Agropur launches first North American dairy accelerator program

16 Nov 2018

Canadian dairy cooperative Agropur has launched what it claims is the first dairy accelerator in North America, hoping that the first cohort of five young entrepreneurs from Canada and the US will help reinvigorate and reinvent dairy.

Agropur launches first North American dairy accelerator program

Canadian dairy cooperative Agropur has launched what it claims is the first dairy accelerator in North America.

The company believes that the first cohort of five young entrepreneurs from Canada and the US promises to help reinvigorate and reinvent dairy with the support of Entrepreneur-in-Residence Patrick Gagné (CEO of the OSMO Foundation), Chief Ambassador Jérôme Ferrer (chef and co-owner of the Europea group), and a strong network of mentors to help propel their growth.

Inno Accel is an offshoot of the Inno Agropur program, which it claims is the largest open innovation initiative in the North American dairy industry. It matches Agropur’s resources with high-potential start-ups in order to reinvent dairy and quickly bring the most exciting innovations to market. With initiatives such as its international Inno Challenge, its Inno Capital co-investment fund, its in-house Inno Fabrik process and the www.innoagropur.com open innovation platform, Agropur says it is taking the lead and is ready to take on the world.

The five North American businesses selected for the first Inno Accel cohort are:

+ U Main, a Montreal company that develops do-it-yourself artisanal cheesemaking kits

+ Sweetaly Dolceria, makers of decadent desserts using simple ingredients and their Italian grandmother’s traditional recipes

+ SaltiSweet Ice Cream Factory, who createice cream novelties that replace the stick with a biscuit, eliminating the taste and environmental footprint of wood

+ Cheese Grotto, a collective that makes cheese storage devices for the home to preserve fine cheeses under ideal conditions

+ Peak Yogurt, makers of triple-cream, low-sugar yogurt that takes its cue from the ketogenic (or keto) diet

The group will spend four months at Inno Accel, disrupting convention and thinking outside the box. Each business will be supported by two mentors – a successful entrepreneur and a member of the Agropur executive – and some 20 coaches with different areas of expertise (marketing, sales, R&D, etc.) who will provide guidance and help them develop their enterprises in an environment that resembles real-life conditions in the business world and the food industry.

Agropur launched its innovation program in 2016 to explore new avenues in a fast-changing business landscape and keep focusing on better meet the needs of consumers for a unique dairy experience.