Three Reasons to take a BUI Food Business Workshop
From workshops designed to give you and your team the skills to grow your food business to discussion groups and trends presentations that will ignite your creativity, Blue Unicorn Innovation workshops are valued by people who want to stay innovative and launch profitable food products.
Our workshops are led by food trend and innovation expert Dana McCauley. She’s one of Canada’s most recognized food authorities for many reasons but there are three key qualities that make Dana the perfect person to help those starting or growing a food business.
- Firsthand Experience as an Entrepreneur
Since 2015, our BUI chief innovator Dana McCauley has supported over 200 start-up companies trying to penetrate the market at different points along the agri-food value chain. But before that, she owned her own food product development and food marketing company.
“I wish I had access to the knowledge I have now when I was a food entrepreneur myself,” confesses McCauley. “The good news is that I’m able to apply the lessons I learned growing and selling my company to help others to get to success faster and easier.”
- Executive Level Food Manufacturing Experience
After selling her own company, Dana worked as an executive in food manufacturing companies ranging in size from $110 million to $1.5 billion in annual sales. Leading product development teams and working closely with sales departments, taught her the best practices entrepreneurs need to master to compete.
“My corporate experience taught me how to get great food products on shelf and how to sell them through to customers. Those skills are quite different from the frontend marketing skills you need to create new products,” she says.
- Acknowledged Food industry Thought Leader
From being the food trends correspondent on national morning shows to being the on-air product development judge for the first two seasons of TV show Recipe to Riches, Dana’s ability to communicate is well-acknowledged.
Her skills have earned awards. In 2017 she was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 most Powerful Women by the WXN in the trail blazer and trendsetter category. That same year, the province of Ontario recognized her contribution as Executive Director of Food Starter when they gave the centre a Premier’s Award of Excellence in Agri-Food Innovation.
But don’t take our word for it. Check out what our participants think about Dana’s workshops:
“[The Product Creation] workshop is valuable whether you have a product to sell or not. It helps you see how marketing works and gets you asking the right questions about branding.” Laura Calder, award winning cookbook author and broadcaster
“Thank you, Dana and Blue Unicorn, for such a fantastic workshop today. It gave so much insight into the food industry and food entrepreneurship.” Kelly Palter, Nutrition Professional
“Dana has also led some amazing workshops and provided mentorship to some of our ventures, and the feedback was incredible! The companies loved how she listened to their problems, provided recommendations and was so open to supporting them on whatever level she can. Her workshop provided practical tools that the companies could tactically work on immediately to improve their company’s messaging and value proposition. You can see the flood of questions open up once the workshop was done, and everyone wanted to talk to Dana about their specific product and gain some knowledge from her on how to move forward with their product. Overall, we had a great experience working with Dana and hope to continue working together!” David Kwok, Entrepreneurship Manager, YSpace