BRATTLEBORO—Windham Grows, a food and agriculture business accelerator that connects entrepreneurs with mentoring, industry connections, and support, is accepting applications for its Summer/Fall 2019 program.
Windham Grows is part of Strolling of the Heifers, whose mission is connecting people with healthy local food, encouraging and facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship in the farm/food sector, and supporting the development of stronger local food systems and healthy, sharing, connected, and resilient communities.
“Windham Grows fits into the Stroll’s mission by helping existing agriculture-related businesses develop in ways that strengthen the economy, the community, and the environment,” said Orly Munzing, Strolling of the Heifers founder, in a news release.
“Having a great product is only one piece of the puzzle to making success happen,” said Jim Verzino, the program’s director and entrepreneur-in-residence. “We’re also having important conversations about food and agriculture, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and the collective social conscience. It matters.”
The more than 20 professionals who have completed Windham Grows’ first three cohorts have raised over $1.6 million in outside investments to help fund their growing businesses. Currently, the fourth cohort is in process and due to graduate in June.
Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the fifth cohort, which starts in July, will learn how to grow their socially conscious food-focused business with concentrated sessions on marketing, finance, production, technology, and entrepreneur mindset over the six-month course.
“Entrepreneurs will receive mentoring, access to subject matter experts, connections to capital and non-capital resources, and the cohort members will become a collaborative peer group,” said Cairn Cross, Windham Grows’ other entrepreneur-in-residence.
“The program consists of three-weekend residencies in Brattleboro and regular video meetings,” said Cross. “We will also provide outside consulting services tailored to the needs of individual entrepreneurs to help them move their companies to the next level, as well as preparing them for the level after that.”
Windham Grows candidates will join a growing network of fellow entrepreneurs and leaders in food-focused industries.