? This is the application for you.
Apply Here

Not sure which cohort you fit into?

Brad Rostowfske, FFI Fellows Program Manager

Core FFI Fellows Program leadership and individual Fellows 1-on-1 coaching comes from Brad Rostowfske, with support from the FFI team and network of sponsors and partners.

Have questions? Want to get on the Fellows interest list?

Interested in applying for the Fellows Program, but the application period is closed? Complete our contact form below to add your business to our Fellows interest list! You’ll be notified once an application period opens. Additionally, you can use this form to address any questions you have about the Fellows Program, your business, or other programs the Food Finance Institute offers.


The Fellows program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

The Fellows Program is also supported by our Sponsors, learn more about them here!

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Email us or call 608-263-7794.