OH Taste Foundation developed the Sharpen the Axe (STA) Program with an emphasis on startup-phase participants.
The STA program will include the following:
Food safety instruction
Food business permitting education and facilitation
Legal requirements instruction
Business finance lessons
Sourcing and distribution information
STA students will receive financial literacy training and access to funding institutions. As we discuss business structures, finances, financial management, and business plan development, we will also educate participants on options for accessing start-up capital. OH Taste plans to partner with financial institutions that can provide additional financial literacy guidance and small business support.
We will recruit and train our first cohort of community-based entrepreneurs. We will recruit participants through our network of partner social service and economic development organizations who work with our target populations. We will further develop partnership channels with local labor workforce development and mentorship programs.
When 6888 Kitchen in Dayton, Ohio, opens, we will accept small cohorts of food businesses to continue to receive training, helping them grow and find more success. Companies will be separately admitted into the 6888 Kitchen incubator program, providing kitchen access, advanced support, and mentoring. STA program graduates will be well-positioned to apply to the 6888 Kitchen incubator program. Select 6888 Kitchen businesses will have access to our commercial kitchen at a subsidized rate. In line with our mission, OH Taste will seek to serve under-resourced entrepreneurs.
Why We Created Sharpen the Axe
Research conducted by the University of Dayton Entrepreneurship Program graduates began by looking into food incubators and their industry. They hypothesized that only 10% of food incubators across the country would have an education program. The team researched food incubators from different states to test this hypothesis. While conducting this research, we noted over 1,100 food incubators, commercial kitchens, and over 1,400 business incubators across the United States. Based on this large number of food incubators across the country, they researched 75 food incubators. Out of these 75 food incubators, only 10, or 13.33%, had an education program in place.
STA Application Procedure and Policies
Interested food entrepreneurs will be able to apply to the STA program. Before applying to participate in STA, prospective applicants must attend an orientation. The orientation will highlight the hardships of the food business industry. Only seriously committed individuals apply to the STA program. The application for the STA program will be simple and designed to be accessible to our target participants. The application will ask the applicant to explain their interest in beginning a food business. Applications will be available for submission online or in person. The Project Manager and Executive Director will review applications.
6888 Kitchen Membership Applications
Graduates of the STA program can apply to the 6888 Kitchen incubator program. The application for the incubator program will be much more detailed than the application for the STA program. Applicants interested in becoming 6888 Kitchen members will complete a written application, which will be available for submission online or in person. The Executive Director and Kitchen Manager will review applications. We will invite applicants meeting all the requirements and criteria for an interview. The Project Manager, Kitchen Manager, and at least one member of the Board of Directors will comprise the interview panel.
To learn more about 6888 Kitchen Incubator, please visit www.6888kitchen.org