Canadian dairy cooperative Agropur is launching Inno Accel, North America's first accelerator for dairy businesses. The first cohort of five young entrepreneurs from Canada and the US will be supported by entrepreneur-in-residence Patrick Gagné (CEO of the OSMO Foundation), chief ambassador Jérôme Ferrer (chef and co-owner of the Europea group), along with a network of mentors.
The five North American businesses selected for the first Inno Accel cohort are:
- U Main, a Montreal company that develops do-it-yourself artisanal cheesemaking kits;
- Sweetaly Dolceria, dessert makers who use basic ingredients and their Italian grandmother's traditional recipes;
- SaltiSweet Ice Cream Factory, which is rethinking ice cream novelties by replacing the stick with a biscuit, eliminating the unpleasant taste and environmental footprint of wood;
- Cheese Grotto, a collective that makes design-forward cheese storage devices for the home to preserve fine cheeses under ideal conditions;
- Peak Yogurt, cream lovers who make triple-cream, low-sugar yogurt that takes its cue from the ketogenic diet.
The group will spend four months at Inno Accel, each supported by two mentors – a successful entrepreneur and a member of the Agropur executive – and some 20 coaches with different areas of expertise (marketing, sales, R&D, etc.) who will provide guidance and help the enterprises develop in an environment that resembles real-life conditions in the business world and the food industry.
The successful entrepreneurs are:
- David Côté, co-founder, LOOP
- Daniel Drouet, chief operating officer, Soko
- Alex Mensi, co-founder, Mango
- Nectarios Economakis, founding partner, PNR
- Marie-Ève Prévost, co-founder, MissFresh
Inno Accel is an offshoot of Agropur’s Inno Agropur innovation program, launched in 2016.