Ready to take the next step toward your business goals? CAIC is proud to present the Producers Startup Program: a free six-week course designed for farmers, value-added producers, and entrepreneurs. During the virtual weekly meetings, you’ll learn the skills and tools you need to begin and successfully manage your company’s operations.
There are multiple Startup Program cohorts throughout each year. Please register below so that we can notify you as soon as the next course is scheduled.
Set yourself up for success with the Producers Startup Program.
CAIC hosts multiple Startup Program cohorts throughout the year, with each capped at 15 participants. Each cohort member will be asked to commit to attending a weekly 1.5-hour class for six weeks, along with completing weekly hands-on assignments.
To qualify, participants must meet the following criteria:
Be a farmer, value-added producer, or food-industry entrepreneur with a company anywhere from the idea stage to the startup stage
Operate your business in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, or D.C.
Here’s some of the feedback that Producers Startup Program alumni have shared.
The first step to enrolling in the Startup Program is to fill out the registration form linked below. After submitting the form, you’ll receive an email from our program director, who will ask you a few additional questions about your company and business goals. Approved participants will then be added to the class list, and will receive further details about the program start date and other course logistics.
Please contact Emiliano Espinosa at 410.770.9330 (ext. 4) or [email protected] for more information.
Preference will be given to participants in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Applications from outside of the region will be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to availability of space in the program.
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.