Meet the Incubator Inaugural Class

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Ayoba-Yo is a family owned company that was cooked up in the founders’ kitchen a few years after they moved to the USA from South Africa.The van Blommestein family came to realize that the part of South Africa they missed the most was the food, more specifically the Biltong & Droëwors. What started off as a Saturday morning hobby between a father and his sons, quickly grew into something more. Ayoba-Yo introduces the USA to an authentic, expertly crafted alternative to traditional beef jerky and meat sticks.

About the Team

Ayoba-Yo was founded by Steph van Blommestein and his sons, Wian and Emile, who are currently leading the business. Emile has a history in national sales and plays a integral part in production, product development and sales. Wian has a history in accounting and is experienced in marketing, e-commerce, sales and strategic growth.

Working with Springboard

“Springboard has given us access to a great deal of crucial resources including R&D, Sales Strategies and Data. The leaders are focused on our growth and are genuinely committed to seeing us succeed.”

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Cleveland Kraut has grown from a local Farmer’s market staple in their home city, into one of the fastest growing fermented food brands in the nation. The founding brothers are on a mission to bring “Fermented Foods For All” at fair prices – working to embody their hometown pillars of hard work, quality, and honesty.

About the Team

Brother-in-Law’s Drew Anderson and Luke Visnic discovered over a shared beer their hobby of fermenting cabbage to create sauerkraut. Drew and  his brother Mac grew up helping run their Mom’s Farmer’s markets, all the while seeing natural food businesses grow and thrive. As a banker in Richmond, Drew began fermenting Kraut and making sausage to experience a piece of Cleveland that he was missing. Luke was small-batch fermenting to get in touch with his Eastern European heritage and soon discovered he was making some delicious ferments (their best-selling Classic Caraway is based on Luke’s Grandmother’s recipe!). Today, the 3 have built upon their passion and those early farmer’s market days and are on a mission to bring delicious “Fermented Foods for All”!

Working with Springboard

“We love working alongside this driven group here at Springboard and our Cohort of entreprenuers. The entire Springboard team is full of passion and excitement for growth. We are tremendously excited to have a team that is passionate about helping us grow and bring delicious fermented foods to the people! The resources, conversations, and learnings have been truly outstanding.”

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Kumana believes that when people come together around a table and share food with one another, it profoundly unites them. Kumana believes that sharing food, culture and experiences has the power to make the world more understanding, accepting, and vibrantly interesting place. The team launched the first avocado sauce of its kind, inspired by a beloved Venezuelan staple. Kumana provides consumers with an easy way to add the increasingly popular avocado to just about any food in a fun and convenient way.

About the Team

Co-founder Francisco was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to the US for college. While he was working in Tokyo for Toyota, he found food to be the one thing that took you back home, wherever you were. Co-founder Todd had lived in 7 different states and traveled through Southeast Asia and Australia, always searching for new and interesting foods. After managing several restaurants and cafes, Todd wanted a change of pace and started an artisan food company specializing in plant-based snacks. The two decided to take their passion for food and work together and started to lay the groundwork of the Kumana Brand.

Working with Springboard

“The support and encouragement we have received from Springboard has been incredible. It is invaluable for us as a new company to have KHC as a ’big brother’ we can reach out to for guidance. Lastly, Chicago in the summer is one of the best cities in the country.”

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Poppilu® is a line of refreshing antioxidant beverages harnessing the power of native-to-the-Midwest aroniaberries. Poppilu’s first product, lemonade, features a distinctly tart & tangy flavor, antioxidants including Vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants from aronia, and only 9g sugar per 8oz serving. Poppilu allows consumers to love lemonade again and gives them a delicious introduction to an emerging domestic superfruit.

About the Team

A mom-trepreneur, Melanie Kahn created Poppilu as a response to her pregnancy craving for citrus which she was unable to satisfy with the lemonade products on the market at the time. Melanie has experience in consumer brand management, having started her career at Kraft before going on to create and nationally launch the fairlife® dairy brand, the 4th best selling new food/bev product in its 2015 launch year.

Working with Springboard

“This program has far exceeded my expectations. The support from Kraft Heinz has been incredible; they’ve covered all the bases, from sales to R&D to consumer insights and beyond. I know that if I have a need, they will help me address it. The camaraderie among the teams has also been incredibly valuable – we learn a lot from each other as fellow entrepreneurs trying to succeed in a highly competitive, capital-intensive marketplace. I only wish the program were longer!”

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Quevos are chips made from egg-whites. They’re loaded with 15 grams of protein but have only 2 net carbs and 130 calories. Quevos are crunchy, tasty, and mobile, and whether you’re going to the gym or backpacking or just hungry, Quevos are built to get the job done.

About the Team

A collegiate athlete and a type-1 diabetic, Zack came up with the idea for Quevos when he was searching for a way to make a low-carb and high-protein snack. Zack quickly discovered a knack for making snacks, and his best friend Nick began experimenting with him. They experimented for the bulk of two summers and finally arrived at the right chip. Soon, excited by a vegetarian and highly-mobile protein food, Ben, Haze, and David joined the team.

Working with Springboard

“Our favorite part about Springboard is the culture that Kraft-Heinz has fostered, where all the different teams are willing and eager to share their expertise and experiences with one another—it brings us together and makes our businesses stronger.”

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