Concordia is a nonprofit organization that enables public-private partnerships to create a more prosperous and sustainable future. As equal parts convener, campaigner, and idea incubator, Concordia is creating a new model for how a nonpartisan nonprofit can have a global impact. The Concordia team recently connected with FoodFutureCo's 2017 cohort companies and shared the learnings from these conversations on their blog (excerpted below).

In an ever-growing pool of startup accelerators geared towards positive social impact, one stands out among the rest (and it’s not just because its founder Shen Tong was a social activist in the Tiananmen Square protests).

FoodFutureCo is the world’s first scale-up accelerator for food businesses. But not just your average food businesses. These are mission-driven companies that are disrupting the traditional food industry and creating a fresh generation of sustainable food companies.

While traditional food accelerators focus on early stage growth, FoodFutureCo supports established companies that are generating revenue, but finding it difficult to progress further.

50% of all startups fail in the first four years, and more than 50% that grow in their third year also experience setbacks in the fourth and fifth year, making it particularly important to focus on early stage development. Leading reasons for failures include a lack of managerial skills and inadequate mentoring. Startups that have helpful mentors, track metrics effectively, and learn from thought leaders raise seven times more money and have 3.5 times better user growth.

As an accelerator with a cohort-based structure, FoodFutureCo helps its entrepreneurs develop operations and growth strategies, provides its companies with mentorship, a network, and $100,000 worth of in-kind guidance.

Recently, Concordia staff visited FoodFutureCo to meet their 2017 cohort and conduct interviews with four member organizations — Seal the Seasons, Unify Water, Generation Fresh, and Ozuké — to discuss the role of partnerships in food sustainability as part of its Campaign for a Sustainable Global Food Supply.

The interviews had four areas of primary focus: identifying the populations for whom the businesses are building solutions, determining the strength and role of partnerships, recognizing challenges the organizations have faced, and highlighting the opportunities FoodFutureCo has provided for the cohort.