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The Full Program

A four-month program that incubates early-stage food businesses.

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What is the Full Program? 

FoodLab Sydney offers a four-month program that helps food entrepreneurs grow their businesses and provides a critical introduction to the food system in Sydney.

After the Taster Programs, we run the full program each year with a maximum of 20 entrepreneurs in each program. 

The Program

Weekly Masterclasses with an Expert

A tailored series of practical, hands-on workshops covering everything from social media to pitching. Anything but lecture-style.

Practical Worksheets, Checklists and Resources

Access to a suite of 30+ hours of online video content, 70+ worksheets, templates, and checklists, and a comprehensive archive of past guest speaker sessions that can be accessed even after course completion.

Grow within a Supportive, Caring Community 

Join a diverse and passionate community of over 170 food entrepreneurs including alumni and mentors that are supporting each other's goals and visions. 

Experienced Guest Speakers and Mentors

Learn from successful food business owners, marketers, journalists, accountants, designers, consultants, alumni and community leaders who want to see you thrive.

Market Opportunities and Software Training

Starting selling straight away through our program opportunities and platforms of service. Whether you are offering an artisanal product, catering, service, or events, there is support available for you.

Practical Work Placements

Grow your practical business acumen, relationships and operational understanding by shadowing a mentor who operates in your niche field through our work placements.

Kitchen and Safety Skills from Experienced Chefs

Gain a comprehensive understanding of flavour, safety, operating in a commercial kitchen and become a culinary creator.

Show off your Concept at our Market Day

Experience the opportunity to pitch and sell your product or service at the end of the program through a trade-show style event. 

Ongoing Post-Program Support and Benefits

Get invited to exclusive events, training workshops, alumni meet-ups, and program check-ins even after the program finishes.

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Did you know we are running a free info session soon?

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We cover the foundations of food business and entrepreneurship...

Testing and Product Market Fit

We cover a broad range of market testing strategies, frameworks, and software platforms that work to ensure that your food business is desirable, viable and feasible.

Storytelling & Marketing

Food is a busy industry. Through the arts of storytelling, gastronomy, connoisseurship, and sensory analysis, we pull apart the value propositions unique to the food sector and learn how to apply them to your food business.

Operations & Supply

We zoom out by taking a bird's eye food of the food system in NSW and look at sourcing and evaluating suppliers. We also look at the basics of kitchen and safety skills and teach you how to navigate a commercial kitchen space.

Legalities

We cover the legal minefield of food business requirements including legal structures, privacy and IP, insurance, food safety, labelling and nutrition, laboratories and testing, and much more.

Accounting and Finance

We offer a range of good practice financial principles, tax basics, as well as effective pricing and costing strategies for different food business models.

Fundraising and Pitching

We teach the art of pitching and teach you how to take a food business concept and make it attractive to industry professionals, grants, and funding bodies.

Technology

We explore the most useful applications and online services available to food business owners today. We also learn about the basics of food photography and social media in a modernised, connected world.

Leadership and Management

We look at how to set up a good food business culture as well as how to build a successful team by making personal and objective company assessments.

 
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Program Timeline

January '22

Expressions of Interest Open

15 May '22

Applications Deadline

May '22

Applications reviewed

May '22

Offers and acceptance

4 June '22

Program Commences

24 Sep '22

Program Concludes

Testimonials

The best thing about FoodLab is the grassroots nature of the program. A passion to create something new and be part of Sydney's evolving food scene is the main criteria.

We were spoiled with a flow of successful food business leaders who shared their time with us, telling stories of overcoming their own challenges along the way to success.


It truly is a supportive environment that is practically focused on making my dream food business come true.

Mark, Founder of Dilectio Gourmet

I am so proud to have created a food business that introduces my own kids to my culture. FoodLab has just been a course that was so very relevant to what I'm doing. I've been through another course before and I didn't find it helpful. Whereas FoodLab has been spot on for me.

I've really appreciated the depth of knowledge and inspiration from the mentors. It helped me get through some really difficult times this year and I love that we get to stay in this community ongoing.

Zona, Founder of Thorny Fruit Co

On Monday I start work as a pastry chef. 

I am very happy and excited. I want to thank FoodLab for everything. FoodLab has helped me get this job because of the good training and mentoring I have found here. 

 

I have been working in a job for a long time that I have not liked but not confident enough in English to pursue my dream as a pastry chef. This program has helped me move closer to this step. Thank you for the mentoring.

Yong, Chef at Wholegreen Bakery

I loved every minute of the course at FoodLab Sydney. It gave me and is still giving me a lot of insights, practical tips and much-needed mentoring as I grow my market garden.

With FoodLab Sydney’s guidance, I learned about highlighting the value and uniqueness of healthy and sustainable produce compared to items bought in supermarkets.

The FoodLab course also helped me identify the different potential markets – which are the most suitable and most appropriate for my growing market garden and how to bring my customers into the journey.

Sarah, Founder of Popes Produce

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Since 2019 we have supported over 70  diverse and passionate food entrepreneurs.
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Applications are currently open for our next program with limited spaces available. Register your interest now!

Program Supporters
Sydney Environment Institute
City of Sydney
USU