SOSV loves revolutionary food startups, which is why we’re retiring the Food-X accelerator

Shawn Broderick
Published in
3 min readFeb 5, 2021

SOSV founded the Food-X accelerator in 2015 with the conviction that innovation in the food sector was ready to take off. We were the first to launch a food accelerator and we were right about food — up to a point. In the last six years, Food-X ran eleven cohorts of promising founders and invested in 100 startups. They include great companies such as Halla, Abbot’s Butcher, and Simply Good Jars. In 2021 SOSV will invest more than ever in food companies, and yet today we are announcing the end of our Food-X accelerator program.

Over the past six years, SOSV has seen a clear pattern for food-oriented startups. Those promising the most radical innovation landed at our “hard tech” oriented accelerators, notably IndieBio but also HAX, where they benefited from the deep technical resources those programs offer. IndieBio, for example, helped startups like Perfect Day, Memphis Meats, and NotCo achieve fantastic feats in the technically-demanding categories of cellular-agriculture and plant-based meat and dairy.

Our decision to retire the Food-X accelerator is a recognition that IndieBio has emerged as our best setting for disruptive food startups. At the same time, Food-X is part of SOSV’s legacy and we will support the portfolio companies with our time, guidance, and follow-on funding.

Today, it seems more clear than ever that the food industry must embrace radical transformation for the sake of human health and the planet. IndieBio and HAX are at the forefront of that effort through their support for startups in emerging areas including cellular agriculture, protein farming, plant-based protein foods, pesticide-free farming, improvements in pollination, fish farming technologies and bioreactors, to name a few. Our hope is that these pioneers will create great companies and play a major role in making the world a more sustainable place.

To help make that happen, SOSV will play to its strength in the food category. Founders working on biology and sustainable engineering challenges will be routed to our IndieBio New York and San Francisco programs. Startups centered on efficient production and automation, or consumer devices, will fit well in the HAX program in Shenzhen and San Francisco. And founders looking to crack the cross-border consumer and enterprise markets in Asia will be welcome in SOSV’s Chinaccelerator and MOX programs.

As we wrap the Food-X accelerator, some final thanks are in order. Thank you to our amazing staff, without whom the roughly 250 founders that work for Food-X startups would not have gotten as far, as fast: Peter, Terry, Bella, Paul, and Susannah. We also are deeply grateful to the hundreds of exceptional mentors who shared their wisdom with both the Food-X startups and community over the last six years. Finally, a monstrous thanks to all the service providers, interns, helpers, community members, and partners who not only helped us build an amazing community, but, more importantly, helped make it shine.

Thank you one and all.