Joanne Tetrault, Leore Anner, and Daniela Fuentes just finished the Lean LaunchPad program, a five-week program designed to help entrepreneurs validate their product-market fit. Their venture PowerEd Foods is seeking to grow ethical, local, organic nutritious food, year-round in a sustainable way. They plan to produce both high-value seafood and specialty produce using aquaponics. We had a chance to catch up after the program wrapped up and chat with them about their experience.
It all started after they received an offer to take over a failed farm. They went looking for support and happened upon the Lean LaunchPad program, which has helped them in structured their process.
Their key driver is the need of local food, sustainable farming, and educational services regarding food systems and innovation. After learning the limits of local food production, they realized that their solution would go a long way to help solve the food security problem. Their goal is to become a social enterprise working towards food sovereignty. They want to provide the next generation with the knowledge and skills to guaranteed ecological farming and food governance.
None of them have business backgrounds. Joanne is an animation, art, drama and game design teacher and passionate gardener. Leore is a UBC Science graduate, who teaches biology. Daniela is a dietician from Chile, specializing in chronic disease. The three of them form a strong team with a diverse set of backgrounds that inform their role in the food system.
Their key takeaway from the LLP was that their dream would not be possible without validating their product and finding their early customers. The program helped them identify their market, distill the best distribution channel and learn how to build out revenue streams in order to run their business sustainably.
Mentorship is another key aspect of the program that contributed to their success. Each team is assigned an industry mentor for the duration of the program. PowerEd worked closely with their mentor, Brian Kahnert, who provided valuable and timely feedback that kept them on track.
We look forward to seeing what they do next!
The Lean LaunchPad is a 5-week accelerator program run by e@UBC to help entrepreneurs validate their product-market fit. The program runs in 3 hour sessions every week for 5 weeks.
The next intake for the program will be in September. Stay tuned!