UND Food Incubator Opens & Welcomes Entrepreneurs


A collaboration between the University of North Dakota (UND) Center for Innovation Foundation and the UND Alumni Association & Foundation offer a new tenancy option to North Dakotan entrepreneurs: The Food Incubator. The Center for Innovation (CFI) Foundation is excited to offer entrepreneur coaching and access to commercial kitchen space to assist food-based entrepreneurs in advancing their business ideas.

“We are excited to expand our entrepreneur services and offer a kitchen incubator in Grand Forks. This project would not have been possible without the collaboration and team at the UND Alumni Association & Foundation,” said Travis Fretheim, the CFI Incubator Manager. 

Lisa Raiola, founder of the nonprofit food business incubator Hope & Main in Warren, used funds from the state's "Take it Outside" initiative to build a greenhouse enclosure that will be used to display items for sale at makers markets.

“The University of North Dakota has always fostered an entrepreneurial spirit, so we are excited to be able to help out this new venture through the use of the commercial kitchen in the Gorecki Alumni Center,” said DeAnna Carlson Zink, CEO of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation. “The Food Incubator gives entrepreneurs a new path in which to explore their big ideas. Grand Forks and the region will be the beneficiaries of their successes.”

Entrepreneurs with an interest in developing a food-based business have access to CFI entrepreneur coaches for business model generation, use of the commercial kitchen at the Gorecki Alumni Center, and receive monthly mentorship from ND culinary experts serving as entrepreneurs-in-residence. 

“We look forward to welcoming food-based entrepreneurs as incubator tenants of the Center for Innovation,” said Amy Whitney, Director of the UND Center for Innovation. “Being able to help creative cooks advance their business ideas and inspire a food renaissance through this collaboration is exciting.” 

If you are looking to learn more about the food incubator tenancy details, please contact the Center for Innovation for more details at (701) 777-3132.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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