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the 5th annual Real California Milk Excelerator final pitch event RECAP

On November 16, we held the 5th Annual Real California Milk Excelerator Final Pitch Event held at Casa Real, Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton, CA!

This year's event brought together startups, experts, and innovators to celebrate, support, and drive innovation across the dairy industry. Attendees tasted and tested the latest dairy-based products at a Future of Dairy Expo, gained insights from experts during a panel discussion on the impact of dairy innovations on retail sales and consumer behavior, and witnessed our live pitch competition, where four winners secured $30,000 each, for their groundbreaking dairy innovations.

Plus, we announced this year's Grand Prize winner and Runner Up who took home $100,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Play the Excelerator Recap video at right to learn more about this year's program.

Dosa by Dosa



As a young American woman traveling in India, Co-Founder Emily Gilels developed a passion for many homestyle recipes that she enjoyed in people's homes, of which lassi was number one. Lassi is arguably, the oldest and most celebrated yogurt drink in the world at 3,000 years old. It's made simply and naturally using freshly roasted spices and ripe fruit puree. As cows are considered sacred in India, dairy and yogurt, in particular, are deeply treasured products. Yogurt is made at home so it's fresh, creamy, delicious, and rich in nutrients. dosa by DOSA was founded to share this homestyle lassi recipe with the world in uniquely spice-forward flavors, all rich in protein, probiotics, and lactose-free!
Represented by:
Emily Gilels, CEO and Co-Founder



Wheyward Spirit makes superior tasting "farm-to-flask' spirits from excess artisan whey, with a scalable yet craft approach. It is built on the ethos of doing things differently, for the right reasons. With a vision to have a local impact, scaled to a national brand, making a dent in waste and changing the way people look at spirits with every bottle sold.
Represented by:
Emily Darchuk, Founder
Wheyward Spirit
Pitch Competition Winners
Amazing Ice Cream
Company behind Cookie Wild, a cookie wafer ice cream bar novelty enrobed in chocolate to stay crunchy.
Represented by:
Donald Anit, Founder
Stockton, CA
Arbos Cheese Dip
Gluten-free, keto-friendly queso-style cheese dips for retail.
Represented by:
Andrew Arbogast, Founder & CEO
Memphis, TN
Petit Pot
French-style dairy desserts in paper-based cups made with >80% stainable/renewable fiber.
Represented by:
Maxime Puvreau, Founder
Emeryville, CA
The Empanada Shop
Empanadas combining golden, flaky crust, creamy, melted cheese and a fusion of Latin American tradition and California flavors for retail and foodservice.
Represented by:
Ruben Frias, Co-Founder
Redondo Beach, CA
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This Year's Theme: Open Innovation

We're seeking anyone building any product that's made with at least 50% dairy. Including, but not limited to: foods, beverages, personal care products, packaging, material sciences, textiles, pet products, or anything else using dairy in an innovative way!

CMAB Excelerator Program 2023: Open Innovation
3 months
8 startups
World-Class Mentorship
4x $30K Prizes
1x $100K Grand Prize


Dairy-industry specific mentors, investors, and buyers
$270K in Non-Dilutive Capital
California Milk Advisory Board's specialized network

real california milk Excelerator alumni

Have questions? Email us at

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