Have you ever wondered what actually goes on during an incubator’s startup programme? If you haven’t been part of one before, it can be a bit mysterious. Depending on the incubator that you choose and its focus, the content on offer varies.
The programme at the ProVeg Incubator is 12 weeks long and runs twice a year. We offer a range of benefits, which you can check out here, but in this post we will focus exclusively on the programme.
The first thing that we want to tell you is that our programme is expert-led. As well as our in-house team, we work with an extensive network of mentors, partners, investors, and industry specialists in order to provide the best possible training and advice in the areas a young company needs the most support with.
Second, we only take on top performers from the fields of plant-based, fermented, and cultured nutrition. That means that you can expect the content of our programme and the experts we work with to be highly specialised in these areas.
Finally, we aim to strike a balance between training sessions (usually 3-4 per week) and giving you time to actually work on your startup. Here is what a typical week might look like at the ProVeg Incubator…:
Workshop and one-on-ones: Kicking off the week, we organise interactive workshops on a range of topics, for example, building a robust financial model, go-to-market strategies, online marketing, brand building, and food law. After the general session, you’ll have a one-on-one with the workshop leader so that you can apply what you have learned and ask questions that are directly relevant to your own company.
Fireside chat: In order to learn from the pros, we bring in a range of guests for informal chats with our founders – including experts from our pool of mentors and our alumni community. During the latest edition of our programme, Ryan Bethencourt, Co-founder of Wild Earth and IndieBio, spoke to our startups about building a successful business. David Benzaquen, meanwhile, shared his expertise on positioning, while Jody Puglisi, former Lead Scientific Advisor to Beyond Meat, taught our founders about product development, scaling, and marketing.
Pitch training: This one is a biggie. As well as training you to deliver a solid pitch, we’ll also work with you to design and fill your pitch deck and coach you for the Q+A portion of the pitch too.
Startup check-ins: Typically, our team will have a catch-up session with you every two weeks, but you can have them more often if desired. In these sessions, we work through challenges with you, give feedback and advice, and organise the mentor or investor introductions you need. All of this helps to keep you on track and pushes you to hit your goals.
Industry roundtable: In these sessions, we bring together groups of professionals from different sectors, such as investment and retail. During previous retail roundtables we have had guests joining us from, for example, Aldi, Edeka, Rewe, and Alnatura. This setup is the perfect opportunity to learn what retailers are looking for, to get feedback on your own products, and, of course, to make those all-important connections.
On Thursdays we also hold our Incu open-office hours. This is the time that our in-house team sets aside to help you tackle any challenges that you’re facing. These sessions are optional. If you need us, we’re here for you.
Founder Friday: For founders, from founders, these biweekly sessions are about sharing skills and knowledge with your startup community. If you have expertise in a particular area, share it with your fellow founders and they’ll return the favour. In the past, we’ve hosted sessions on pitching to retailers, mindful working, content marketing, sustainable packaging, and customer-service hacks.
Saturday and Sunday
These days are just for you. You can work on your startup if you wish, but we won’t force you to ????
In the years before COVID, we used to host optional social events in the evenings, too. Due to the ongoing pandemic and the fact that our programme is running online, this is not currently possible.
We hope to bring this element back in the future, but we’ll have to update you on that one at a later date. For now, we’d be content with seeing your lovely faces on Zoom!
We are accepting applications from pioneering startups that are looking to accelerate, fast. If you are the founder of a disruptive plant-based, fermentation, or cultured-food company, we would love to hear from you.