Food System 6 kicked off 2020 buzzing from the excitement of a major leadership transition - in late 2019, Caesaré Assad transitioned into the CEO position, as founders Renske Lynde and Peter Herz rolled onto the Board of Directors. In her new role, Caesaré has taken the critical learnings from our start-up years to inform a new dynamic, human- centered curriculum that helps under-represented entrepreneurs confront our rapidly changing food system and investment landscape.
As we all know too well, the months that ensued came with tumultuous highs and lows as the world was thrust into the Covid-19 pandemic. Having just kicked off our Cohort 5 programming, Food System 6 jumped in to support our entrepreneurs and guide our community through the challenges and opportunities that would present themselves in the months ahead. Although devastating, Covid-19 provided us an opportunity to validate a critical hypothesis - that the impact-driven entrepreneurs we support are building more equitable and more resilient alternatives to the current industrial food system. While the industry faced losses across the board, the FS6 portfolio was grappling with wildly increasing demand.
2020 marked many firsts for FS6, including a pivot to online programming. Since the start of 2020,
our small team has run 3 successful cohorts and supported 21 impact-driven innovators from across the country who are implementing solutions that advance health, equity and sustainability in our communities. We have also utilized the broader access of online programming by producing 6 public-facing educational events, as well as a 3-part educational mini-series for our broader community.
Food System 6 is now poised to take our learnings, insights and expertise into 2021/2022 as we work with talented entrepreneurs from California to Georgia
to build back our food system, stronger than ever. With the support from our committed and visionary donors, Food System 6 has developed one of the most unique business accelerators for sustainable agriculture and food system entrepreneurs - with a focus on supporting those who typically lack access to resources, knowledge and capital. We are grateful for our generous donors whose financial support has accelerated our vision for a sixth, restorative, and equitable food system for all.