Oct 6, 2022 Merchant

Welcoming the Participants of the Accelerator for Local Goods California Cohort

Today, DoorDash is proud to announce the cohort of business owners from California who have been selected to participate in the Accelerator for Local Goods, an educational program designed in partnership with Next Street, aimed at providing educational resources, funding, and access to opportunity for participants to grow their businesses. Earlier this year, we debuted the Accelerator for Local Goods as a program designed to uplift local consumer packaged goods businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants, or people of color. Our inaugural cohort included inspiring business owners from Chicago, New York City, and the greater Washington D.C. area. This Fall, we are excited to bring the Accelerator for Local Goods to California. 

The California cohort of entrepreneurs represents a wide range of identities. 82% of the cohort identify as people of color, 68% identify as women, and 32% identify as immigrants or refugees. The top product categories include bakery items, non-alcoholic beverages, and both salty and sweet snacks. 

“Following our successful inaugural cohort of the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods earlier this year, we could not be more thrilled to bring the program to California and to meet another group of diverse and inspirational entrepreneurs,” said Anuja Perkins, General Manager, DashMart – New Verticals at DoorDash. “While reviewing the applications for this new class of program participants, it was evident how passionate each of these business owners was about their products and their vision. We are hopeful that the educational tools, resources, and financial capital that the Accelerator provides will assist these entrepreneurs in their journey to grow their businesses and expand their local footprint. We are also excited to help play a role through distribution of eligible products at select DashMart locations.”

We’re proud to introduce the following California-based businesses that will be participating in the Accelerator for Local Goods this Fall:

These participants were selected based on their business story, ability to fully participate in the program from the first day to commencement, opportunity for growth and potential to overcome challenges with access to more resources, in addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria.

“I have always had a passion for snacks, but it was not until a business trip to Asia where I discovered mushroom snacks for the first time and was amazed by how delicious and healthy they were,” said Gina Shi, Founder of munchrooms. “I started munchrooms with the simple goal of sharing my healthy, plant-based mushroom jerky snacks with my community. Through our Asian inspired flavors, we hope to expand people’s cultural palates and bring them together through a mutual love of snacking. I’m thrilled to be a part of the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods and look forward to meeting other like-minded entrepreneurs as we look to grow our businesses and reach new customers.” 

“My co-founder Brendan and I originally created Joe’y due to our shared sensitivities to caffeine and excessive coffee consumption,” said Amanda Fields, Co-Founder of Joe’y. “We wanted something that not only provided a healthier routine, but also scratched the itch of that rich, roasted flavor we had grown to love. And so Joe’y was born. Joe’y isn’t coffee. It’s your healthier pick-me-up. It’s everything we liked about coffee, nothing we didn’t and so much more. We are so excited to be a part of the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods because it will enable Joe’y to reach more people who may also be looking for a healthier caffeine alternative and help prepare us for future success in wholesale.” 

“I started Kavaia Tea with the mission of sharing my culture, connection, and community with others,” said Elisiva Maka, Founder of Kavaia Tea. “Growing up in Tonga, I wanted to craft teas with ingredients that represented the essence of our islands and honor the rich heritage I am a part of. Our herbal tea products offer natural and organic ingredients including the unique kava root, a calming and stress-relieving herbal root found in the South Pacific. I look forward to joining fellow entrepreneurs in the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods and am eager to use the tools, resources, and training I receive to expand my business.” 

“California is home to a vast, diverse group of entrepreneurs with inspiring stories and it’s encouraging to see DoorDash empowering small business owners through their Accelerator for Local Goods program,” said Julian Cañete, President and CEO of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “32% of the California cohort identify as immigrants or refugees. We’re proud to see DoorDash focusing on empowering this community, and to see how these small business owners will take advantage of the six week program and gain crucial resources to help their businesses grow through DashMart and other channels.”

The accelerator’s six-week programming is now in session, and topics include: 

  • Week 1: Strategic Planning for Entrepreneurs
  • Week 2: Marketing and Business Development
  • Week 3: Financial Management and Funding Options 
  • Week 4: Working with Wholesalers (Part I)
  • Week 5: Working with Wholesalers (Part II)
  • Week 6: Commencement and Networking

In addition to participating in the educational programming, eligible businesses will receive a $5,000 grant to support their growth, access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash, plus the opportunity to sell their items via DashMart, a new type of neighborhood grocery store brought to you by DoorDash.

For many participating entrepreneurs, this will mark the first time their products have been distributed outside of their own websites. We’re excited to welcome these entrepreneurs into the program and hope you’ll keep your eyes out for their products coming to select DashMarts in California in the coming months. 

More information about the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods can be found here.