Mess Hall is a unique culinary incubator located in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC. We support independent food entrepreneurs in a brand new facility designed to foster growth through a Membership model, while creating a vibrant and diverse local food community. Mess Hall provides exclusive resources, support and innovative programs to help pave a path to success for our Members.
The Launch Pad contest is just one way we are identifying promising food entrepreneurs; connecting them with real opportunities that will help them thrive in the marketplace; and providing commercial kitchens that accommodate diverse production needs.
The winner receives an incredible set of tools and services.
Budding Food Entrepreneurs will compete for the opportunity to launch their own culinary business. This Competition is open to Startups / New Businesses only. See Eligibility section below to see if you qualify.
A business plan competition will narrow Applicants (also referred to as “Contestants”) to four Finalists who will pitch their concept to a panel of local industry experts during a live finale. Successful proposals will embody a commercially viable product and/or service; intelligent marketing and operational plans; and an emphasis on local food-sourcing and sustainable practices.
Competition will kick off in July and conclude on September 27, 2014. See “Important Dates” below. Finale to be held at Mess Hall – 703 Edgewood Street, NE, and attended by Contestants, industry leaders, and press.
To encourage entrepreneurship within the food community and enable the launch of a business that might not otherwise come to fruition.
Registration Opens. Registration will be accepted via
this online form. Registration is now closed. Applications MUST be accompanied by a $50 entry fee. See Official Rules for detailed instructions
Registration deadline. Contestants must complete all of the following in order to participate:
Deadline for complete Business Plan Submission Judging begins. In-person interviews begin to take place if necessary.
Finalists will present at the Grand Finale to be held at Mess Hall’s Demonstration Kitchen and attended by industry leaders and members of the press. A party will follow to celebrate the winner and the spirit of the competition which is to connect food entrepreneurs with people that can help small businesses grow.
Brandan Skall – Co-founder and CEO of DC Brau
Alisia Kleinmann – Founder of Industree
Joe Clarke – Senior Vice President, Retail Banking Manager at EagleBank
Johann Moonesinghe – Co-Founder and CEO of EquityEats
Audience Vote – Each member of the Live Audience will receive a single vote. The Audience vote will count as 5% of the overall vote.