FFI Fellows Program

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 Agriculture, 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-monthly (every other week) 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. 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.

FFI Fellows Program Overview

All Fellows receive:

As a Fellow, you receive access to over $10,000 in support, training, and services from FFI and our network! Check out the full program details here.

Apply for the Fellows Program

Food & Beverage

Are you a food or beverage business looking to build your brand and looking for new markets?
Apply Here

Value-Added Agriculture

Are you an agritourism farm or creating a value-added product? We have a cohort for you.
Apply Here

Processing & Technology

Are you a processing or an enabling operating technology enterprise that addresses processing, packaging, food safety, or operating issues?
Apply Here

Not sure where you fit? Read the more detailed cohort descriptions here.

Participant Commitment

  • Owner participation in the FFI Fellows Program commitment schedule – click for more information
  • 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

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

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

Meet the 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.

Thank you to our Vision Sponsors!

Learn more about all of our sponsors here!

The Fellows program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Email us or call 608-263-7794.