Accelerator

The Chipotle Aluminaries Project is an accelerator program that supports ventures from across the country that are advancing innovative solutions that empower the next generation of farmers.

The program will connect ventures to the people and organizations they need to scale their solutions, including mentors, funders, and partners. Together, we will work tirelessly to break down the barriers that stand in the way of young farmers' success.

Accelerator Impact

Accelerator
Aluminaries 1.0

In an effort to make real food accessible for all, The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation held a seven-month accelerator program that gave growth-stage ventures a spotlight and mentoring from established leaders. 


2020 Accelerator

Applications Open

January 29 - March 11, 2020

We are seeking applicants (both for and non-profit) in the areas of access to land, financial assistance, labor challenges as well as agtech, education and wellness. See the application for more details. See the application for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we start the process we hope we can cover the basics here:

What is the Chipotle Aluminaries Project?

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The Chipotle Aluminaries Project is a seven-month annual accelerator program that supports ventures from across the country that are advancing innovative solutions that empower the next generation of farmers. The program will connect ventures to the people and organizations that they need in order to scale their solutions, including mentors, funders, and partners. Together, we will work tirelessly to break down the barriers that stand in the way of young farmers' success.

This is the second program of the Chipotle Aluminaries Project. Our first cohort graduated in 2019.

Why future of farming?

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Real food needs real farms and real farms need real farmers. Farmers committed to farming in an ethical and sustainable way need help to have a chance to succeed - both for the sake of the future of real nutritious food and the communities that rely on those farms.

What kind of support is included for fellows?

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We believe we can most effectively support projects in building their capacity through a combination of skills and network development. To that end, each winning organization is eligible to receive:

  1. All-expenses paid travel and lodging for the CEO or co-founder from each winning organization to a five-day summit facilitated by Uncharted in Newport Beach, California, USA
  2. Guidance from mentors and technical experts
  3. Pro bono advice, resources, and service from Chipotle employees
  4. Customized investment support and key introductions to relevant investors
  5. Chipotle celebrity card, which entitles the cardholder one free entree per day for a year

How many ventures will be selected?

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We will select eight ventures to participate in the second annual Chipotle Aluminaries Project.

Who is hosting the program?

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The Chipotle Aluminaries Project is supported by the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation and facilitated by Uncharted, a social impact accelerator that connects people to the resources and support they need to scale their solutions to the most pressing problems of our time.

Will ventures have access to Chipotle as potential customers?

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Participating ventures will be introduced and develop relationships with employees of Chipotle and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation over the course of the program. The primary purpose of these relationships is mentorship; participation in the program does not include a partnership or selling opportunity with Chipotle. That said, there is no exclusivity through the program preventing ventures from working with other sector corporates

Where will the program take place?

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The in-person summit will take place in Newport Beach, California, between June 22-26, 2020. The selected ventures will receive additional remote support before and after the summit.

How are mentors chosen for this program?

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We believe that the best business advice comes from those with industry expertise and experience operating at scale. Therefore, we look for mentors who are willing to offer time, expertise, and strategic advice for the duration of the program, and that have:

  1. Created a solution that positively impacts the future of farming
  2. Mastered critical skills that our ventures can learn from
  3. An understanding of the challenges faced by new farmers today
  4. A network that has the potential to help address some of the issues faced

While we spend time choosing mentors prior to the selection process, we also recruit additional mentors after selecting the cohort and gaining an understanding of their specific learning needs.

What are the program requirements and time expectations for selected projects?

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Our goal is to design the program to meet the needs and challenges of ventures and to learn from them and refine the program over time.

Specific expectations and time commitments include:

  • Full and engaged participation in a five-day summit from June 22-26th, 2020
  • Approximately five to ten hours each month for additional activities, including developing and pursuing a plan for scale as well as participating in phone calls and webinars with other ventures and staff at Uncharted
  • Active communication with staff at Uncharted and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation as needed between monthly check-ins
  • Annual surveys and data collection through Spring 2023

What is the application process?

