Incubator Program
 

La Cocina’s Incubator Program is limited to qualified businesses who go through the application and interview process.

We’re here to support you in formalizing and launching your business.

 

 
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STEP ONE
Application and Enrollment

La Cocina has three application rounds each year. Read our How to Apply page to learn more. Qualified businesses must submit a completed application and business plan to be considered.

 

 
STEP TWO
Pre-Incubation

A 3-month period where program participants receive technical assistance to establish the foundations of their business in the areas of product, marketing, finance, and operations.

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STEP THREE
Incubator

Program participants whose first 3 months have been successful continue to receive technical assistance in all of those areas and have access to affordable commercial kitchen space to grow their businesses’s sales.

 

 
STEP FOUR
Graduation and Alumni

Program participants reach all established Incubation benchmarks and expand their business out of La Cocina’s kitchen while remaining part of the alumni community.

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Qualifications
 

La Cocina’s Incubator Program is limited to qualified businesses who go through the application and interview process.

If you don’t qualify for the Incubator Program, you can still apply to rent our kitchen as a commercial user.

La Cocina screens for applicants based on the following:

 
 
 
INCOME LEVEL

La Cocina works exclusively with low and very low income entrepreneurs as determined by HUD Guidelines for San Francisco. In addition to income, we also consider assets and access to opportunity. Our mission is to provide services to the entrepreneurs facing the highest barriers to entry to the food industry.
BUSINESS READY

When you apply to La Cocina, you should have a business idea that you are ready to put into action. We’ll help you refine it, but if you don’t have a business plan, please contact one of our partner organizations for support in writing one: Renaissance Center for Entrepreneurship, Centro Community Partners and MEDA.
 
 
PRODUCT VIABILITY

The food industry is competitive so your food has to stand out (and be delicious). Also, there has to be a market for it so that your business can be profitable.
ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Running a food business requires a lot of heart and hard work. We are excited to work with passionate entrepreneurs who are motivated to grow their businesses.
 
 
COMMUNITY SPIRIT

Our kitchen is shared by over 30 entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds. You need to be flexible and willing to work with others in close quarters to succeed in our kitchen. We value our community so much and rely on each entrepreneur to play an active role in bringing the spirit of La Cocina to the wider world.