The Need

Local and organic food is a fast-growing multi-billion dollar industry, and the market for Good Food is expanding rapidly. To take full advantage, food entrepreneurs and farmers need help developing skills and access to resources that foster the success of their enterprises.

The Goal

The Good Food Accelerator provides selected Fellows with mentoring, strategic support, and access to capital to launch and expand profitable Good Food businesses. With access to FamilyFarmed’s network and resources, Fellows further develop their knowledge and skills in marketing, operations, financing, and strategy in order to thrive commercially and have a powerful ripple effect on the local economy.

The Impact

As the fastest growing segment in the food industry, Good Food is a good investment! Successful farm and food businesses have the potential to be profitable investment opportunities while sustaining livelihoods, re-circulating dollars locally, creating jobs and fostering new start-up businesses. Regional Good Food clusters can stimulate overall economic growth and revitalization in underserved rural and urban communities.

Accelerator Fellowship

Program at a Glance



PROGRAM Curriculum

  • Intensive core and customized curriculums deliver a sound business plan, polished investor pitch, and solid grounding in business best practices
  • Free work space at 1871, the hub of Chicago’s entrepreneurship and business innovation
  • A financing plan and connections to public and private sources of capital including angel investors, Farm Credit, the Small Business Administration, banks, and many more
  • A market development plan and introductions to large scale customers



  • Fellows receive high-level, one-on-one mentoring throughout the program
  • Robust mentor network delivers real-world advice, valuable introductions, and targeted referrals
  • Super-Mentors — leaders from top-tier food and finance businesses — provide one-on-one mentoring
  • Peer-to-peer learning with other Fellows and as part of the 1871 community



  • Network with leading regional trade buyers including Whole Foods Market, UNFI, Chipotle Mexican Grill, KeHE, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Chicago Public Schools, Lettuce Entertain You, Sysco, Aramark, Compass Group
  • Pitch at FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference where businesses have raised more than $36 million
  • Connect with more than 5,000 trade buyers, investors, NGOs, policy makers and consumers at the Good Food Festival & Conference, the premier Midwest local and sustainable food trade show, financing conference, policy summit, and food festival.