🚀 Join CAIC to celebrate Delmarva agriculture at Producers Unveiled 2024! Register now. 🌱📈

Here is a list of upcoming events hosted by the Chesapeake Ag. Innovation Center. We are excited to invite you to participate and join us.

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Producers Startup Program

October 11, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


About the Program:

The Producers Startup Program is a free six-week course designed for entrepreneurs with idea-stage and startup-stage companies. (Multiple cohorts, capped at 15 people, are offered throughout the year.) During the virtual weekly meetings, you’ll learn the skills and tools you need to begin and successfully manage your company’s operations. The curriculum starts with the basics—from learning to better understand and define your target market, to developing a pricing strategy and connecting with customers. You’ll build a strong business plan with the support of our experienced instructors; and, along with your fellow cohort members, you’ll brainstorm and workshop your business ideas.

Click here to learn more and register to the program.

Why take the Producers Startup Program?

  • A comprehensive curriculum, starting with the basics. Learn to better understand and define your target market, develop a pricing strategy, and connect with customers. Instructors will also walk you through some common funding challenges and strategies for overcoming them, along with legal, regulatory, and contract considerations for new businesses.
  • Build the right business plan, and learn from the experts. Our instructors have experience starting and running successful companies, and they’re here to help you craft the right business plan. You can also request a one-on-one coaching call to get further feedback and answers.
  • Ask questions, and test out your ideas. Class sessions are interactive, and give you lots of opportunities to bring your own challenges and questions to instructors. Along with your fellow cohort members, you’ll also be encouraged to brainstorm and workshop your business ideas, and get valuable feedback.
  • A wealth of resources to tap into. With each cohort capped at just 15 participants, you’ll have the chance to connect with and learn from entrepreneurs at similar growth stages. You’ll also learn about the numerous resources available to agricultural entrepreneurs in our region, through CAIC and our partner organizations—from funding to support with market research.

About your instructor:

Your instructor for this program is Brian K. Brown, an experienced business coach and economic development professional. Brian currently serves as the Business Services Manager for SERCAP, Inc., focusing on business training and consulting services in eastern states from Delaware to Florida. His diverse experience includes leadership roles in workforce development, tourism, and agricultural development and managing two community development loan funds.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from an expert and gain the skills necessary to launch and grow your business. Register today and take the first step towards achieving your business goals.

Click here to learn more and register to the program.


October 11, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:




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.
Application Process
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.