District Ventures earmarks $3 mln for 20 consumer startups

District Ventures Accelerator and District Ventures Capital said they will invest $3 million in 20 early-stage food, beverage and health companies in the consumer packaged goods sector. Beginning in January 2018, 20 successful applicants to the accelerator will receive a $130,000 investment in exchange for a minority equity stake. The applicants, forming cohort 5, will undertake a five-month program to increase brand equity, distribution, sales and valuation. District Ventures’ accelerator and fund are led by Arlene Dickinson, a Dragon’s Den star and entrepreneur.

Photo: Arlene Dickinson, managing partner of District Ventures Capital.


District Ventures Accelerator to invest millions in Canadian CPG entrepreneurs

CALGARY, Nov. 15, 2017 /CNW/ – District Ventures Accelerator, together with District Ventures Capital, announced today that it will invest $3 million into 20 innovative early stage food, beverage and health CPG businesses.

Beginning in January 2018, 20 successful applicants to the accelerator will receive a $130,000 cash investment in exchange for a minority equity stake. Successful applicants will undertake an intensive five-month program to increase brand equity, distribution, sales, and ultimately valuation. The accelerator will run two program cohorts with 10 companies each, the first beginning in January 2018, and the second beginning in July 2018.

The announcement builds on District Ventures Accelerator’s impressive track record of delivering the country’s top program for innovative food, beverage and health companies that want to scale their business, and increase their valuation.

“I’m extraordinarily excited about the growth and expansion of District Ventures Accelerator as an ecosystem for entrepreneurs,” Dickinson said. “This investment builds on our position as one of the top accelerator programs for early-stage CPG businesses in North America.”

Dickinson anticipates that the new model will boost demand of what is already one of the country’s most competitive applications. “We receive thousands of applications, and have accepted just 47 to date. I expect that the opportunity for entrepreneurs to obtain early investment alongside growth programming will definitely increase demand.”

District Ventures is the first food, beverage and health accelerator in Canada to import the investment structure used by the world’s most prestigious accelerator programs, like Y-Combinator. And, like its Silicon Valley counterparts, District Ventures concludes its intense five-month program with an opportunity to pitch investors for follow-on funding.

“This investment shows more than our commitment to Canadian entrepreneurs. It represents our commitment to growing entrepreneurialism in Canada and to diversifying our economy by leveraging our country’s expertise in health and agriculture,” said Dickinson.

Entrepreneurs can apply to District Ventures Accelerator at http://www.districtventures.ca/apply/ before December 8, 2017 for consideration into Cohort 5, which will begin in January 2018.

About District Ventures Accelerator
Founded in October 2015 by Arlene Dickinson, District Ventures is the top accelerator in Canada for food, beverage and health entrepreneurs. The accelerator connects innovative early-stage CPG entrepreneurs to the industry’s top experts, investors and retailers. District Ventures has received over 2,000 applications from entrepreneurs across the country. To date, it has accepted 47 companies into its program. The new program structure, including capital investments into companies, will take effect in January 2018.

District Ventures Accelerator is part of an ecosystem of support that delivers capital, mentorship and marketing to innovative CPG companies. District Ventures Accelerator, District Ventures Capital, and Venture Communications operate with the sole purpose to turn successful companies into globally respected brands.

For further information: Justin Burrows, Venture Communications, Justin@venturecommunications.ca

Photo courtesy of District Ventures Capital