Denver-based startup eyes Northwest Arkansas for $6 million innovation food lab

Kim Souza
The City Wire

Denver-based startup Solve For Food plans to raise $6 million among Arkansas investors to construct a food innovation center that uses 915 Labs’ patented technology to help food companies reduce salt and additives required by standard food processing.

The Denver group is led by Keith Larson, formerly of Deloitte and Procter & Gamble. He and Michael Hyche, a food industry veteran, recruited the help of Alan Haugh a Northwest Arkansas startup advocate, to spearhead the regional project. They put together a local advisory board and signed onGrowthWise Partners, one of the companies under NewRoads Capital Partners to help with fundraising efforts.

PLANNED LAB

When asked why Solve For Food was eyeing Northwest Arkansas for this venture, CEO Keith Larson said the region is small enough where industry groups are closely connected and it’s been a cradle of innovation and entrepreneurship for generations.

“There are a number of food companies located in Northwest Arkansas, there is a great university also working on fresh innovation and of course Wal-Mart’s presence is important given the emphasis they are making on fresh, clean label and healthier-for-you foods,” Larson told Talk Business & Politics in a phone interview.

Equipped with the 915 Labs long-microwave technology processing, Solve For Food plans to build a 20,000 square foot innovation lab that will allow small to medium size food processors to use the new processing method without having to make significant upfront investments. The space will also include test kitchens where food recipes can be formulated and tweaked before they go through the processing phase.

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