The creators of a cream liqueur for vegan- and lactose-intolerant consumers have become the first recipients of a newly created startup fund called the Oilseed Innovation Partners Entrepreneurship Fund.
The John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise announced the new fund for entrepreneurs during its Startup Showcase event, on July 31.
The fund totals $100,000 and will be distributed over 10 years to U of G startups enrolled in the Wood Centre’s Hub Incubator program.
U of G startup Fifth Bean was announced as the first recipient of the new funding.
Fifth Bean is a new micro-distillery committed to creating the world’s first soy-based cream liqueur. The organization’s unique production process uses tofu by-products to create a sustainable alternative to traditional cream liqueurs.
The Fifth Bean founders have been awarded $5,000 to help get their product to market.
The company made its debut at U of G’s 2019 ProjectSOY innovation competition, where the founders took home the top prize in the undergraduate program.
The new innovation fund was established through a major gift from the Oilseed Innovation Partners, a non-profit that creates bioscience opportunities for Canadian oilseed innovations. The fund was also supported by the Ontario Agricultural College and the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.
The Wood Centre’s Startup Showcase pitch competition is held each semester for entrepreneurs in the Hub Incubator program who compete to win funding for their businesses.
The Best Pitch award winner went to Acer Guitars, a manufacturer of high-quality custom guitars and basses created from unique, salvaged materials.
Fifth Bean also received this semester’s Warren and Deborah Jestin Impact Award, which recognizes a business that demonstrates the highest community and social benefit along with a sustainable and profitable business model.