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Startup Resources: Branchfood, Connecting the Food and Beverage Industry in Boston

Branchfood partners with startups, entrepreneurs, innovators as well as industry leaders that seek to engage the startup community to support whatever their business development goals are. They were founded in 2015 and have supported almost 200 startups, hosted over 140 events and formed over 140 industry partnerships.

Branchfood’s Goal

Branchfood is striving to promote the New England business that are leading the future of food and beverage. They promote education specifically around CPG, agriculture tech and food tech entrepreneurship.

Who Should Join Branchfood?

Branchfood organizes the food entrepreneur and innovative community into three main categories:

  1. Consumer products. This is inclusive of food, beverage and alcohol. In short, companies that are launching new brands that are being sold in retail, through ecommerce or in food service.

  2. Food tech. Inclusive of digital content media companies, ecommerce marketplace platforms, hospitality technology and supply chain technology. Basically any technology or innovation that is taking place as part of our food value chain and brings efficiency, lower costs and optimization to food

  3. AG tech. Including sensors, drones, robotics and even life sciences that are food related. Being in Boston, specifically, you see a lot of ex-pharma and ex-biotech leaders that are looking to get involved in the food industry.

Branchfood specifically focuses on these three categories as they look at the industry and where they see the most opportunity for creative development as well as investment.

What Resources Does Branchfood Provide?

Branchfood offers a wide variety of resources to entrepreneurs in the food space:

  1. Their co-working space

  2. A mentorship portal where they have over 30 mentors who have agreed to give their time to support these startups

  3. Maintain a Job Board for companies looking to hire full-time or part-time employees or interns

  4. They leverage their social media channels for promotion of their members’ work. Whatever their members are doing - launching crowdfunding campaigns or new products, for example - they want to support that and they exercise their own social media platforms to do that

  5. They send out a curated newsletter every month to their members, which is truly reflective of the areas of food that they are focused on so they are staying on the pulse for what is happening within their industry

  6. An investment network, Branch Venture Group, which is an opportunity to be considered for investment if your startup is looking to raise capital. Some of their members have now become portfolio companies.

How Can You Join Branchfood?

Branchfood offers three different types of membership programs:

  1. Residential membership - gives you access to their shared workspace for entrepreneurs and industry members to connect, network and support each other’s growth goals

  2. Community membership - for folks who don’t need as much physical space but would like community support to help them grow their network and support them as their business continues to grow

  3. Industry leader membership - for consultants and folks in leadership at industry-related companies that want to engage with the startup community and do so through Branchfood

Important note: you do not need to be based in Boston in order to become a member. Branchfood has organized their services and network to support entrepreneurs worldwide who have interest in growing within the North American market.

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to becoming a member but are interested in learning more, you’re able to join Branchfood at one of their monthly Community Tables or virtual events to network and crowdsource information. Check out their events calendar right here.

What Events Can You Attend?

Branchfood organizes a few different events for the food startup community:

  • Monthly Community Table - Branchfood hosts this monthly event to facilitate networking and connections among the local food community

  • Food Edge Summit - an annual event bringing together the food industry

Who Leads Branchfood?

Lauren Abda is the Founder and CEO of Branchfood.

Learn More About Branchfood

Learn more about Branchfood by visiting their website. And feel free to give them a follow on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Do you know another resource in the New England startup community we should highlight? Drop us a line here and let us know!


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