A global network of food incubators, accelerators and shared-use kitchens

When: September 13 -14, 2017

InBIA, in partnership with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, is excited to announce the formation of the Food Business Incubation Network (FoodBIN), and InBIA’s first-ever FoodBIN Conference


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Where: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Event Overview

Join us for the inaugural FoodBIN conference and learn about best practices for servicing the food entrepreneurs in your community, region, state or nation. This unique event is designed to highlight the tremendous diversity that exists within food business incubation programs around the world. On the first day, more than twenty speakers will present their programs in “bite-sized” presentations, and powerful leaders from the food industry will also discuss industry trends and challenges that are shaping the future of our global food economy. The second day will include a “Concept to Commercialization” tour where attendees will visit two leading industry-focused programs at the Rutgers EcoComplex, New Jersey’s clean energy and environmental research, outreach and business incubation center, and the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, a globally-recognized food business incubation and economic development accelerator program.


The global food industry is evolving and growing rapidly

Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the development of food business incubation centers as entrepreneurs have created many new startup businesses due to consumer demand for more local and specialty food options. In addition, corporate and venture investment in the food sector has become significant with an estimated $6.8 billion invested since 2015, business incubation and acceleration programs are critical to this process in helping food entrepreneurs thrive in their communities. This conference will help you to identify best practices in food incubation that can be easily adopted in your region.

FoodBIN is a global network of food incubators, accelerators and shared-use kitchens with the mission to serve as the world’s leading voice for advancing best practices in food business innovation and incubation; and identifying programs, services, funding sources and partnerships that can maximize impacts to food and agribusinesses within regional economies worldwide.   

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"Bite" sized programming

Program at-a-glance:



The program includes five-minute “bite” sized presentations from 20+ presenters from around the world who will showcase their programs focusing their insights on the following four topic areas:

  1. University Incubators
  2. Community & Non-Profit Food Entrepreneurship Models
  3. Food Accelerators
  4. Global Food Programs

Each featured program will share their unique organization’s perspective, achievements and structure from diverse FoodBIN sectors. There will also be an opportunity for robust and engaging Q & A after each presentation.

Who's coming?



You can expect to meet, mingle and engage with senior leadership and food professionals like:

  • Food Incubators and Accelerators
  • Investors seeking high-growth companies
  • Food industry corporations searching for new models for innovation
  • Service providers looking to access innovation programs and the respective clients
  • Economic Development Organizations and Government Agencies looking to develop and enhance food entrepreneurship in their communities

“Day in, day out, the work of producing food is still one of the hardest, messiest, most all-consuming, inconvenient and financially risky occupations.” – Lynne Curry, author of Pure Beef

“The heart of a true business incubation program is the ongoing, personalized, and comprehensive services that are provided to clients. By following best practices, an incubator will customize its mission, clients targeted, services provided, and infrastructure that is required in order to integrate its program into the fabric of the community and the broader economic development goals of the region. A best practice incubator will provide the expertise, networks, tools, and a social capital environment that will dramatically enhance the success of a new entrepreneurial venture.” – Lou Cooperhouse, Executive Director, Rutgers Food Innovation Center, in presentation to US House of Representatives Committee on Small Business

About Rutgers University

As the global economy evolves and competition increases, the need for new business creation throughout local communities has become ever more critical. InBIA’s partner in this initiative, Rutgers University, recognizes the importance of establishing new means of economic growth and has developed unique resources such as incubators, accelerators, research centers, mentorship networks, entrepreneurship clubs, and other supportive tools which help increase small business scalability.

Rutgers EcoComplex

The Rutgers EcoComplex, is the state’s clean energy and environmental research, outreach and business incubation center. Its mission is to promote economic development in the environmental and alternative energy innovation arenas and the compatible sectors of food and agriculture, and the remediation and protection of environmental quality.

It is an InBIA Soft Landings designated center that offers domestic and foreign businesses with business and technical expertise, access to applied research capabilities, and unique facilities – including a research and demonstration greenhouse. The Rutgers EcoComplex received a U.S. EDA I6 grant in 2016 to launch an accelerator program, EcoIgnite, which provides a comprehensive network of resources for the clean technology sector and will assist clean energy companies in successfully maneuvering the innovation pathway from discovery to commercialization.

The Rutgers EcoComplex, is the nation’s first research, technology development, teaching and outreach center that is dedicated to enhancing the environment and agriculture through education, outreach and “green” business development. In addition to its original charter, the EcoComplex is expanding its mission by including alternative energy innovation into its activities.

Rutgers Food Innovation Center

The Rutgers Food Innovation Center (FIC) is a globally-recognized food business incubation and economic development accelerator program that supports both domestic and international food companies. The Rutgers FIC provides business technical training, customized mentoring services and two USDA and FDA-inspected facilities that enable design, development, analysis, commercialization and manufacturing of value-added food products for sale to retail and foodservice markets. The Center has served over 2,000 companies since its formation in 2001.

The Rutgers FIC has been awarded “Incubator of the Year” and also as “Food Incubator of the Year” by the InBIA. In addition, InBIA has awarded the center a prestigious Soft Landings designation due to its focus on international business attraction. It currently is the only food industry-centric Soft Landings facility in the world. The Rutgers FIC has worked with clients that originate from Greece, Spain, France, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Switzerland and Columbia

The center’s capabilities will be dramatically expanded with the construction of a 30,000 s.f. Specialty Foods Commercialization Center in Bridgeton, NJ, which will be located adjacent to the 23,000 s.f. Rutgers FIC and managed by the Cumberland County Improvement Authority.

Travel & accommodations

Conference Venue & Address

The Conference will be held on the Rutgers University campus at the Rutgers Student Center.

The Rutgers University College Student Center is located at: 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08091.

Limited parking will be provided adjacent to the Student Center in lot #30. For directions to Rutgers Student Center and parking information, click here.


There are several lodging options near Rutgers University. Click here to check rates and availability and reserve your room today.

NOTE: There is no official room block for the FoodBIN group. Attendees are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible.

The Rutgers Student Center in New Brunswick, NJ and is only a 5-10 minute walk from the New Brunswick train station. NJ Transit services the New Brunswick train station and their schedule can be found here.


InBIA has partnered with Delta Air Lines to provide discounted rates to/from Newark International Airport.

The discount code is NMQEZ.

Click here to book online. Be sure to enter the discount code into the box marked “Meeting Event Code.”

To reserve by phone, reservations may also be made by calling Delta Meeting reservations at 800-328-1111, Monday – Friday 7am – 7pm CDT. Be sure to tell your customer services representative meeting event discount code.

This event is almost sold out

The FoodBIN Conference will be a highly-engaging platform focused on building thriving food entrepreneurial ecosystems in your community. The unique programming will celebrate the tremendous diversity that exists within the food incubation programs around the world, and we hope you will participate in the dialogue! All FoodBIN attendees will also receive a complimentary 12-month membership to the FoodBIN Network, a global network of food incubators, accelerators and other food entrepreneurial support organizations, which will officially launch and be announced at the conference.

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