The Contest

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The California Milk Advisory Board’s (CMAB) dairy innovation competition returns with a new name and increased focus on excellence. The 2021 Real California Milk Excelerator is one of the biggest dairy competitions in the world with over $650,000 worth of prizing to be awarded to innovative Performance and Recovery products made with dairy.

The third CMAB innovation competition combines two of California’s great natural resources: Real California Milk and California Entrepreneurship with a specific focus on how dairy products can play a critical role in our personal performance (focus, exercise, strength) and recovery (sleep, relaxation, gut health, rejuvenation) to live a balanced life. The competition aims to shine a light on the potential of dairy to help us achieve excellence and to inspire entrepreneurs to create innovative dairy products to increase demand for California Dairy.

CMAB is seeking early-stage, potential for high-growth dairy applicants with a product or working prototype with cow’s milk dairy making up at least 50% of their formula and with less than $1m of domestic US Sales over the product’s lifetime. Applicants will need to commit to producing the product in California should they win the competition, thus making an economic impact on the dairy farmers and dairy processing community in the state. Please note: if you have an idea for a product, but have not developed it yet, please apply to be eligible for our Incubator Boot Camp for pre-revenue companies (more below).

Up to twelve (12) applicants will be selected to join the RCM Excelerator program. Each will receive $10,000 worth of support to refine and scale their individual business as well as benefit from $80,000 in group resources including video commercial development, sales sheet creation, investor memo creation, consumer research, shipping of samples, etc. They will also be entered into the CMAB/VentureFuel Mentor Program which includes elite mentorship from successful founders, investors, leading corporate executives, and experts across design, marketing, sales, manufacturing, distribution, farming and processing (value of $150,000).

The first-place winner will receive $150,000 worth of marketing support from CMAB to accelerate their product growth in the marketplace. Second place will receive $100,000 of marketing supports from CMAB.

Note: For the first time, CMAB and VentureFuel will also be awarding up to three (3) companies entry into the Real California Milk Incubator Boot Camp. The Boot Camp, for companies that have great ideas but are too early for the competition, is an entrepreneurial sprint to get a product ready for the next level. Led by executives at CMAB, VentureFuel and the California Dairy Innovation Center, Boot Camp participants also gain entry into the VentureFuel Mentor program as well as review of products, tweaking of business pitch, introductions to food labs, nutritionists, etc. (value of $50,000).

Apply here!

Deadline to apply is:

Midnight EST on June 25, 2021