Plant-based meal delivery service unveils incubator program to scale start-ups
22 Nov 2019 --- Complete plant-based meal kit company, Purple Carrot, is forming its own incubator program designed to support plant-based start-ups. The Garden Incubator will be made available to select early-stage plant-based companies looking to scale. It will serve as an investor, an incubator and a launch pad which will provide a range of services confirming product-market fit and establishing confidence and awareness for future investment and growth.
Investment in start-ups is a burgeoning space, attracting large and established industry players. Incubator programs have seen a rise over the past year, in particular, fueled by heightened interest in disruptive ideas that benefit consumers in new ways and innovate exciting NPD.
In these programs, fledgling businesses gain valuable knowledge, expertise and funding from experienced stakeholders. Scalability, however, comes with its own set of challenges as companies seek to overcome growing pains.
Purple Carrot’s announcement comes amid a plant-based boom which will continue for years to come. Innova Market Insights tips “Plant-Based Revolution” as it’s number two trend for 2020. Data from the market researcher also highlights a 68 percent average annual growth in food and beverage launches with a “plant-based” claim (Global, CAGR 2014 to 2018).
"The plant-based space is in the midst of a powerful transformation with a range of early-stage brands that are struggling for investment dollars, product-market fit, and distribution. With The Garden our goal is to accelerate the positive trajectory of qualifying brands, improve their focus and enable rapid and improved distribution in the US and beyond," says Purple Carrot founder and CEO, Andy Levitt. "The de-risking of brands for future follow-on investment will be a key differentiator for this service."
In addition to supporting entrepreneurs with a variety of business services such as strategy, branding, marketing, e-commerce, operations, fulfillment, and data analytics, Purple Carrot will provide companies with up to US$250,000 in seed funding.
Unovis Partners, a venture capital firm in the plant-based space, will provide the funding to those companies meeting its mandate and criteria through its New Crop Capital fund and serve as the Founding Sponsor for The Garden.
"The Garden is a peerless concept that will serve entrepreneurs and investors equally well," adds Chris Kerr, Chief Investment Officer from Unovis Partners. "Early-stage companies can get support by industry veterans, along with rapid market validation to de-risk for future funding rounds. We're thrilled to be a part of this plant-based revolution with Purple Carrot."
Edited by Gaynor Selby
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