Zoe Feldman the new head of the Chobani Incubator program, has 3 passions: Diversity, Food and inclusion. This program works with initial phase of food startups and helps them build business by giving them an initial grant of USD 25,000. It further gives opportunities to work along with some of the upcoming food giants.
The team of incubators announced that mostly companies with leaders who are women are not represented properly in the food space. Across the latest incubator class, 75% are minority founder and 63% have female co-founders. Incubator class this season has have some big names The Meat Hook, Afia Foods, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co, Thaifusions, Edesia Nutrition / MeWe, and Seal the Seasons.
It was the idea of Fledman to differentiate the various incubator class in ways, which was not difficult. Among all the participants 57% have female founders and co-founders and 41% had minorities as co-founders. Feldman has experience of working with the CPG industry, with brand names like PepsiCo, Cleveland Avenue and Almanac Investments. Her experience has helped her in understanding the statistics. In a statement Pitchbook mentioned that companies that have female founders get only 2% of venture capital funds.
While a major portion of this difficulty is very less number of female representations and even lesser number of minorities within numerous funders. Another part that contributes is the lack of awareness of communicating with funders. Fledmen mentioned that she plan to help these people by coaching them through common issues and providing valuable feedback. Along with this she also hopes to share the guideline of working of CPG industries.
The latest group of startups that are employed with the Greek yogurt giant, 75% have lessened minority founder and 63% have a female founder. Zoe mentioned that she never felt challenged due to her background but did face issues related to funding during the initial phase of her career. Being a woman was what worked against her, comments like that she is too young for heading a company were passed on.
CEO of Mason Dixie Biscuit, Ayeshah Abuelhiga mentioned that she’s happy and eager for the chance to work along with Chobani Incubator. Her company that is established in Washington, creates frozen biscuits. The products are retailed in almost 2,600 grocery stores, and has observed almost 171% growth.
Abuelhiga said what she is happy for is get-together Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya. An immigrant from Turkey started the company in the year of 2005. She started the business with a small Business Administration loan. Along with this a lot of advice came into to help her that transformed the entire industry. Currently, Chobani leads the USD 9 billion yogurt industry and is often considered to be a trendsetter among other companies.