New 1871 accelerator helps healthy-eating entrepreneurs move up the food chain

by Emerson Dameron
September 26, 2014

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“Chicago is a great, great food town,” said Howard Tullman, serial entrepreneur and CEO for the local startup hub 1871.

Seeing the city's thriving foodies, eateries, and distribution networks, 1871 joined forces with the Oak Park nonprofit FamilyFarmed.org to launch the Good Food Business Accelerator, or GFBA, a place for entrepreneurs to work, grow, and dedicate themselves to providing options for healthier diets.

“The Good Food Business Accelerator aligns perfectly with 1871’s mission to foster economic and job growth,” said Tullman. “FamilyFarmed.org already has had a major impact in this industry and will open up important new avenues at 1871 for businesses in the thriving Good Food sector.”

[ibimage==40816==Medium==none==self==ibimage_align-left]The GFBA will nurture new classes of food-tech firms, tech-savvy farmers and restauranteurs, artisan chefs, and many others. It has forged strategic partnerships with, among others, the leading distributor United Natural Foods, Inc., and the grocery-shopping giant Whole Foods. The food business remains as risky as the startup game in general, if not more so. But when Chicagoans are eating more mindfully and celebrating the chance to get healthy food from a vending machine, there are ample opportunities for the seizing.

“The Good Food Business Accelerator gets businesses ready for prime time, giving them the skills to raise funding to launch or scale up,” said Jim Slama, president of FamilyFarmed.org. “The GFBA has first-class partners that will support Fellows to be major players in a thriving Good Food Cluster.”

The GFBA is currently accepting applications for its first round of Fellowships. It will hold a launch event at 1871 on October 1st.

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