The free 12-week Emerging Business Program is designed for value-added producers and CPG companies at a unique, often-overlooked stage of development. Through a combination of classroom instruction and individual counseling, you’ll acquire the knowledge and strategies you need to move forward with your business goals.
The Emerging Business Program combines classroom training with one-on-one consulting, helping you identify challenges and put systematic processes in place to facilitate growth.
Our first cohort will begin on March 6, 2024, with all future meetings taking place via Zoom on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Here’s an overview of the program curriculum.
The Emerging Business Program is designed for value-added producers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) company owners in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To see if it might be the right fit for you, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider applying to the Emerging Business Program! You must also meet the following criteria:
Brian Brown has been an economic development professional for 20 years, holding leadership roles in the areas of security, media, real estate, architecture, and engineering. Currently, he serves as the Chesapeake Agriculture Innovation Center’s lead business consultant, and as a mentor in our Producers Growth Program. Mr. Brown is also the business development manager for the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (RCAP) Inc. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Halifax Industrial Development Authority.
Please fill out and submit the application form.
We estimate that the time commitment each week will be approximately four hours.
Mini-Grants up to $5,000 are available for:
– Market Research and Validation of Target Market
– Customer Acquisition
– Product Development Initiatives
– Food Safety Classes
Value-added producers and companies with traction ($20,000 or more in yearly revenue) in Maryland and Delaware are eligible to apply for Mini-Grants. Participants may apply once for each of the categories. Applicants must demonstrate that they have a unique and differentiated product or service that incorporates an aspect of innovation or technology in its production, processing, distribution, or other element of the food supply system.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Award decisions will be made and funds will be available no later than three weeks following the receipt of a completed application.
Applicants must submit Mini-Grant proposals by filling out the form at this link. Copy(ies) of quote(s), proposal(s), estimate(s), or any other supporting documents.
CAIC offers access to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who can offer authoritative advice based on their deep knowledge and experience in a specific area. See the ADVISORS page of this Web site to learn more about the SMEs who are available to CAIC participants.