Flint Business Boot Camp & Pitch Fest
Six good food entrepreneurs from across Flint spent three days in October 2017 with industry mentors and fellow entrepreneurs learning the skills needed to take their businesses to the next level. The training culminated in a public pitch competition where the winner took home a $10,000 prize.
Building Business Acumen
Most entrepreneurs are long on passion. With the Business Boot Camp, the Michigan Good Food Fund is matching that passion with business acumen to help enterprises be successful in the marketplace. During this three-day intensive training, entrepreneurs work alongside mentors and industry experts to cover a range of topics including marketing, telling your story, financials, solving business challenges, and more.
Hear from participants their biggest takeaways:
Meet the Pitch Competition Winner
The boot camp culminated in a public pitch fest on October 26 in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. The prize? A $10,000 award from the Michigan Good Food Fund for business consulting and capital expenditures.
The prize went to Happy Little Greens Farm, an indoor vertical microgreen farm on Flint’s Eastside.
“This award is giving us the opportunity to grow our business. Ultimately this is more delicious and nutrient-dense food by Flint for Flint,” said owner and Michigan native Karl Collyer.
Happy Little Greens Farm will use the $10,000 award to purchase equipment to scale production, offering more Flint residents and food businesses its sustainably grown, nutrient-dense produce. Partnering with Collyer at the training was Flint native and urban gardener Terry Kinzie.
Happy Little Greens Farm microgreens are currently available at Redwood Steakhouse and Brewery, the Local Grocer, Flint Fresh Mobile Market, and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth.
All Participating Entrepreneurs Included:
- Charma’s Green Chips: Tasty kale and collard green chips – the right choice for flavor and healthy snacking. Read the story on Charma’s from the Hub Flint.
- The Flint Farming Project: A cooperative effort to create productive market gardens that will provide healthy local food to residents of Flint while creating new farmers and new jobs.
- Happy Little Greens Farm: A vertical farm operation focusing primarily on microgreen production, offering sustainable local urban produce solutions.
- MaMang: Using fresh, locally grown ingredients, MaMang serves Vietnamese cuisine drawn from treasured family recipes.
- Sweet Peaces Veggie Bistro: A veggie bistro specializing in internationally-inspired, locally-acquired, plant-based cuisine.
- The Poke Bowl: Putting a new spin on this traditional Hawaiian dish.
A Snapshot of the Boot Camp
Six Months Later, Still Connecting Flint’s Good Food Entrepreneurs
Our support of Flint’s good food entrepreneurs didn’t stop after our Business Boot Camp wrapped up in October 2017.
In April 2018, we brought together entrepreneurs for a field trip to SavCo Hospitality – a leader in Southeast Michigan’s restaurant industry and mentor in our Business Boot Camp.
During this all-day event, Flint entrepreneurs got a crash course on growing a successful food business with a focus on what it takes to make it in the catering and restaurant industry. Highlights included a kitchen tour, business planning session, and, of course, a delicious meal. Thank you to our generous partners at SavCo and especially founder Sava Farah for your help growing more good food entrepreneurs in Michigan!