Food Finance Institute at University of Wisconsin System to host popular FaBcap Accelerator and Scaler Series

MADISON – A popular program for Wisconsin food and beverage businesses has opened its 2020-21 application period with a shift in an ongoing collaboration.

The FaBcap Accelerator and Scaler Series will be hosted by the Food Finance Institute (FFI), which has provided programmatic support since the accelerator’s launch in 2015 by FaB Wisconsin, a statewide, cross-industry food and beverage organization. The Scaler Series was incorporated in 2017 to open the accelerator’s support programming to a larger audience of industry entrepreneurs.

“This is a ‘FaBulous’ example of a fruitful partnership,” said Shelley Jurewicz, Executive Director at FaB Wisconsin. “FFI’s national leadership in technical business assistance and industry connections will build the program’s benefits even further.”

The accelerator, made possible with financial support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has steadily grown its reputation and impact on the Wisconsin economy. The “cap” part of FaBcap reflects the goal of building companies’ capacity and capital.

As of June 25, 2020, the program has graduated four classes with 10 businesses. These 40 Wisconsin-based food and beverage product, ingredient and technology companies have attracted $682,176 in grant funding, $7,356,127 in debt funding and $8,712,112 in equity funding, with their annual sales totaling $29,684,566.

“In a time of heightened economic uncertainty, this collaboration and the resources it leverages will amplify the growth of our scaling food and beverage companies throughout Wisconsin,” said Tera Johnson, FFI Director and Founder.

FFI will continue to deliver the FaBcap Accelerator and Scaler Series in conjunction with FaB and with continued WEDC support while leveraging resources through the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship, FFI’s home.

“We are excited to continue our efforts supporting the growth of early-stage food and beverage manufacturers,” said Aaron Hagar, WEDC Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “The FaB team has built a great program, and this partnership with the UW System’s Food Finance Institute is the next phase of moving this important industry forward.”

Brad Rostowfske has joined FFI to continue his leadership of the program.

As FaB Wisconsin’s Director of Industry Growth, Rostowfske was responsible for building the accelerator and highly regarded scaler.

FaBcap 2017-18 graduate Sascha Dhanjal, owner of Saffi Foods of Madison, significantly benefited from the program and remains active with FFI. “The accountability is excellent,” Dhanjal said. “All of us entrepreneurs have this vision in our mind, but we struggle to stay focused and understand what we need to do to reach our goal. FaBcap provides the step-by-step guidance on how to get there, how to make our vision a reality.”

The application period for the 2020-21 accelerator runs July 15 to Aug. 14, 2020. To apply or learn more about the FFI FaBcap Accelerator and Scaler Series, go to or contact Brad Rostowfske, 262-689-1545 or .

About Food Finance Institute

The Food Finance Institute (FFI) leverages and supports a collaborative network of professionals focused on building and funding profitable businesses in the food, beverage and value-added agriculture sector. Through training, resources, tools and mentorship, FFI fulfills its mission of making sophisticated financial technical assistance available to growing enterprises. FFI is part of the University of Wisconsin System’s Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship. 

About FaB Wisconsin

FaB Wisconsin is a food and beverage cross-industry membership organization. FaB’s 250 member companies represent the industry: big, small, local and global employers from farm – factory – fork (including the dashes in between) clustered in Wisconsin with interwoven industry expertise, leadership and spirit that is the FaBric of Wisconsin’s food and beverage industry strength and the foundation to feed and quench the world. FaB Wisconsin was seeded by the MMAC and Milwaukee 7, starting in 2011, and the MMAC continues to provide FaB a home.

Food Finance Institute announces Sarah Larson as permanent director 

Sarah Larson, who has been serving as the interim director of the Food Finance Institute (FFI) since 2021, has been hired to serve as FFI’s Director as of June 18. In this role, Larson will continue to advance FFI’s mission to make sophisticated financial technical assistance available for every growing food, value-added agriculture and food systems enterprise.