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The Uncharted program team will review all applications on a rolling basis up to close on March 11th. Ventures that pass the application stage will be invited to an initial phone screen to explain their operations and impact in greater detail. Advancing organizations will then proceed to a second phone interview that allow the program team to identify challenges and opportunities for support. The eight ventures with needs that are best fit for the program will be selected by May 6th.

What costs are covered through the program?

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There is no cost to you if you’re selected to participate in this program. We’ll cover your airfare, food, and lodging for your time in Newport Beach, California (June 22nd-26th, 2020).

What are the qualifications to apply?

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The ideal candidate for the Chipotle Aluminaries Project is a for-profit or non-profit venture that supports young farmers in the United States. Applicants must provide a solution to one of the top challenge areas faced by young farmers, including access to land, finance, and labor. Solutions in AgTech, education, and wellness—with a focus on the next generation of farmers—will also be considered.

How are selection decisions made?

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Our ideal candidates also have these five qualities:


Scalability. You might have a great product or service that meaningfully impacts a group of people. We want to know how you plan to successfully scale that impact. We’ll be looking to see if you have identified and entered a substantial addressable market, you have a logical path to serve that market, and the way you earn revenue/funding fuels smart growth.


Team. We’re looking for a team with committed leadership. Ideally, your founder(s) is cohesive, brings needed expertise, and persists through challenges. Moreover, it is required that one committed teammate (the CEO or one of the co-founders) attend the 5-day in-person boot camp in Newport Beach, California.


Impact. Your product or service addresses an issue that is both serious and concise, and you have a formula for how your organization is making specific strides to create deep, lasting change within that issue.


Fit with Program/Values Aligned. Your team must be both coachable and values-aligned so the Chipotle Aluminaries Project can provide an immense amount of value to you. Take a look at Uncharted’s values to get a deeper sense of what principles guide us.


Stage. Here are the stages we typically see when recruiting companies to join an accelerator program. Stages 4-6 are poised to receive the most value out of the program and thus will take precedence when choosing our final cohort:

  1. Problem Identification | You have identified a problem to be solved, but not yet an idea for how to tackle it.
  2. Idea | You have formed an idea for how to tackle the problem, but have not yet built a prototype or taken your product or service to market.
  3. Prototype/Pilot | You have developed a prototype and have run a pilot to test your product or service in the market. Typically referred to as “seed stage.”
  4. Early Users Traction/Early Revenues | You are getting your product out to small markets (beyond pilot programs), generating early revenues, and likely bringing on first hires. Typically referred to as “early stage.”
  5. Starting to See Strong Revenue Traction | Your product or service sells consistently, you are generating revenues, making key hires, and beginning to become “established” as a company.
  6. Solidifying Operations | You are preparing for rapid growth by acquiring more users and strengthening the core of your business. You are making key high-level hires and moving towards becoming cash flow positive.
  7. Rapid Growth | You are seeing strong, consistent customer demand, generating significant revenues, and becoming cash-flow positive. Typically referred to as “growth stage.”
  8. Mature Business or Exit | You have significant revenues and a full team. Your brand is well recognized and your business has scaled. The model has been proven and you are now perfecting it.
  9. Failed.

Program Overview

Our foundation runs the accelerator program centered on our yearly focus topic. For 2020, that's the next generation of farming. The program is 7 months long and focused on getting growth stage ventures resources and mentorship.

Applications Open: Jan 29

We are seeking applicants (both for and non-profit) in the areas of access to land, financial assistance, labor challenges as well as agtech, education and wellness. See the application for more details.

Applications Close: March 11

Applications close. Uncharted reviews them on a rolling basis.

Ventures Announced: May 20

Uncharted selects and announces eight of the very best ventures that are a fit for the Chipotle Aluminaries Project. 

Diagnosis Begins: May 21

Uncharted dives deep into identifying the challenges specific to each venture and identifies the people they need to help scale their business and create a deeper impact.

In-Person Boot Camp: June 22-26

We come together in Newport Beach, California, for a five-day in-person summit focused on making invaluable connections, clarifying business strategies, and accessing capital.

Remote Support Begins: June 27

Ventures connect with Uncharted staff through regular check-ins that focus on working towards hitting key goals and metrics. 

Program Wrap-Up: Dec

Uncharted leads an impact assessment, feedback sessions, and learning sessions.