Built for Entrepreneurs
The FirstWave Food Incubator (FFI) is a first of its kind program aimed at aiding start-ups in launching new aseptically processed foods with locally sourced ingredients.
FFI is a fully funded 8-month incubation program that will usher companies through the commercialization process for an aseptic product. Participating companies will collaborate with our team of experts at no cost to the company to achieve market readiness.
Example products include fruit and vegetable purees, soups, sauces, smoothies, juices, beverages, plant-based milks, and baby foods. At the end of the program, participants will have a fully commercializable product formulation as well as finished products ready to sample to investors, retailers and potential consumers.
The first cohort is currently ongoing. The second of 4 cohorts begins in January 2024.
The Incubator starts with a training program in the basics of thermal processing and in the key aspects of developing and commercializing aseptic, shelf-stable consumer packaged goods. After that, our R&D team guides each company through the commercialization process through the point of generating sales samples.
Product Development Process
Frequently Asked Questions
How many companies are accepted into FFI?
- There are 4 cohorts with 3 companies that will be selected per cohort.
- The second application window is September 18-October 20 with the cohort starting in January 2024.
- Each cohort runs about 8 months.
- This fully-funded program provides the following support from our team of experts at no cost to the cohort companies:
- Training on aseptic product commercialization, food safety, and thermal processing
- Formulation development
- Feasibility trial
- Nutrition facts panel creation
- Line trial to create aseptic samples to be used as sales and marketing tools
- Raw materials to support the Research and Development efforts
- The trainings, trials, and R&D work will take place at SinnovaTek's offices in Raleigh, NC and FirstWave's production facility in Middlesex, NC.
- Companies will be rated in the following areas and the top companies will be selected:
- Ability to execute on scale up (business plan, retailer relationships, previous funding, ownership diversity)
- Regionality (intent to source ingredients within 400 miles, proximity to FirstWave)
- Strength of product concept (fitness for aseptic processing, stage of development, attention to sustainability)
- Each participating company will develop up to two individual products.
- Kosher certification can be supported for a fee.
- Products may be formulated to meet Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free and other certification standards. Due to the accelerated nature of the program, these certifications may be pursued after the close of each cohort.
- Participants are encouraged to continue manufacturing their products at FirstWave. Line time can be rented on a per-day basis. Our Commercialization team can walk you through the options.