Gnarly Pepper accepted into Inno Accel program

Cedar Rapids-based Gnarly Pepper has been selected to join Agropur’s Inno Accel program.

Canadian Dairy Cooperative Agropur launched Inno Accel, an accelerator for startups building products and solutions in the dairy industry, in 2018.

Following an international Inno Accel call for applications, fifteen businesses pitched to win a slot on the 2019 cohort, with Agropur selecting four dairy-related start-ups from Canada, the US and the UK to join the program which started the first week of September.

The selected businesses will spend 12 weeks in Inno Accel, challenging convention and generating exciting new solutions to maximize their overall success.

Each selected business will receive several months of support, as well as $20,000 cash to contribute to travel and living expenses. Gnarly Pepper will fly to Montreal, Canada for four one-week sprints as part of the program.

“Canada’s dairy industry is renowned for its creativity and innovation and to be selected from so many strong contenders for a place on the program is an immense achievement for the business,” said Gnarly Pepper founder Sara Gotch. “Since the beginning development stages of Gnarly Pepper, I have wanted to combine our product formulations with plain Greek yogurt for a pre-mixed ready to use product, this program will help us navigate that goal. Above all, we are going to benefit from three months of intensive product and business development coaching and the expertise of a highly
professional and experienced company, creating undreamed of opportunities.”

Inno Accel will help Gnarly Pepper develop products and market solutions with a fully customized coaching program. Gnarly Pepper will be supported by two mentors—a successful entrepreneur and a member of Agropur senior management—and at least 20 coaches with different areas of expertise, from marketing and sales to R&D and strategy.

The popularity of Gnarly Pepper—the custom spice blend company that pairs products with plain Greek yogurt for healthier, savory alternatives to traditional dips and condiments—has increased rapidly since its launch two and a half years ago.

Gnarly Pepper’s products are now available on Amazon, eBay and sold in 60 stores across the US including 35 Hy-Vee locations.

Gnarly Pepper has also been to Sunnyvale, CA for Plug and Play’s Selection Day and opened a gourmet salad and sandwich shop inside NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids.

Previous coverage

Gnarly Pepper: A healthier dip and condiment alternative -Aug. 16, 2018