Wells Fargo Awards $75,000 Grant to StartUP FIU Food

From left to right: AVP of Research & Economic Development and Co-Founder of StartUP FIU Emily Gresham, StartUP FIU Program Participant and Local Entrepreneur Sheronda Daye, FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, Wells Fargo Vice Chairman of Public Affairs Bill Daley, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, StartUP FIU Program Director Anna Etienne, FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality Dean Michael Cheng. Photo courtesy of FIU News.

Ian Lares-Chacín / Contributing Writer

Wells Fargo awarded FIU $75,000 to launch a virtual platform for StartUP FIU Food, a small business incubator which helps food and beverage micro-entrepreneurs in South Florida.

The grant, announced on Nov. 9, provides online resources to over 1,000 small businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With restaurants, food and beverage companies in South Florida suffering, small business revenues declined by 52 percent during the pandemic.

Small businesses participating in StartUP FIU Food have access to “state-of-the-art kitchens and facilities at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, as well as the expertise of food scientists and mentors,” according to FIU News.

Mentors provided by the program will assist businesses with product development, strategy, financials and e-commerce services.

The grant would also implement business counseling and technical assistance resources into a virtual platform.

This is one of the many ‘Open for Business Fund’ grants Wells Fargo provided for small businesses across Florida.

“The Open for Business Fund is a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort across the U.S. to help entrepreneurs recover and rebuild,” stated FIU News. “The initiative focuses on three key areas: increasing access to capital through CDFIs, technical assistance, and long-term recovery and resiliency programs.”