Food In Canada

District Ventures assumes operations of Food Starter

November 4, 2019   Food in Canada

District Ventures is Canada’s leading ecosystem that focuses on bringing capital, marketing, programming and commercialization to companies in the food, beverage and health CPG industries. (CNW Group/District Ventures)

District Ventures announced they have assumed the ownership and operation of Food Starter, Toronto’s leading food start-up incubator and accelerator.

The space has been renamed “District Ventures Kitchen” and will act as another commercialization component of the District Ventures ecosystem – offering startup and early stage food companies access to a commercial kitchen and programming to help them scale.

“When District Ventures was founded in 2015, it was in direct response to the lack of resources available to early stage companies in the food, beverage and health space,” said Arlene Dickinson, CEO of District Ventures. “Since then, we have made great strides supporting over 260 companies and helping create close to 1,000 jobs. With the launch of District Ventures Kitchen, we are adding to our commitment to support the industry and offering companies both inside and outside of our network access to a scarce resource in Toronto, commercial kitchens.”

Established in 2015, Food Starter operated as an incubator for startup food businesses. The facility offers 20,000 square feet of shared-use, food safe production, complete with manufacturing equipment including commercial bakery production spaces, hot and cold fill lines, and a full suite of packaging equipment. In early 2019, The Greenbelt Fund and the City of Toronto made investments in Food Starter to ensure the ongoing success of the incubator, while it sought new management. After negotiations with the Food Starter board, District Ventures took over the space to ensure that the needs of clients would continue to be met. Private sector support from Sobeys, and educational food and support services provider, Chartwells Canada, will assist the Kitchen with ongoing growth and programming.

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In addition to offering companies the ability to book a time to utilize one of the four fully equipped commercial kitchens, District Ventures Kitchen is offering programming that will help startup food companies scale including Commercial Kitchen 101 and Start-up Boot Camp.


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