Pilotworks (formerly known as Foodworks), a NYC-based community of food incubators, mentors, and entrepreneurs, raised $13m in Series A financing.
The round was led by Techstars Ventures and Acre Venture Partners, which joined existing investors Arena Ventures, Riverpark (Andy Appelbaum, co-founder of Seamless), Ekistic Ventures (David Spielfogel, senior advisor to Rahm Emmanuel), Slow Ventures, SWTLF (Sweetgreen founders), Thrive Market founders, David Barber (Blue Hill), Scott Belksy (Behance founder), Marc Blazer (Overture Holdings), Shu Chowdry (Salido), Andy Peskoe, and Gin Lane.
The company intends to use the funds to continue to build their education and mentorship program, expand their distribution reach, and open more kitchen spaces for upstarts across the United States.
Co-founded by Mike Dee and Nick Devane, who acquired the first kitchen in September 2016 as a way of supporting emerging food startups, Pilotworks provides kitchens which give users access to flexible cooking infrastructure and equipment that rents by the hour and month.
They play host to market vendors, QSRs, CPG companies, bakers, caterers, delivery-only concepts, ice cream makers, chocolatiers, meal preppers, and many other forms of culinary entrepreneurs.
The company also connects their members with access to their network of 75+ mentors that can help with a wide range of topics, including fundraising, legal, social media strategy, recipe development, sourcing, branding, and accounting.