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Real California Milk EXCELerator and New Incubator Boot Camp Launch Search for Performance and Recovery Innovation in Dairy

Real California Milk EXCELerator and New Incubator Boot Camp Launch Search for Performance and Recovery Innovation in Dairy


TRACY, CA
Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

A fierce champion of the industry, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) is committed to accelerating innovation for its partners. Most recently, the organization announced the return of its annual dairy innovation competition with a new name and increased focus on advancing excellence in functional dairy product development. The Real California Milk (RCM) Excelerator, in partnership with innovation consultancy VentureFuel, will award up to $650,000 in prizes for new dairy products that support performance and recovery benefits.

John Talbot, Chief Executive Officer, California Milk Advisory Board“Consumers are redefining what health and wellness means and looking for foods that provide not only flavor but functionality to help them achieve optimal health. Whether to maximize daily performance or replenishment after physical activity, dairy is the ultimate functional food supplying quality protein plus several vital nutrients that translate to the products consumers are looking for today,” said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB. “With the Excelerator and Incubator platforms, we will be able to support companies as they innovate with dairy to bring more of these products featuring milk from California dairy farmers to market.”

The 2021 Real California Milk Excelerator taps into the thriving functional foods market, which has grown significantly over the past year and is projected to reach over $275 billion globally by 2025, a press release said. With consumers prioritizing personal health and wellness in response to the pandemic, the competition will seek out early-stage startups that utilize two of California’s great resources: an abundant supply of sustainably sourced California milk and the state’s entrepreneurial spirit.

The California Milk Advisory Board recently announced the return of its annual dairy innovation competition with a new name and increased focus on advancing excellence in functional dairy product development

The competition seeks out early-stage potential for high-growth applicants with a cow’s milk-based product or working prototype that plays a critical role in personal performance (focus, energy, exercise, strength) and/or recovery (rejuvenation, relaxation, gut health, sleep).

Up to twelve applicants will be selected to join the RCM Excelerator program, with each receiving a $10,000 stipend and support to refine and scale their individual businesses as well as benefit from group resources including the development of sales and marketing tools. They will also be entered into the CMAB/VentureFuel Mentor Program which includes elite counsel from successful founders, investors, leading corporate executives, and experts across design, marketing, sales, manufacturing, distribution, farming, and processing industries.

Up to twelve applicants will be selected to join the RCM Excelerator program, with each receiving a $10,000 stipend and support to refine and scale their individual businesses

The first place Excelerator winner will receive up to $150,000 worth of additional marketing support from CMAB to accelerate their product growth in the marketplace. Second place will receive $100,000 of marketing support from CMAB. To further advance opportunities for finalists, a private, Buyer/Investor Day event will be hosted for finalists to pitch actual clients to drive business development and secure financing. The value of the competition awards is $650,000.

For the first time, CMAB and VentureFuel also will be awarding up to three companies entry into the new Real California Milk Incubator Boot Camp, an option for companies that have great ideas but are too early for the competition. Led by executives at CMAB, VentureFuel, and the California Dairy Innovation Center, Boot Camp participants also will gain entry into the VentureFuel Mentor program as well as review of products, tweaking of pitch, introductions to food labs, nutritionists, etc. (a value of $50,000).

Fred Schonenberg, Founder, VentureFuel“Excelsior is a Latin motto meaning ‘Ever upward!’ and after the tremendous success of our first two programs with CMAB, where we have provided mentorship and accelerated 24 dairy focused startups, we wanted to cement a name that showed our commitment to moving the industry ever upward, ever quickly. This is how we landed at the Excelerator,” said Fred Schonenberg, Founder of VentureFuel. “By adding the Incubator Bootcamp and Buyer/Investor Day, CMAB continues their commitment to creating a product innovation ecosystem to further increase the demand for California Dairy while supporting and accelerating the influx of new startups and entrepreneurs creating better-for- you products.”

Competition rules and application documents are available here, and the deadline for application is June 25, 2021.

Good luck to all of those who participate!

California Milk Advisory Board
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