ignite MODE launches one-day acceleration camp for food entrepreneurs and “impactivists”

On May 9, at the Millvale Studios, New Sun Rising will host Ignite MODE: Food, the third in a series of hands-on acceleration day camps for entrepreneurs and social enterprise leaders. The day camps aim to bring together companies in various stages of development from startup to growth and give them access to seasoned mentors in an intensive workshop.

ignite MODE launched during last year’s Thrival Festival with a day camp focused on Social Innovators. This January, ignite MODE held the second session of the series in Larimer. The upcoming event in Millvale—a community that is looking to establish a hub to incubate and grow food entrepreneurs—is the first food-focused installment of the quarterly series.

“From nourishment to celebration, food is an integral part of a resilient community. By focusing this ignite MODE workshop on food, we hope to provide purpose-driven leaders with the tools and resources they need to be successful. Getting their products and services launched will contribute greatly to the effectiveness of our regional food system,” says New Sun Rising Executive Director Scott Wolovich.

During past ignite MODE iterations, participants ranging from community organizations to technology companies have accessed mentors’ expertise to tackle specific challenges and move their ideas forward.

Leah Solomon Pugliano says, “We came to ignite MODE with a project idea and proposal, but we really wanted help molding it, to give us a sense of direction and where we should start. I really feel like we got a lot of that out of our mentors. We’ve made so much progress in the project—we’ve been able to pinpoint what we should do next.” Pugliano is the co-founder of The Boarding School, an indoor skate park that will introduce multimedia production skills to kids using skateboarding as the foundation.

For over 10 years, New Sun Rising has provided fiscal sponsorship and development assistance to numerous projects in the region. According to Wolovich, the number of project owners who have applied for the organization’s traditional fiscal sponsorship and mentoring assistance program has exceeded capacity in recent years, pushing the organization to develop additional offerings for community-based social innovators.

The goal of ignite MODE is to give project owners hands-on, real time mentorship that can help shape their project and community.

ignite MODE: Food Edition – Entrepreneurship and Activism will be held on May 9 at the Millvale Studios in Millvale, PA from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ignite MODE is free and applications are open until Friday, May 1st. Food-focused projects in various stages of implementation are welcome to apply for the 15 open slots. The application can be found on the New Sun Rising website.

Editor’s Note: the author will be one of the mentors during ignite MODE.

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.