When Founded – September, 2014
Founder – Kim Bryden
Additional Investors – None
Headquarters – Washington, DC
Number of Employees – 4
Kim Bryden is a problem-solver. One of the first problems she faced when she founded Cureate was how to trademark the word “curate” – the name she wanted for her company; trademark rules say you cannot trademark a common word. So Bryden’s solution was simply to add a silent “E” to the middle of the word.
Ever since then Bryden has used her systems approach and problem-solving abilities to help companies in the value-added food product space throughout the MidAtlantic develop effective strategies for marketing their products. She also helps large companies and institutions find small, local food producers to add to their vendors list. Now she is bringing that expertise to the Chesapeake Agricultural Innovation Center (CAIC) as a Mentor Company.
“Small companies need access to social capital as well as to financial capital,” Bryden said recently. “Not everyone who is an entrepreneur comes from a background with family and school networks that have given them access to the resources they need when they enter the business world.
“We will shine the light on all the knowledge and tools that are needed for value-added producers to get their product to market. The COVID pandemic showed the extreme importance of farmers and other food producers being able to diversify their revenue stream and being able to have go-to-market strategies that are resilient.”
To that end Bryden and the Cureate staff will provide a variety of mentoring services to the constituents of CAIC: resilient go-to-market strategies; diversification plans for sales channels; strategies for effective social media marketing, guerilla marketing, and field/experiential marketing.
“On the wholesale side we will help companies develop strategies to attract partners, and we will work with them on creating persuasive marketing materials, Bryden says.”
Three Mentor Companies – Cureate, Grow and Fortify, and Kitchen Table Consultants – have been announced by CAIC, with more to follow. Mentors will be involved in program planning and development for the next few months. In June mentors will begin giving workshops and having office hours to provide personal mentoring for participants in CAIC’s programs.