Food Incubation Summit Lands in Austin with a Focus on CPG Landscape

AUSTIN, TX - The Food Corridor is hosting the newly branded Food Incubation Summit on October 22-24th in Austin, Texas. Each year, the Food Incubation Summit explores a different city’s food system by learning directly from local food leaders who share their unique ecosystem’s strengths, challenges, and best practices. This year’s summit will explore the burgeoning Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) scene in Austin to learn how this city is uniquely positioned to support a new era of food entrepreneurs by focusing on infrastructure, investment, ecosystem services, business execution, and community.

Artisanal CPG food sales are on the rise as the sharing economy continues to surge. The economic potential for consumer packaged foods is substantial; however, success for artisanal companies can be difficult due to high production costs and a lack of scalable market access. Once a homegrown food startup outgrows their small test kitchen, where can they turn? Enter kitchens as a service (KAAS): licensed commercial spaces that provide shared pathways and incubation for food entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses, so small companies don’t need to invest in their own facility during a stage when capital and cash flow are tight. KAAS have been spreading rapidly around the country with new and innovative models to support food entrepreneurship, economic development, and increase local food security.

The Network for Incubator and Commissary Kitchens (NICK) is the largest network of KAAS in the world and is facilitated by The Food Corridor shared kitchen management software company. The NICK supports the local food industry through sharing data, best practices, and technical assistance to build and grow successful shared-use kitchen businesses. The only event of its kind, the NICK’s annual Food Incubation Summit in Austin is a 2-day event complete with education sessions, tours, and networking, culminating in a celebration of food, music, and all things food incubation.

The Food Incubation Summit is designed to support the KAAS community in order to enable efficiency, growth, and innovation in local food. The event is produced by The Food Corridor.

The Food Corridor Founder and CEO will deliver the morning keynote address on day 1, revealing the key findings of the new 2019 Shared Use Facility Survey. Econsult Solutions recently completed an update of the only survey in the United States for kitchen incubators (previously completed in 2013 and 2015) with collaborators, The Food Corridor, Urbane Development, and Catharine Street Consulting.

A morning panel will explore emerging incubation and acceleration programs with Rick Hall from Prepped (Arizona State University), Sarah Nathan from Chobani Incubator, Jillian Rago from Foodbytes! by Rabobank, and Tessa Price from WeWork Labs.

On day 2, attendees will embark on a food system bus tour to visit a few of Austin’s key food ecosystem leaders: Sustainable Food Center, The Incubaker, and ePac Flexible Packaging, and enjoy a local lunch at The Brewers Table.

The Food Incubation Summit will culminate at WeWork with an Austin CPG Showcase and celebration of all things food incubation. A panel of Austin’s leading food community influencers will shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the local food system. Panelists include Mason Arnold of Cece's Veggie Co., Genevieve Gilbreath of Springdale Ventures, Marissa Epstein of The University of Texas Nutrition Institute, and Bader Alam of CAVU Venture Partners.

Additionally, in partnership with the new Naturally Austin organization, 10 local emerging CPG brands will showcase their food to attendees while everyone enjoys local food from 3 Small Plates and Texas Swing Music from Big Cedar Fever.

The Food Corridor helps shared kitchens manage their time, space, equipment, and clients through software that was co-created with shared kitchens around North America. They also facilitate the Network for Incubator and Commissary Kitchens (NICK) community.

Food Incubation

October 23, 2019

Austin Chamber of Commerce
Name: Lindsey Richardson