WCMA - World Championship Cheese Contest 2023
Simple done right
California Milk Advisory Board and VentureFuel Announce Open Innovation Competition Finalists; John Talbot and Fred Schonenberg Share

California Milk Advisory Board and VentureFuel Announce Open Innovation Competition Finalists; John Talbot and Fred Schonenberg Share

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

As a lover of all things dairy and a trade news writer, innovation in the category always sparks my excitement as it does with other consumers. That is why the California Milk Advisory Board's (CMAB) recent announcement of the eight finalists in its 4th annual Real California Milk Excelerator, in partnership with VentureFuel, fueled my anticipation for innovative offerings coming down the pipeline.

John Talbot, Chief Executive Officer, California Milk Advisory Board"We launched the Excelerator to foster a culture of innovation in support of California dairy and this year's contestants certainly delivered on our high expectations. Our 'Open Innovation' finalists' focus on themes important to the next generation of consumers: sustainable sourcing and use of upcycled materials; clean labels and benefits from convenience to function; and global flavors and ingredients," said John Talbot, Chief Executive Officer of the CMAB. "It's exciting to take the next step with each of these candidates in preparation for the final pitch event."

The program focuses on identifying, curating, and accelerating dairy-based products, including traditional consumer food and beverage items, textiles, and more, according to a release. In the end, the competition will award up to $500,000 in prizes for startups that introduce unique benefits while increasing use of California milk and dairy in formulations.

CMAB and VentureFuel recently announced the eight finalists for this year's Real California Milk Excelerator competition

This year's eight finalists are:

  • Dosa by DOSA (Chico, CA) – Indian yogurt Lassi drinks
  • Board at Home (Chico, CA) – E-commerce company, offering an experience of artisanal crafted cheeses and products shipped directly to consumers' homes
  • Goon with the Spoon (Danville, CA) – Specialty super-premium ice cream from hip-hop artist, entrepreneur, and Chef Earl "E-40" Stevens
  • Mi Terro (City of Industry, CA) – A first-of-its-kind, venture-backed synthetic biology and advanced material company that engineers biomass waste into compostable biomaterials to end microplastic
  • Neutral Foods (Gustine, CA) – Organic Half and Half product that has a carbon-neutral footprint
  • Pariva (Boston, MA) – Spreadable marinated yogurt bites
  • Tres Lecheria (La Habra, CA) – Traditional and flavored Tres Leches cakes
  • Wheyward Spirit (Sonoma, CA) – A clear, specialty spirit upcycled and distilled from whey

Fred Schonenberg, Founder, VentureFuel"This VentureFuel innovation program for CMAB was designed to uncover the many uses of dairy," said Fred Schonenberg, Founder and CEO of VentureFuel. "Our curation of new startup solutions, especially the finalists, demonstrates the many ways dairy can innovate to connect with the next generation of consumers, showcasing sustainable options, creative packaging, new markets, and direct-to-consumer approaches."

Finalists will participate in a pitch event Wednesday, November 2, in San Carlos, California, where all eight companies will present before a live audience and panel of industry expert judges.

To learn more about the competition, click here.

As innovations continue to pop up across the dairy sector, Deli Market News will keep you in the loop.

California Milk Advisory BoardVentureFuel

WCMA - World Championship Cheese Contest 2023Simple done right

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