Chobani to Launch Food Incubator

Better make room in the neonatal unit — there’s another Food Incubator on the way.hamdi

Billionaire yogurt maker Hamdi Ulukaya, who started Chobani, announced plans today to “invest in and cultivate emerging food entrepreneurs,” according to an announcement from the company.

According to the announcement, the Chobani Food Incubator will be a “first of its kind program,” which may come as something of a surprise to Accel Foods, which is already deep into its own second class of incubated brands. And also to Incubation Station, a CPG incubator down in Austin, Tex. loaded with food and beverage heavies.

Regardless, the office will have both commercial kitchen and office space, as well as connections, contacts, and advisers for entrepreneurs.

It will open for applications for its first class of up to 10 companies next month.

Full announcement is below:

Chobani to invest in and help scale food companies focused on natural and affordable foods

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Chobani announced today its plan to open the Chobani Food Incubator, a first-of-its-kind program to invest in and cultivate emerging food entrepreneurs.  Chobani Food Incubator will invest in, support, and scale young and growing companies inspired by Chobani’s belief in making delicious, nutritious, affordable food made with only natural ingredients that positively shapes the food industry of tomorrow.

Building on Chobani’s mission to create better food for more people, the Chobani Food Incubator will give food entrepreneurs the resources, workspace and support to launch and disrupt their respective categories.  The Chobani Incubator will be based in New York City and will include a commercial kitchen and office space.  Going beyond a shared kitchen, the six-month program is intended to provide collaboration with the Chobani leadership team, classes and training programs.  Chobani also expects to provide direct access to top chefs and food leaders in the industry, facilitating contacts with its extensive network.

“Today we’re opening our doors to entrepreneurs who share our vision for better food for tomorrow–food that’s natural and affordable,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO, Chobani. “Making a product the right way is not always easy, but we’ve proven that the model works. I’m excited to work with entrepreneurs who share our goal and who can benefit from our experience.”

The incubator program will culminate in a demo day where each company will have the opportunity to present to the leading food distributors and retailers.

Chobani will open the call for pitches from interested entrepreneurs in December 2014, and will select up to 10 companies to join the first round. To receive updates, please visit Chobanifoodincubator.