For any business, finding the right technology systems to support everything from bookkeeping to supply chain management is a major challenge. This is particularly difficult for local food businesses because of their unique complexities. These enterprises often move perishable products. Their suppliers sell products that are not consistent in terms of availability and price. Many are required to have fully traceable inputs. Most buyers want full farm-level identification. And the landscape of potential technology solutions seems vast and difficult to comprehend. Solutions range from QuickBooks to software as a service (SaaS) systems to hosted enterprise solutions.
New Venture Advisors helps clients manage the process of selecting the right technology platform(s) for their unique needs. We have developed guides and conducted several workshops that offered food businesses a structure and roadmap to software selection, along with a guide to software options that were available at the time.
Food Technology Projects
Frenchtown KitchenShare Food Business Incubator
Tallahassee’s first food-based incubator is located in historic Frenchtown, one of Tallahassee’s poorest neighborhoods and food deserts. KitchenShare provides equipment access, business training, product development, marketing and networking to early stage food businesses. NVA assisted in the development of the business plan to launch an online marketplace that enables regional farms, KitchenShare food entrepreneurs and area wholesale customers to buy and sell from each other. (2017)
Michigan Food Hub Network IT Platform
The Michigan Food Hub Network’s overarching goal is to build the capacity of Michigan food hubs and the partners that assist them so the hubs can better supply healthy food to underserved markets in the state. New Venture Advisors worked with the Network to conduct a feasibility study assessing the need, function, ownership structure, and start-up and maintenance costs of a potential statewide IT platform that would lead to improved performance and more seamless communication and transactions across all Michigan food hubs. View the webinar here. (2015)
Wholesome Wave Food Hub Business Assessment Toolkit
New Venture Advisors worked with Wholesale Wave on the development of a technology toolkit to help food hubs be more strategic in selecting their technology vendors. The toolkit guides food hubs through the process of evaluating their overall work flow, establishing their technology needs at every step in their work flow, and developing a set of requirements for their technology provider. The toolkit also provides initial guidance on the landscape of potential technology providers food hubs might consider working with. Find the toolkit here. (2013)
“Making IT Click” NGFN Webinar
The National Good Food Network (NGFN) brings together people from all parts of the rapidly emerging good food system. New Venture Advisors facilitated a webinar with NGFN to provide hubs and other good food businesses with the tools to perform an accurate analysis of their business technology needs, to help them make better decisions on selecting the right technology solutions. Click here to see the webinar. (2014)