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Pages from periodiCALS: Success stories from the Food Venture Center

Got an idea for a new niche food product but need help perfecting its formulation or navigating rigorous food safety regulations?

No fear, Cornell’s Food Venture Center is here — well, in Geneva, N.Y. Since 2000, the center has helped 2,100 entrepreneurs in the commercialization of 7,800 food products, contributing to the creation of an estimated 800 full-time jobs. Last year alone, the center responded to more than 2,500 inquiries for assistance on marketing food products; worked with 391 entrepreneurs who needed safety evaluations of 1,030 specialty products and processes for commercial production; and analyzed 774 samples of food prototypes to address their safety and technological feasibility. Also, more than 20,000 visitors accessed educational materials on the center’s website (

“Comprehensive assistance to food entrepreneurs through university centers is a successful model that increases the safety of specialty foods, increases entrepreneurs’ knowledge and competency, and creates local economic development,” said director Olga Padilla-Zakour.

The model may soon be replicated in New York City; CALS is investigating the possibility of opening a branch in Harlem or Brooklyn.

T0 sample success stories and explore the current issue of periodiCALS, click here.



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