Launched in 2010, Foodem, the revolutionary B2B online wholesale food marketplace, was recently accepted into Baltimore City, Maryland’s Emerging Technology Centers’ (ETC) business incubator program. The ETC is a non-profit business incubator program and a venture of the Baltimore Development Corporation whose mission is to help growing early-stage technology and biotechnology companies.
Focused on enabling the sustainable food movement and connecting small to mid-size food distribution companies, local farms and specialty food manufacturers directly with wholesale food buyers such as restaurants, hotels, colleges and universities, hospitals, etc, Foodem has seen significant growth in the last two years ago. “My passion, or you could also call it obsession, is to disrupt the current supply chain by supporting local farmers and making their products more accessible to not only consumers but also businesses and institutions like restaurants, daycares, schools, hospitals, etc. Buying and consuming local foods is not only healthy for you or the customers served, but it also stimulates the local economy,” said Kash Rehman, Foodem’s CEO and founder.
Backed by accelerating interest shown by the general public, local food alliances, restaurants, government agencies and industry leaders alike, Rehman and the Foodem team is exploring grants, loans and programs that will help stimulate future growth. Acceptance into a recognized incubator program is a prerequisite for many of the government grants and loans applicable to Foodem’s business, but getting admitted into Emerging Technology Centers’ incubator program was no easy feat. After meeting initial benchmarks, submitting a full business plan covering specific interest points and making a formal presentation to a review panel, Foodem earned its position alongside other technology-focused companies based on its vision, market opportunity and team.
“We are excited to have Foodem in our ETC incubator program. Their innovative online marketplace fills a critical gap in the food distribution chain, and it serves our local community,” notes Deborah Tillett, President of ETC. “ETC’s entrepreneurial environment is designed for companies like Foodem to help them move farther, faster. We are looking forward to working with Kash and his team.”
Companies taking part in Baltimore City’s ETC incubator program are afforded amenities including a stimulating environment, fully wired office space at below market rates, flexible leases, customized technical and business assistance, shared basic services and equipment, onsite management and access to like-minded companies which invites collaboration, partnerships and joint ventures.
Foodem has recently won a number of awards and accolades including the 2011 TiE DC VC Pitch Competition. Kash Rehman is nominated for the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award and is also a participant in the 2012 MindShare class which is a CEO invitation only group. Foodem is also working closely with the Montgomery Countryside Alliance and other notable food organizations.
Foodem (foodem.com), headquartered in Greenbelt, Maryland, is the only B2B online food marketplace that connects wholesale food buyers, such as, restaurants, hotels, universities, hospitals, government institutions, etc. with food distribution companies, farms and specialty food manufacturers through its online search and food procurement capabilities that brings food sellers onto a single platform, where wholesale food buyers get the most competitive prices in a fast and efficient way. Foodem can be found at foodem.com. The company is privately funded.
The ETC (etcbaltimore.com), a venture of the Baltimore Development Corporation, is a non-profit business incubator focused on growing early-stage technology and biotechnology companies. The ETC promotes economic development, providing business, technical, and networking connections to help these companies grow and prosper.