Food Entrepreneurship Bootcamp


May 3, 2023




Virtual (Zoom)


12 Weeks

Course Overview:

Are you an entrepreneur in the food industry who is in need of industry specific guidance and best practices for your business? You could be just the right candidate for the SBDC’s 12 week Food Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, led by the nationally recognized SBDC Advocate, Food Venture Program (FVP). This bootcamp course offers live (not pre-recorded) programming led by successful entrepreneurs, food industry experts including chefs, product developers and retail/food service buyers. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, you won’t want to miss this niche course for your industry. 

This Course Will Be Offered Spring 2021

Sign up for our wait list to be notified when this course if offered.

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This course is ideal for:

  • Food or beverage innovators with a product idea
  • Restaurant owners wanting to turn their recipes into a consumer packaged good
  • Entrepreneurs with a product already in small scale distribution (i.e. selling in a farmer’s market) but wanting to scale up
  • Entrepreneurs with a nutrition/health product idea who are unsure of the regulations/appropriate business practices for health-related products

Learning Objectives:

  • Have a solidified business plan to launch your business, if you haven’t already
  • Have received all of the knowledge and skills needed to take your food-related business to the next level
  • Network with others in the culinary industry
  • Receive free 1:1 business coaching through industry experts as well as SBDC consultants
  • Have a business pitch perfected for potential market collaborators, distributors, lenders, and partners
bakery window

Session Topics:

Session 1

Food Business & Feasibility Trends

Session 2

Value Proposition & Business Model Canvas

Session 3

Market Research & Branding 

Session 4

Circularity & Sustainability in Food Production

Session 5

Food Science & Recipe Development

Session 6

Food Packaging and Nutrition Labeling 

Session 7

Sanitation, Food Safety, & Traceability  

Session 8

Financial Feasibility & Planning

Session 9

Sales Channels & Distribution 

Session 10

Social Media Management 

Session 11

Advisory & Pitch 

Session 12

Pitch Presentations


The live class meets virtually through Zoom (recordings available)


This course is $595 for the entire 12-weeks (includes option for consulting appointments with industry experts). Don’t miss this great discount of a $795 value! Scholarships are available here for 50% off of $595. 


The course will meet each Wednesday 11:00am – 1:30pm from May 3rd –  July 19. While sessions will be recorded, we ask that you commit to attending each session.


Space is limited in this pilot program, so reserve your space now by registering for the course here

Karen Patel

Meet Your Instructor

Karen Patel

Karen brings an enormous wealth of economic and business industry experience to her clients. The understanding of day to day business challenges and opportunities serves clients well from 25 years in financial management and commercial lending.  Her integrity in building relationships shines through with her personable and trustworthy demeanor.  Providing a high-touch level of service, Karen focuses on each client’s need for learning, understanding and executing the strategies that are implemented.

With regional, national, and international contacts and economic development experience, Karen is able to provide resources and networks to strengthen her clients’ overall position. With a formal education in accounting and management from St. Norbert College, there is a structure and discipline present to constantly review and track all implemented strategies of her clients’ plans.  She sits on numerous community and non-profit board of directors keeping her in decision-making company with other successful leaders.

As a business owner herself, Karen understands the needs of small businesses and is passionate about helping entrepreneurs lay the foundation of sound financial principles and practices.  Starting at the age of 9, her strong work ethic allowed her to see the value of the dollar.  As a young teen, she confirmed her vision to reap rewards from her disciplined saving.   She saved, spent and paid taxes realizing there must be better ways to manage her small fortune.  Knowing that not everyone has the knowledge, experience or professional contacts to assist them, Karen strives to assist her lifelong clients and those referred to her by satisfied clients.


 To apply, we are asking for a 1-2 minute video where you tell us a bit about your business (either new or existing business) and what you hope to gain from this program. 

Any video file format is acceptable, but your video must be limited to 2 minutes maximum length. Please just let your creativity shine through . . . .we are looking for authenticity, sincerity, and a commitment to growth – not perfection!

Scholarships are available

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