Lab Enters I-Corps

The Lab  has entered the I-Corps program to explore the development of an interactive platform that would help companies in the food industry accelerate innovation. The idea for this spin out emerged from discussions with Bruce Hammaker  at the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research.

Here’s the challenge: large food companies are losing the innovation race. They are not responding quickly enough to the emerging opportunities in the market. Instead, smaller companies with more agile innovation processes are expanding more rapidly. The potential opportunity involves designing and guiding a platform of open innovation for large-scale food companies.

I-Corps  provides a disciplined process to explore new markets. You can learn more about I-Corps here. Our Lab team is led by Janiece Greene, an accomplished professional with varied backgrounds in IT and microfinance. SHe is assisted by Marcela Martinez, our PhD student, who holds a masters degree in food science. Ed Morrison, Lab director is also a part of the Lab’s I-Corps team.

We have begun the process of conducting industry interviews. Janiece has arranged 15 interviews with food industry practitioners (mid-level managers & above) and  executives from large conglomerates  (Pepsico, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez), mid-size brands (RxBar), small up and comers (Boulder Brands), and R&D consulting firms.  Our interview participants cover Marketing/Branding, Marketing Research, Innovation, Food Science, Product Engineering, Culinary Technology, and Commercialization.

We are also seeking interviews with food innovation accelerators like Food X out of NYC, who truly have their finger on the pulse of the future of food.  They’re into everything from resilient-seed agronomics to alt-foods made in the lab.