In an effort to cultivate probiotic innovation in the functional food and beverage market, Ganeden, Cleveland, has announced Probiotic Innovation Jumpstart—an industry-first entrepreneurial program designed to help companies launch new probiotic products.

The program invites all scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors with a brand-new probiotic food or beverage product concept to submit their idea to Ganeden. While entries will be accepted for all product categories, the company encourages submissions for novel products that will resonate with consumers and fill a specific need in the marketplace. The grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 in support to utilize GanedenBC30 probiotics in the product, as well as the guidance, assistance and expertise needed to help develop and launch their innovation into the food and beverage industry.

“Ganeden’s growth and success has been accomplished by helping hundreds of forward-thinking companies around the world develop and market innovative, first-of-their-kind probiotic products,” says Andy Lefkowitz, Ganeden’s CEO. “The future of the food and beverage market is functional foods, and we see this program as a huge opportunity to share our expertise and support the industry by helping others bring their ideas to life and onto shelves.”

All initial concepts must be submitted on the Probiotic Innovation Jumpstart website by May 6. Three finalists will then be chosen to present their ideas in-person to a panel of judges before IFT16—the Institute of Food Technologists’ Annual Meeting & Food Expo—in Chicago on July 16. The presentations, to be done by two representatives from each company, will be judged by a panel of respected industry experts from manufacturing, marketing, entrepreneurial and retail backgrounds. The panel includes:

  • Mark Retzloff, a pioneer in the organic and natural foods industry, senior partner for the Boulder Farm Team and chairman for multiple food and beverage boards
  • Caroline Beckman, co-founder and CEO at Nomva
  • John Grubb, managing partner of the brand strategy and innovation firm Sterling-Rice Group
  • Jennifer Love, CEO of Entrepreneurist and a food and beverage industry adviser

“This is a wonderful opportunity to help nurture our fantastic industry, and I am humbled to be a judge for Ganeden’s program,” says Retzloff. “I’ve personally watched products containing GanedenBC30 gain significant traction in the marketplace, and look forward to seeing the success that this program will bring.”

To learn more about Ganeden’s Probiotic Innovation Jumpstart program or to submit a product idea, visit For information on GanedenBC30 probiotics, visit