As a social enterprise, Urbavore seeks to become an integral part of a well-connected community of people, organizations, and institutions all working to fix our food system. We believe that the best work is always collaborative, open, and iterative. With that in mind, we cherish the relationships we have built, and look forward to many more. Here are just a few of the friends and collaborators that have helped us along the way.
BothCo. is a nonprofit located in Monterey County, California. Founded and run by our team member, Janna Ratzlaff, BothCo. has worked alongside Urbavore to perfect our practice of sustainable food production and provide fresh, healthy produce to people in need. BothCo.'s name reflects their mission to help end both thirst and hunger through water-saving, aquaponic food production and distribution to local beneficiaries.
The Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Urbavore began as a class project among friends and colleagues earning their degrees at the Middlebury Institute (MIIS). What started out as a homework assignment for a course on green business feasibility assessments, became, through the innovative and fostering environment at MIIS, a real organization that has been supported by multiple faculty and staff at this institution. The guidance of our professors, mentors, and collaborators at MIIS has been invaluable in bringing Urbavore to life. We would not be where we are today without the knowledge, skills, and connections we gained as students at the Middlebury Institute.
Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet
The mission of the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet (GEM) is to "strengthen the local economy by supporting new and growing technology entrepreneurs". Founded in 2012, GEM has helped to foster and grow a number of technology start-ups based in central California. Urbavore took part in GEM's accelerator program in the summer of 2016. In that time, GEM's team of mentors and leaders helped Urbavore to build our initial business plan. perform key market validations, and even develop our first prototype. This platform helped us grow from a project into a business and has contributed significantly to our ability to meet our mission.
The UCSC Carbon Fund
Urbavore first connected with the University of California Santa Cruz in the fall of 2016. Through a partnership with MIIS, UCSC and Urbavore began working on a project to engage undergraduate engineering students to work with our organization and gain professional experience while assisting in the development of our prototypes. The UCSC Carbon Fund has supported this project through their their granting program.
The Food Bank for Monterey County
The mission of the Food Bank for Monterey County is to lead community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger in Monterey County, California. Through multiple projects and programs, spanning from emergency assistance, to education and outreach, the Food Bank for Monterey County is able to feed nearly 11,000 people per week. We applaud their efforts and are excited to take part in fixing the food system by their side.