Through the innovative Real California Milk Excelerator program, the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and innovation advisory VentureFuel have remained committed to uncovering, funding, and accelerating growth for dairy-based producers across our industry. During the fifth annual Real California Milk Excelerator Final Pitch Event, startups Amazing Ice Cream, Arbo’s Cheese Dip, Petit Pot, and WonderCow each claimed an impressive victory.
“It was a close competition this year, with each cohort member bringing something interesting to the table. In the end, however, the four winners each had a solid product and a complete selling story that will connect with consumers,” said John Talbot, CMAB Chief Executive Officer. “California dairy families understand the value of innovation and invest in research and opportunities like the Excelerator competition to ensure a continued role for real milk and dairy in consumer’s evolving lives.”
According to a press release, the four cohort winners will each receive $30,000 in resources and funding to scale their products in California and will compete for an additional $100,000 in support based on continued performance over a period of one year.
During the competition, eight well-deserving finalists were selected from a field of dozens of qualified entries. Over 12 weeks, they had access to a group stipend and a robust network of resources to refine and scale their product and business and also participated in the CMAB/VentureFuel Mentorship Program.
The program consists of elite counsel from successful founders, investors, leading corporate executives, and experts across design, marketing, sales, manufacturing, distribution, farming, and processing industries.
"This year’s winners—featuring pastry chefs to veterans—showcase the bright future and dynamic impact of combining dairy with innovation,” said Fred Schonenberg, Chief Executive Officer of VentureFuel. "Each of the founders is dedicated to driving excitement and demand for Real California Dairy through their innovative products and we look forward to supporting their ongoing growth as they seize the opportunities created from the program.”
Cheers to Amazing Ice Cream, Arbo’s Cheese Dip, Petit Pot, and WonderCow on these exciting wins!