Food Entrepreneur Training Program
Food Safety and Business Development for aspiring and new entrepreneurs in minority and underserved communities.
Do you have a new food company or are getting ready to launch one? This training program is designed to help you develop your business while keeping food safety as a priority.
- Our first sessions will be in-person in Atlanta:
- June 13 (1-4 p.m.) through 14 (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) at the Food Well Alliance
- July 12 (9-4 p.m.) at Georgia Tech’s Atlanta Campus
- APPLY NOW
Entrepreneurs are essential for boosting the US economy. This is evident in the huge number of new food companies that have been created in recent years. Minorities and historically underserved populations, particularly in Georgia and Puerto Rico, have been vital to this new growth.
Aspiring and new entrepreneurs require assistance and mentorship to tackle obstacles. These may include a lack of understanding of food regulations and licenses, as well as an incomplete business plan. Our program is tailored to meet the needs of small and emerging food companies. We provide a comprehensive curriculum, mentorship and assistance with regulatory compliance. With our support and guidance, you can ensure your food business is successful and compliant with all regulations.
The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has enabled Georgia Tech’s Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) a Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) grant to teach free, one-day classes to food and farmer entrepreneurs on food safety and business development.
Our goal is to equip entrepreneurs with the tools they need to make safe food and succeed in the food industry. Classes start soon with more dates to come, across Georgia and Puerto Rico.
Regardless of where you are in your business journey, you are welcome to join us for this exciting training program.
Meet the Team
Wendy White is the GaMEP Food Industry Manager and a nationally known food safety expert. In this role, she provides educational outreach and support to help Georgia food manufacturers improve their food safety and quality systems. She is a leader in the Georgia Association of Food Protection (GAFP) and the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP), and is on the Editorial Board of Food Safety Magazine. Her experience also includes overseeing internal audits, implementing corporate programs, ensuring regulatory compliance, elevating food safety culture, and supporting global supply chain management.
Brandy Nagel is a program manager with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) Global team. In this role, she works with communities and organizations around the world to drive innovation-led economic development. She is the lead instructor for Georgia Tech’s Soft Landings program. As an innovation and entrepreneurship educator, Nagel helps both new and established businesses identify customer segments, distribution channels, and potential partners to grow their businesses. With a focus on innovation and revenue diversification, Nagel works with business owners large and small to reduce risk and develop new business models.
Aubrey Lenyard is the Community Engagement Manager at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia’s technology business incubator. Aubrey’s focus is to identify, cultivate, and build relationships with sponsors, mentors, corporations, partners, and community-based organizations that promote technology and startup development. In this role, he will plan and implement a variety of project-based activities to support ATDC’s operations, and support community and marketing outreach initiatives. A serial entrepreneur himself, he is currently the Founder of AubSauce, a small-batch line of gourmet barbecue sauces.
Ilia Cordoliani is the Business Developer and Marketing Coordinator of Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension, Inc. She has ample experience working with manufacturing, advertising, marketing, public relations, and international business with emphasis on business development and sales objectives. Experienced in continuous improvement processes, risk level assessment as well as research and develop potential market areas, Ilia is the link between partners, government institutions, municipalities, associations, and organizations to promote the MEP services.
Jennifer Stone is the Lead Instructional Designer for Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP). She currently works with group managers, project managers, and region managers to develop effective traditional, virtual, and asynchronous training courses. Jennifer was awarded the National Unsung Hero recipient in 2019 for her leadership towards training and forward thinking.
Dr. Niki Whitley serves as the State Small Ruminant Specialist for Georgia and has more than 20 years of experience working with livestock producers who are involved in retail meat production. She has degrees in Animal Science from the University of Georgia and a PhD in Animal Physiology from Mississippi State University. After completing her PhD in 1998, she worked at the University of Missouri and later at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore where she worked on research related to sheep and goat facilities and pre-harvest food safety. She spent 8 years at North Carolina A&T State University before joining Fort Valley State University in 2015.
Grant partners include Enterprise Innovation Institute Global (EI2 Global), Fort Valley State University, in Middle Georgia, and PRiMEX, the MEP center in Puerto Rico, will work with GaMEP to reach entrepreneurs in their regions.
This project is funded through a USDA NIFA Food Safety Outreach Program (USDA-NIFA-FSMA-008641).