CONCEPT TO MARKET SPRINT
Your roadmap to a successful product launch.
Turn your recipe into a product that consumers will love.
The Concept to Market Sprint will help you fast-track your launch while avoiding costly mistakes and pitfalls. Before you go all-in, validate your idea, develop your product, and grow with our tools and resources.
Our program has supported the development of over 300 food products. Join the next wave of food innovators hitting store shelves.
Join The Next Sprint
Registration for the Winter 2024 Concept to Market Sprint is now open.
Check the FAQ section for more details.
What We Offer
Seven live interactive classes
One private coaching session
Weekly mini projects for easy learning
Exclusive resources and tools to help you grow
What You'll Learn
Product development, market research, and idea validation
Food industry regulations and certifications
Labelling, nutrition panels, and product claims
Food safety and shelf-life testing
Packaging, production scale-up, and traceability
Co-packers, price strategy, and retailer communications
Learn what you need to know to make your food product a success
Get to market faster while avoiding common mistakes and pitfalls
Gain access to our tools and resources to help you grow
What do I get from the accelerator program?Our program offers new insights and perspectives for your company to scale faster because you have the benefit of learning from people who have done it before. You will be able to engage in discussions with industry experts and entrepreneurs, virtual course sessions, mentors to guide you through the toughest business questions, and access to our community portal for life.
Where are you located?Venturepark Labs has two offices, located in Calgary and Toronto. The Accelerator program is offered via weekly live online Zoom sessions so that it is accessible for early-stage food companies regardless of their location.
What’s the time commitment?It’s an intensive 4 months, with two sessions per week on average and a one-on-one session with our executives in residence.
What companies do you look for?We accept applications from consumer-packaged good companies that have one or more products in the food and beverage and health and wellness space. We require demonstrated sales and will review the scalability of the company in their initial stages of growth. We are also committed to principles of equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression and strongly encourage members of Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities; people with disabilities; people identifying as LGBTQIA2S+; and women to apply.
When should I apply?We review applications year-round and acceptance is made on a rolling basis. Our accelerator program is delivered in fall and spring cohorts. After your application is submitted, our Program Manager will review your details as soon as possible and contact you if your company is deemed a suitable fit for the accelerator. Our goal is to notify the final group of companies that are accepted within 8-12 weeks of the cohort launch.
Does Venturepark Labs take equity?No, Venturepark Labs is a non-profit organization and we do not take equity from our cohort companies. We do charge a one-time membership fee at the start of the program, which will grant you access to virtual sessions, course material, one-on-one mentorship, and our community portal.
Will I gain listings at retailers?Through the accelerator program, we have a number of partner and sponsors that offer retail support to our companies. Our partnership with Sobeys allows our cohort to present their products to listing managers to gain success at the retail level. Sobeys will oftentimes carry products through their buy local program, provided that the product meets all of its criteria.
Am I automatically considered for investment from the Venture Capital fund during the program?Participants of the program are offered opportunities throughout the program to network with the Venture Capital Fund and will be able to pitch their products for investment. Accelerator companies are not guaranteed to receive investment, but we specialize in helping entrepreneurs to develop their strategy and growth plans for when they actively apply for investment.
How do I get funded after the accelerator program?Near the end of the four-month program, graduates of the accelerator program participate in Demo Day, where they pitch their product to Canada’s top industry leaders and investors. You will also receive support from our virtual community of entrepreneurial alumni who are there to connect with you and generate leads on investment. Now that we’ve prepared you for growth, it’s up to you to utilize those tools. But with our alumni community in your corner, you don’t have to do it alone!
Will I meet the alumni of past cohorts?Yes, you will be connected throughout the program to past alumni alongside your fellow cohort members. Once you graduate the program – you will be an alumni too! It is an expectation of the program that you add to its value post-program – pass on your knowledge and pay it forward! Your contributions help to strengthen our community and fosters a space for ongoing support.
What are the program expectations?The Venturepark Labs accelerator program is a major commitment, and we expect you to be active and engaged during the sessions and with our virtual community for the 4-month period. This means open and responsive communication with your Venturepark Labs network during and post-program. It is also our expectation that post-program you are a leader and representative for future cohorts who are looking for mentorship from alumni on our community portal.
Cathy Philipow, founder of Snackingtons:
"The Concept to Market Sprint program gave me the knowledge, encouragement and confidence to know that I was on the right track with my business. I am proud to say that we are now in the expansion phase of our business."
Head of Resource Development
Marlis has 20 years of food industry experience at the grocery retail and manufacturing levels, leading product development. As part of the Venturepark Labs team, she has guided many early-stage food companies through the Concept to Market Sprint and Food Incubator programs, which have been developed alongside our network of industry experts.