UHMC Offers Concept-to-Consumer Cohort Course
The Maui Food Innovation Center is bringing a Concept-to-Consumer Food Incubator Program to Maui’s growing food “startup” community. The eight-week course is dedicated to bringing local food concepts to the marketplace.
The Concept to Consumer Incubator Program (CCIP): Through this 8-week food-industry business incubation program, cohorts of up to 16 participants will be guided by Anthony LaBua-Keiser, local food manufacturing expert and owner of Maui Preserved, in researching and developing a legal food product ready for market testing as well as be led through the process to acquire a certified food business license. Participants will receive training in food safety, best manufacturing practices, commercial kitchen operations, selecting design & packaging options, review of labeling regulations, financial business planning, business growth, financial resources and access to the MFIC Certified Kitchen facility to test food products during the course & after completion.
At the end of the cohort course, participants will be given an opportunity to showcase their food product at a “Showcase Taste Event” judged by food manufacturing professionals. Throughout the program, participants will have interactions with an expanded network of senior-level food-industry experts from multi-national food corporations, university research centers, and online food communities, thus leading to potential partnerships and opportunities. After completion of the CCIP program, the alumni will be eligible to apply and enter the MFIX program as well as receiving free follow-up consultation at designated 6-month intervals to assess success and provide support to overcome challenges. Alumni will be supported in applying for showcase events, such as the Made in Maui Festival, Made in Hawaii Festival, and the Hospitality Industry Trade Shows.
The program will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 with enrollment being accepted now. Space is limited to 16 participants, at the cost of $349. They encourage those interested to apply before the October 5 deadline.
The Maui Food Innovation Center (MFIC) provides business and technological expertise to food and agricultural entrepreneurs throughout the State of Hawaiʻi. A program of University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, MFIC helps farmers and food manufacturers increase profitability through the development of new value-added food products, reduces our dependence on imports, and contributes to the sustainability of island-based agriculture. Based at UH Maui College, the Maui Food Industry X-celerator Program (MFIX) is part of the Maui Food Innovation Center. The Program was established as a winner of the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition.
In partnership with the County of Maui, community business leaders and food industry leaders, MFIX provides support to food businesses and entrepreneurs in the form of training, community resources, and access to a certified commercial kitchen. The program delivers an overview of business planning and marketing, good manufacturing practices, industry trends, packaging, and food industry requirements.
MFIX has seen graduates like Mitzi Toro, also known as The Maui Cookie Lady, who completed the first cohort course and was recently featured on Good Morning America for her start-up business story.