Increasingly there is a push in India to support entrepreneurship and the younger population is being encouraged to start a business rather than depend on a salary. In 2019 Indian start-ups raised $4 billion in venture capital. As interest in seeking venture funds rise, so will the concept of incubators and accelerators – for supporting the early-stage start-ups.
We, at Zizira, want to ponder over what it will take to start a food incubator to foster business ideas in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Why are we interested?
Well, Zizira is a food start-up too but it was not funded by any venture fund. It was a spinoff of Chillibreeze, a successful digital services company in the Northeast region of India, serving customers from around the world. The inbuilt DNA of Chillibreeze and Zizira is to unleash the unrealized potential of the people, including farmers, and of the land of the northeast region of India.
Zizira operates from Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya in the Northeast part of India – a region known for its verdant landscape, natural springs that irrigate fields, and unique herbs and spices. We partner with trustworthy farmers to create unique products for discerning Indian customers who appreciate quality, ethically sourced, ingredients. We are on a Journey to release the farming potential of Meghalaya and its farmers.
Read our story – how our conscious business is making a difference to the community of farmers of our state Meghalaya.
Having gained some experience in the food sector and having seen the potential of the land of this region, we are trying to understand the concept of food business incubators. Maybe that will further help the farmers. This post is a ‘loud thinking’ session by Zizira.
There are some interesting YouTube stories of old warehouse buildings being converted to food incubators. They rent space to entrepreneurs and let them share a kitchen. Then they provide the advice and networking needed to help get a food business off the ground. This idea is exciting.
Maybe we can do something like this in Shillong, India! Such a food business incubator can launch many ventures that will eventually benefit the local farmers.
The idea comes from the Good Food Business Accelerator in Chicago. The focus of this accelerating is to mentor the entrepreneur. One of the participants told a representative of Zizira that it was like getting an MBA. The below is from their website: The Good Food Business Accelerator in Chicago gets farm and food businesses ready for prime time, giving them the skills to launch or scale up. Fellows are paired with industry-leading mentors and are connected to potential customers and investors.
"You need to be able to make great food — that's a given," says Cullen Gilchrist, co-founder of food incubator Union Kitchen in Washington, D.C. (Source)
A business accelerator like this could be a big boost in Northeast India. It will engender business ideas in Shillong. We welcome partnership or any ideas on how to move this forward.
"I believe that one day others will see that a healthy company is a gift to a community" - this is Chillibreeze motto