District Ventures assumes ownership of Food Startup

District Ventures has assumed the ownership and operator of Food Startup, a Toronto-based food startup incubator and accelerator. No financial terms were disclosed. Food Startup has been renamed District Ventures Kitchen. District Ventures is a a startup incubator and accelerator of Canadian consumer venture firm District Venture Capital.


TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2019 /CNW/ – District Ventures – Canada’s leading ecosystem bringing capital, marketing, programming and commercialization to companies in the food, beverage, and health CPG industries, announced they have assumed the ownership and operation of Food Starter, Toronto’s leading food startup incubator and accelerator.
The space has been renamed “District Ventures Kitchen” and will act as another commercialization component of the District Ventures ecosystem – offering startup and early stage food companies access to a commercial kitchen and programming to help them scale.

“When District Ventures was founded in 2015, it was in direct response to the lack of resources available to early stage companies in the food, beverage and health space,” said Arlene Dickinson, CEO of District Ventures. “Since then, we have made great strides supporting over 260 companies and helping create close to 1,000 jobs. With the launch of District Ventures Kitchen, we are adding to our commitment to support the industry and offering companies both inside and outside of our network access to a scarce resource in Toronto, commercial kitchens.”

Established in 2015, Food Starter –a not for profit– operated as an incubator for startup food businesses. The facility offers 20,000 square feet of shared-use, food safe production, complete with manufacturing equipment including commercial bakery production spaces, hot and cold fill lines, and a full suite of packaging equipment. In early 2019, The Greenbelt Fund and the City of Toronto made investments in Food Starter to ensure the ongoing success of the incubator, while it sought new management. After negotiations with the Food Starter board, District Ventures took over the space to ensure that the needs of clients would continue to be met. Private sector support from national grocery giant, Sobeys, and leading educational food and support services provider, Chartwells Canada, will assist the Kitchen with ongoing growth and programming.

“Small businesses play a large role in the success of our city so it is crucial that we find ways to ensure that they thrive and are able to grow,” said Mayor John Tory. “The food industry is one of the many growing sectors in Toronto that has tremendous potential. I am pleased that District Ventures, an organization with a strong track record, will be extending their services and expertise to entrepreneurs and companies residing in our great city.”

In addition to offering companies the ability to book time to utilize one of the four fully equipped commercial kitchens, District Ventures Kitchen is offering programming that will help startup food companies scale including Commercial Kitchen 101 and Start-up Boot Camp.

“The Greenbelt Fund is very pleased to have helped Food Starter secure a sustainable path forward as District Ventures Kitchens,” said Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Fund. “This unique food hub is truly unparalleled in Ontario as an incubator of agri-food entrepreneurship, jobs and innovation.”

Companies interesting in learning more can visit https://districtventureskitchen.com.

About District Ventures
District Ventures is Canada’s leading ecosystem that focuses on bringing capital, marketing, programming and commercialization to companies in the food, beverage and health CPG industries. District Ventures is led by renown Canadian entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson and comprised of a venture capital fund, accelerator, commercial kitchen, and marketing experts, which operate alongside each other to assist companies in increasing their sales, distribution and ultimately their company’s valuation.

For more information regarding the District Ventures Accelerator, please visit www.districtventures.ca.

For more information regarding District Ventures Capital, please visit www.districtventurescapital.com.

For more information regarding District Ventures Kitchen, please visit https://districtventureskitchen.com.