New business accelerator program will be FaB

FaB (Food and Beverage) Wisconsin has worked in collaboration with the Food Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin Extension and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to create FaBcap, an accelerator grant program.

FaB, working with its 135 member companies in collaboration with the Institute, had identified a need in the burgeoning food and beverage manufacturing space for those companies ready to scale-up and increase production to expand their market reach and potential.   

The selected businesses must be Wisconsin-based and generating revenue in food, beverage, ingredients, equipment manufacturing or technologies to participate in the one-year program, which provides: a Certified Financial Coach, access to FaB Member Mentors; monthly cohort meetings at area food companies — all culminating in a $10,000 FaBcap Cash Award; and a pitch to investors/funders in the program’s closing ceremony.  

The WEDC is supporting the program with a $115,000 grant through its Seed Accelerator Program, with additional support coming from Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Milwaukee 7 and corporate sponsors, including Chortek LLP and Reinhardt Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

“FaBcap is designed to build the capacity and capitalization of 10 pre-screened and scaling food or beverage business through a one-year program on how to grow and fund a sustainable food or beverage enterprise,” said Shelley Jurewicz, executive director of FaB Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin is home to more than 1,000 food, beverage and ingredient manufacturers. Nearly two-thirds have fewer than 10 employees. We have a great opportunity to grow these companies and innovate the industry with the support being offered through FaBcap,” said Reed Hall, secretary and chief executive officer of the WEDC. “Supporting those with ambitions to grow and helping them succeed will strengthen our industry’s innovative core.”

“We’ve learned that food businesses make money, and don’t, in predictable ways. Those that succeed use the right kind of financing at the right time as their business evolves,” said Tera Johnson, founding director of the UW Extension Food Finance Institute.

FaB plans to announce the call for accelerator program applicants in late June, and will select the final 10 in July, with the program slated to kick off in late August. Interested applicants can visit

FaB Wisconsin is a statewide cluster network supporting food and beverage industry growth and awareness.

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