Carrot Bacon brings home the “bacon.” The Peterborough Plant-Based Startup Secures $100k Grant and Broadens Horizons to US Market
May 31, 2023 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – Carrot Bacon, a Peterborough-based startup and client of the Innovation Cluster, is set to revolutionize the plant-based snack industry. With the introduction of two new products – Beet Jerky and Onion Cracklings – to its successful line of Crispy Whole-Plant Jerky, Carrot Bacon has garnered international attention, secured a $100k grant, and made its first deliveries to both coasts of the USA.
This wave of success was catalyzed by the crucial support and resources provided by the Innovation Cluster. It was the Cluster’s guidance that enabled Carrot Bacon to apply for Venture13’s thriveFORWARD grant program, resulting in the receipt of a generous $100k grant. This funding, made available through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), is aimed at fueling innovation-driven job creation and growth across southern Ontario.
“The support from the Venture13 team has been an incredible boost for our company,” remarked Tyler Steeves, Founder of Carrot Bacon. “This grant has added momentum to our progress, and I extend my gratitude to John Haydn for his valuable advice and to the team at Northumberland CFDC for believing in our mission.”
Steeves made significant progress in penetrating the US market, largely due to his participation in the Canadian Taste Makers Accelerator 2.0 program. This opportunity introduced him to the Trade Commissioner and eventually allowed him to secure a US distribution deal. Reflecting on this success, he stated, “Our trade missions to Detroit and Buffalo were game-changing experiences, leading to our exciting new partnership with Wegmans.”
The Canadian Taste Makers Accelerator 2.0 program is committed to spotlighting innovative businesses in the food and beverage sector. “We’re thrilled with the positive reception of our new products and are eager to build on our previous successes,” said Steeves. “Our mission is to create ‘Future Food’: delicious, sustainable, nutrient-dense alternatives, and we’re confident that our Beet Jerky and Onion Cracklings will impact the plant-based snack market positively.”
Carrot Bacon’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, supported by the Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas startup incubator program, has reaped significant rewards. This has included accolades such as the “Small Business Innovator Award” at Chicago’s Sweets and Snacks Expo and the $20,000 GoodSpark Grant for Innovation from Desjardins. As a result of Carrot Bacon’s success, Peterborough’s economy, job market, and community are all benefitting.
Nicole Stephenson, Interim CEO at the Innovation Cluster, lauded Carrot Bacon’s achievements, stating, “Their accomplishments underscore the power of collaboration and the impact of the support provided by the Innovation Cluster. We are incredibly proud of Carrot Bacon’s commitment to producing innovative, sustainable, and cruelty-free snack alternatives.”
For more information about Carrot Bacon and their innovative plant-based products, visit www.carrotbacon.org
About the Innovation Cluster
Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.
The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.
STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program
STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program
FastStart – Student Entrepreneurship Program
For more information on the ICPK, visit Innovation Cluster at www.innovationcluster.ca
Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire.
About Carrot Bacon
Founded by Tyler Steeves, Carrot Bacon is a Peterborough-based startup dedicated to creating innovative plant-based snack alternatives that are both delicious and sustainable. Their award-winning Carrot Bacon jerky is joined by their latest offerings, Beet Jerky and Onion Cracklings, in providing consumers with cruelty-free, nutrient-rich options. Carrot Bacon products are available at select retailers across North America, including Jo Anne’s Place Health Foods, The Food Shop, Sobey’s, Walmart, London Drugs, and Whole Foods West.
Tyler Steeves, Founder