Launching a startup of any kind is hard work, but launching a food startup in particular can present its own challenges—from entering a crowded marketplace to getting that spice mixture just right. A group of Yale SOM students and recent graduates working in the food space has found support and encouragement in a community of like-minded founders.
With opportunities for finding funding, a curriculum of entrepreneurship coursework, and informal collaboration with fellow founders in the Honest Tea Entrepreneurship Suite—known as “the bunker”—Yale SOM’s community of entrepreneurs is “extremely strong,” says Meryl Breidbart ’20. The second-year MBA student is the cofounder and creative director of Chirps, which aims to introduce cricket flour to the Western diet through its eponymous tortilla chips.
Ariana Yuen ’19, CEO and marketing director of Forested Foods, agrees that Yale SOM has been “catalytic” in helping her launch the brand and its product, Maryiza Honey. Yuen notes that Yale SOM’s “connectivity to the rest of the university” was a major factor in her decision to attend the school, and that it has given her exposure to other schools and resources from which she’s gained valuable insights for her venture.
Georgia Sills ’19, founder of Deviant Dumplings, says her venture has directly benefitted from her time in the classroom at Yale SOM: “I’m putting so many things into practice that I’ve learned in the classroom. I’m really excited to be applying everything I learned in my first year to build a food startup.”
Learn more about the founders’ startups: