Food Innovation Lab
The Food Innovation Lab is an 800-sq. ft. facility that supports a unique cohort of food and beverage startups at Penn.

What We Offer

The program supports restaurant concepts or food products along with hosting tasting events to gain consumer insight and outline the path to market.

Two Four-Burner Ranges
with cameras set up for cooking demonstrations
Two 24” Flat Tops
Double-deck Convection Oven
20-qt. Mixer
Two Food Warmers
Water Activity Meter, pH Meter, Autoclave

Food Innovation Lab Cohort Highlights

SuChef is a community for incredible cooking experiences. Check out our beta app and Instagram.
DinnerParty provides affordable, at-home hosting boxes with ready-to-cook ingredients, dinnerware, and tableware.
Kokada's products are peanut free, vegan, gluten free, organic, and made with simple ingredients that you can understand! As a woman owned, minority owned company, we strive to bring inclusive snacks to the table for everyone to enjoy!
470 Baking Company is a sourdough goods business home to Melissa's Sourdough Crisps, with a distinct tart flavor that could only come from the magic of a sourdough starter created at 470 2nd avenue in the Inner Richmond district of San Francisco.

Food Innovation Lab Cohort: Phoenix Diller

Phoenix is the founder of Food Like Me, which is creating a line of Chinese-inspired simmer sauces.
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Video Companion
“The Food Lab is an incredible space that blends creativity and practicality, giving students hands-on experience and tailored highly applicable knowledge about the food startup world.”
Phoenix Diller, Founder, Food Like Me
“The food innovation lab exists as a space to support student entrepreneurs in the food and beverage space. Students can work on creating restaurant concepts or developing food products. They can develop recipes, fine tune their concepts, host tasting events to gain consumer insight and outline the path to market. The food innovation lab offers advising from staff on site and connects students to industry experts to meet students’ individual needs.”
Lauren Hooks, Food Innovation Lab Manager

Upcoming Deadlines & Events

Food Innovation 101: Katie Hagan WG'95, VP, Innovation, Mattson
As Former Director of Operations at Make it Nice and General Manager of Eleven Madison Park, Billy helped open the food and beverage programs at all the NoMad Hotels (NYC, LA, Las Vegas, and London) and led the opening operations at Davies and Brook at Claridge’s in London. Prior to joining the teams at Make it Nice Billy worked with Ritz-Carlton in various management roles within the Rooms Division.
Venture Lab's Food Innovation Lab in Tangen Hall is a test kitchen facility for Penn student entrepreneurs to experiment and create ventures focused on food innovation. If you are a Penn student working on a food product or restaurant concept, you are welcome to apply. Please note that all applicants to the Food Innovation Lab cohort must also apply to Venture Lab's VIP-C incubator.

Labs & Studios

Check out our other labs and studios!
The Digital Design Studio at Venture Lab will be a comprehensive, print and digital production hub that features educational support for students, staff, and faculty across the Penn community.
The Studios @ Venture Labs are a collection of workspaces and labs that house digital and analog fabrication technologies that empower the Penn community to make their ideas a reality.
Our Retail Lab is a flexible retail space to showcase successful alumni and student ventures, to inspire Penn students and provide active learning opportunities.
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