ACCELERATOR@COMMON GROUND

We're cultivating the next generation of Hawaii-based food & beverage entrepreneurs.

Applications currently closed, but please sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

 

OUR GOALS

01

Create

financially viable opportunities locally for a sustainable Kauai.

02

Revitalize a diversified economy in Hawaii.

03

Scale Hawaii food innovations to meet global demand in major markets.

MEET COHORT ONE

 
Slow Island
Food & Beverage Co. 

A proudly Black-woman owned CPG company that currently offers wellness elixirs, drink mixes, and curry pastes all locally sourced. Founded by Master Preserver Gida Snyder.

Slowislandco.com 

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Tiny Isle

An ethically-centered, Hawaii-made CPG company that offers a range of macadamia nut butters, decadent fudge and tropical chocolate truffles. The company is headed by Lisa Parker and Roland Barker, who share a decades-long passion for good, healthful foods using locally sourced ingredients.

  Tinyislekauai.com
 

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Robbie Melton, former Director at Kauai County Office of Economic Development

    “The County of Kauai Office of Economic Development is honored to support the Common Ground Accelerator program. We applaud Common Ground Kauai on its values-driven initiative to foster entrepreneurship and scale a healthy, stable and balanced economy for Kauai.”

Monica Belz, CEO of Kauai Government Employee Federal Credit Union

     "The Common Ground Accelerator is an important step in the diversification of Kauai's economy. As a locally owned business, we are thrilled to partner with Common Ground Kauai on the launch of this innovative program."

 

IDEAL CANDIDATES

  • Seed stage, food and beverage companies with niche products that have reached the market and have a unique connection to Hawaii-grown ingredients, Hawaiian culture and global demand potential.

  • Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies that serve the local market and/or need resources to access national and global markets.

  • Entrepreneurs making food and beverage packaging, food marketing technology and other products that support the food supply chain.

  • Pre-launch companies with uniquely compelling ideas.

Did we describe you?

 

Sign up for our newsletter to find out when applications are open again. 

 

BENEFITS

Investment Capital

Imagine what an injection of $50,000 would do to help grow your business. Apply to our cohort and find out!

Mentorship

Common Ground partner and mentor network brings decades of successful company building experience, both on island and globally. Entrepreneurs will be matched with multiple mentors  for weekly support and guidance.

Support Services

We can help you hone the business of company building including innovative product development methodology, processing and production, staffing, marketing, brand strategy, packaging, business development, and culinary insight--support worth up to  $50,000. 

 

MEET OUR TEAM

Adam Watten
Co-Director 

Kauai-based chef and entrepreneur, Adam has a decade of experience doing business in Hawaii and navigating its unique professional climate. Adam is committed to fostering small businesses and advocating for local food systems.

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Brian Halweil
Co-Director

New York-based food storyteller and trendspotter. Brian has been editor-in-chief of four Edible magazines in the New York metro area with a recent focus on technology and investments moving into the food chain. He now works with Almanac Insights and other venture funds focused on sustainable food and agriculture.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I apply?


Click on the Apply Now button and fill out the application. We are excited to hear from you!




When are applications due?


Applications for the first cohort are due February 15, 2020.




How long is the program?


The program will run for four months, commencing in March 2020.




Does the Accelerator offer any cash support?


Yes, each company participating in the accelerator receives up to $50,000 in cash investment in addition to support and mentoring services valued at up to $50,000 for a total of up to $100,000 in value.




Do I need to live on Kauai to apply?


No, we will consider applications from all over Hawaii.




What types of hard and soft services are you offering?


Soft infrastructure:

  • Acceleartor@Common Groundstaff expertise
  • Advisors and mentors (these will be drawn roughly 50/50 from Hawaii and abroad)
  • Strategic partners (other investor funds and CPG companies)
  • Social media and marketing assistance
  • Business development assistance
Hard infrastructure:
  • Test kitchen (near term)
  • Processing facility (long term)
  • Test plots and contract growing on site
  • Retail outlets on site through restaurant and shops (long term)




What is the profile of a successful Accelerator@Common Ground applicant?


The pilot cohort for Acceleartor@Common Ground focuses on candidates that represent and celebrate the traditions of agriculture and robust food systems throughout Hawaii with appeal across major markets.Acceleartor@Common Ground invites the following start-ups, entrepreneurs and small/medium businesses to apply:

  • Seed stage, food and beverage companies with niche products that have reached the market and have a unique connection to Hawaii-grown ingredients, Hawaiian culture and global demand potential.
  • ​Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies that serve the local market and/or need resources to access national and global markets.
  • ​Entrepreneurs making food and beverage packaging, food marketing technology and other products that support the food supply chain.
  • ​Pre-launch companies with uniquely compelling ideas.




Can non-profit organizations apply to the Common Ground Accelerator program?


No, Acceleartor@Common Ground is not suited for non-profit organizations.




How does Acceleartor@Common Ground evaluate companies?


The Acceleartor@Common Ground program will evaluate companies based on core competencies in these areas:

  • Global demand potential
  • Team strengths
  • Value systems
  • Profitability
  • Scalability




Will you feature Acceleartor@Common Ground products on the Common Ground campus?


Yes, Acceleartor@Common Ground companies will have their products featured throughout the Common Ground campus, at our retail center and online.




Is the Acceleartor@Common Ground program supported by any other entities?


At this time, the program is supported primarily by Common Ground and its investors. The program will leverage Common Ground's extensive network from the food, beverage and agriculture world, including corporate sponsors and interested investors and institutionalize such relationships to the benefit of our cohort companies in months and years to come.




Will Common Ground take an ownership stake in Acceleartor@Common Ground cohort companies?


Yes, in most cases, Common Ground will take a 10% ownership stake in companies that participate in the cohort. This assumes a post-money valuation of $1M. In the case that the company’s stage and revenue demonstrate a higher valuation, Common Ground would receive a smaller ownership stake.




Who are the Acceleartor@Common Ground mentors and advisors?


Acceleartor@Common Groundr mentors and advisors come from a large network both locally and nationally of industry professionals. They are selected and paired with businesses based on the individual needs of the participants. Cohorts will meet with advisors regularly.





 

DIACRITICALS
Common Ground is headquartered on the island of Kauai in Hawaii and recognizes the use of diacritical markings of the modern Hawaiian language including the ʻokina [ ʻ ] or glottal stop and the kahakō [ō] or macron. However, we have omitted these markings throughout our website to ensure the best online experience for our local, national and international users. We respectfully use diacriticals in all of our off-line communications. 

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APPLICATIONS CLOSED.

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QUESTIONS?

CONTACT US

Adam Watten

Co-Director, Common Ground Accelerator

4900 Kuawa Rd, Kilauea Kauai HI 96754