Applications for V&A Waterfront kitchen incubator opens

The V&A Waterfront’s, Makers Landing, a development created by the V&A Waterfront in partnership with the National Treasury’s Job Fund has opened applications for its Food Lab incubation programme. 

Applications close on 23 October 2020

 Westleigh Wilkinson, Makers Landing Project Lead provides insight into the aims of the programme and Makers Landing. 

“We have developed a value-driven approach for Makers Landing. Our plan is to immerse our entrepreneurs in an inclusive and innovative space, where they will be nurtured by food industry mentors who are influential and successful in their own right. By matching natural creativity and passion for food with knowledge and new skills gained, our entrepreneurs will be better prepared for success in what is a tough and competitive industry.” 

The incubation programme 

The programme will offer opportunities to qualified business startups and existing small food businesses that can show that they will benefit significantly from affordable access to a licensed commercial kitchen space, and technical assistance and training from experts in food industry techniques and general business operations. 

The incubation programme will take place over six months. The programme will include two sessions a week with online modules, in-class learning, and individual assignments. The modules will cover food safety, product development, marketing, sales, operations, and finance

The programme aims to equip selected participants with knowledge of the fundamentals of building a business along with insights into the local food industry. 

Developed by Stellebosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts, candidates will receive technical support along with bi-weekly mentor meetings. 

David Green, CEO at the V&A Waterfront explains what makes the programme unique. 

“One aspect that sets this programme apart from any existing programme is that it will also offer entrepreneurs access to a commercial kitchen, allowing them to take a product or an idea and produce it to scale. At Makers Landing there will also be a food market, so they will also be able to test these products or food ideas out with a real audience.” 

The programme will also give them access to transformative collaborations with partners in the food industry.

“The idea is that a pipeline will be created for these food businesses to get started in a supportive environment and to eventually – with the knowledge gained – move to larger operations, and possibly even their brick and mortar restaurants,” said Green.   

How to apply 

Foodpreneurs should have an existing food business that is actively selling or operating and has been in operation for less than three years. 


  • A desire to formalise and expand their food business and a plan for how to achieve that growth.
  • Experience in operating a food business, formally or informally, for at least six months, but less than three years.
  • A personal support network.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm, and persistence.
  • A vision for the business.

Interested applications can apply online. Applications for the first cohort close 23 October 2020.

Selected applicants will be interviewed by the Makers Landing team and a selected advisory committee of industry experts and professionals. The programme will have a three-phase approach, pre-incubation, incubation, and graduation. Once selected participants have graduated from the kitchen incubator programme, a new group of applicants will be selected. 

Applicants are advised that some costs will apply to join the Makers Landing Food Lab programme. These fees include a monthly sum for access to the training, networking, and facilities provided during the incubation programme. In addition, the costs to cover regulatory items such as health and safety certifications. 

Read more: V&A Waterfront launches incubator for foodpreneurs and SMMEs

Featured image: Supplied 



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