We are excited to announce that Local Food Lab can now be used by everyone working towards a better food system. Whether you're a food startup, an urban farmer, a food tech hacker or just plain passionate about fixing our food system, we want to help you reach your full potential. You can use our brand new portfolio platform to share your work, discover new projects, and collaborate with the people creating today's good food movement. Our mission has always been to support the ideas and companies that are changing the food system—so we built a better way to catalyze that change.
How it works
Like Pinterest or Instagram, Local Food Lab v2 relies on the success of the visual web to display and organize the myriad projects and startups that are working towards a healthy, just and resilient food system. Every member creates a portfolio to showcase snapshots (photos and videos) of works-in-progress as well as polished, finished products. All members are encouraged to pay it forward by commenting on the projects of others and offering relevant and constructive feedback and support. See something you like? Tell people. Can't figure something out? Ask a question. Have a better idea? Share your solution.
Visitors can search portfolios based on what's popular (highest number of likes), by what's new (recently added) or by tags—food trucks, urban agriculture, food tech, restaurants, food marketing, business services, food manufacturing and many more. Don't see a tag you're looking for? Write to us at email@example.com or visit our Help Center.
Why we built it
Local Food Lab began as an in-person startup accelerator for local food ventures. With the help of 200 food and agriculture industry experts, we worked with 30 amazing startups who were launching concepts that aimed to be financially sustainable AND dedicated to creating a better food system. We found that the tech-style incubation process has elements that are extremely useful for budding food and farm entrepreneurs—rapid iteration, beta testing, customer discovery, mentorship and peer accountability to name a few.
To further our mission and to leverage what we learned working with startups on the ground, we built the new Local Food Lab to support local food entrepreneurs and creative professionals everywhere. Before food and farm businesses are ready to sell their products and raise funds from crowds, a whole lot of hard work and difficult decisions need to be made. Designing and testing innovative business models, understanding customers, researching supply chains, setting up books and building teams can be hard for any business. But it can be especially hard when the goal is not just profit but also food system innovation.
The new Local Food Lab was built to address the ideation and collaboration that comes before a product is ready to hit the shelves or a startup is ready to fundraise. As you post your projects and process others can see what you're working on and you can find the projects of others. But most importantly, together we can spark the conversations, debates and partnerships that fuel the good food movement. We're just getting started and we need your help to make Local Food Lab as useful and effective as possible. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.
Local Food Lab is for anyone who wants to share their work and skills in the good food movement, but because we’re still fixing bugs and adding new features, creating portfolios is limited right now. To get on the list, just sign in with your email, LinkedIn or Facebook account and request to create a portfolio. We're regularly inviting new users to create portfolios, so you'll hear from us as soon as you request to create a portfolio.
Thanks for all your support thus far. Looking forward to seeing what you're working on!
— Krysia and the Local Food Lab team