(Feb. 9) Business: Competition and Networking: The Big Connecticut Food Event (New Haven)


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    Friday, 9 February, 2024
    1pm – 6pm
    Kroon Hall, Yale University
    New Haven, CT 06511

    For more information

    A pitch competition and networking event for ​the Connecticut food & beverage industry.

    About the Event
    Connecticut has made substantial progress in developing infrastructure ​for ​entrepreneurs in the state’s food and beverage industry. Multiple ​commercial ​kitchens, incubators and funding programs now span our ​small state and have generated interest within the regional ​industry.

    Work remains to remove friction in the Connecticut food ​​entrepreneurship pipeline, including stronger links with wholesale ​buyers and solutions providers, and more effective support for women ​and BIPOC entrepreneurs and ​businesses pursuing sustainable or ​regenerative processes.

    The Big Connecticut Food Event is designed to provide opportunities for ​emerging food ​and beverage brands to connect with the expertise that ​they’re going to need ​on their journeys, and for strategic and industry ​partners to meet the growing community of promising brands.

    Our goal is to support the development of Connecticut’s ​entrepreneurship pipeline so it produces multiple food and beverage ​brands every year that each exceed $2 million in annual sales.

    Event Schedule, Fri 2/9

    12:45pm: Doors open

    1:15pm: Opening remarks

    • Anthony M. Anthony, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community ​Development

    1:30pm: Panel discussion: What buyers wish more emerging ​brands knew

    • Moderator: Reed Immer, CT Food Launchpad/Chabaso Bakery/Atticus
    • Deane Sullivan, Stop & Shop
    • John Fraro, Big Y
    • Seth Nieman, Wakefern
    • John Lawson, Whole Foods

    2:30pm: Connecting the dots: Cross-sector partnerships in the ​entrepreneurship pipeline

    • Moderator: Onyeka Obiocha, CTNext
    • Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, Connecticut Department of Agriculture
    • Dean Indrajeet Chaubey, UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
    • Katrice Claudio, reSET
    • Charlie Negaro, Chabaso Bakery / Atticus / CT Food Launchpad

    Event Schedule, Fri 2/9

    3:15-4:15pm: Sampling, tabling and expert coaching

    Brand participants will be announced week of 1/29

    4:15-5:15pm: Pitch competition

    Judges: Deane Sullivan (Stop & Shop), John Fraro (Big Y), Seth Nieman (Wakefern), ​Charlotte Myer (Fresh Direct)

    Brand participants will be announced week of 1/29

    5:15-6pm: Announcement of pitch competition winners, ​sampling, tabling