Letter from the Director
To Our Tribe,
Food + City is evolving, and we want to share our exciting, slightly daunting process with you. Our team has been constantly humbled and grateful for the enthusiastic support you, our mentors, advisors, startups, and program participants, have provided us. Thank you. Thank you. As we move on to the next part of our journey, it is our dearest hope that you will travel along with us.
It has been a long time since you and I explored how food entrepreneurs might gain some traction in Austin….and now it seems they are moving full steam ahead. After eight years of storytelling and supporting food system entrepreneurs, it is time for us to take a new approach to our work. We will be restructuring and surveying the landscape for new opportunities to expand the conversation around food futures. What this means for you, dear tribe member, is a continuation of stories published to our website and updates on our Challenge Prize startups. I will continue to look for good stories. These stories will expand past our historic pieces as we look to the horizon.
We thrive on starting new conversations and new ventures. Food + City has published original content in print and online, supported over 75 food startups globally, and provided over $250,000 in funding. Telling stories and celebrating food entrepreneurs will always remain at the heart of what we do, even as we move forward. However, we cannot rest on our past success when our purpose has always been on bringing the future closer.
We sense that our initial mission has been accomplished. The food infrastructure landscape since our founding in 2011 has drastically changed. In 2011, few, if any, food-focused startup accelerators existed. The conversation about ways of improving the food supply chain hadn’t begun. In 2019, food-tech accelerators abound and both consumers and companies are eager to tackle problems in the food system. We are happy to see this, but we want to keep expanding the conversation in new directions.
Food + City will remain at The University of Texas at Austin and continue to curate partnerships and events. Katie Kraemer and I will continue to work together there. We will also be working with our partners regarding the future of the Startup Challenge. However, some of our valued team members, Cole Leslie, Joy Nathan, and Kristen Grewe, will be moving on at the end of April. This is a beginning of a new phase for all of us and we wish them every success in the world.