We further our impact when we collaborate with others.  

A growing community of good food businesses and business services have been collaborating with us since 2019, and we believe this community, coming together, is the heart of FoodLab Sydney.

Becoming a FoodLab Mentor

We have over 80 mentors involved in supporting the program and our food entrepreneurs. If you share our values and our vision, we would love to invite you into this community as a mentor. 

Mentors understand what it means to start a food business from scratch and what it looks like to ride out the challenges, the rewards, the highs and the lows, and sometimes the isolation that food business brings.


Mentors are there to guide, cajole, connect, brainstorm, challenge and encourage our entrepreneurs who are diving into the unknown, often for the first time.

Mentors have an interest and willingness to share their knowledge and give their time to our entrepreneurs through a variety of ways that is dependent on their own time commitments. 


I'm humbled to be called a mentor in the FoodLab program. FoodLab’s approach gives people the confidence and tools to help them take the leap to start their food business. This support helps answer their questions, save them from mistakes and time, connects them to contacts within the industry and helps support their creativity. FoodLab mentors offer a real insight into what to expect on the journey within the food industry.

Merna Taouk, Founder of Crumpets by Merna

Types of Mentoring

Paired Mentoring

At the beginning of the Full Program, we match our entrepreneurs to mentors who commit to regular meet-ups outside of program hours at a time and location convenient to the mentor. Initially, mentors can expert a few virtual meetings to get to know the entrepreneur and work through their goals and expectations.

Guest Speaking

We organise a diversity of business owners, marketers, consultants and more to share their stories and knowledge on particular business topics. This may be either in-person or on zoom, and is typically dependent on the mentor's availability. We cannot guarantee that mentors will be called upon each semester.

Guest Mentor Matching

Mentors commit to once-off workshops where our entrepreneurs pitch their idea and progress to a matched mentor in small, informal groups. Mentors provide constructive feedback, encouragement, and useful connections to support their ideas and goals.

Shadow Mentoring

At the beginning of the Full Program, our entrepreneurs are trained in kitchen and workplace safety and receive a Food Safety Certificate. After this, we send them out to 'shadow' our mentors who work in their relevant fields each week for 6-10 weeks. Entrepreneurs observe, ask questions, learn new techniques and ways of doing, and eventually support some of the everyday tasks in the business with their mentor.

Other Support

Let's get creative! Some mentors have offered our students licensed kitchen space, facilities, tours of their operations or even want our entrepreneurs to cater for their events and workplaces. We are always willing to try new things and experiment.

If you are interested in being involved in one or more of these options, please apply now!

Why Mentor at FoodLab Sydney?

We love working with mentors who have a genuine love for giving back to their local food community and supporting people who need it the most. However, there are a number of other benefits that comes with mentoring at FoodLab:

  • build your leadership skills by reflecting on your own career learnings, achievements and milestones

  • get exposure to fresh ideas, new perspectives and different cultures

  • increase your professional networks through students in the program and other mentors

  • become a part of the FoodLab Sydney community and receive invitations to skillshare events, demo days and other opportunities

Program Supporters
Sydney Environment Institute
City of Sydney