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From Arizona State University, named the nation’s Top University for Innovation from US News and World Report, Prepped is a free, early-stage food business incubator designed for ventures owned by women and underrepresented minorities. A collaboration from the office of Entrepreneurship + Innovation and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Prepped's programming focuses on emerging food businesses that are beyond the idea stage, are in revenue, and are seeking the tools to scale.


since 2017

Small Businesses Served Minority Owned Increased Revenue Media
63 95% Underrepresented Minority 225% 80% social media increase
  60% Women   30% coverage
“I met so many others that were trying to get through the same hurdles I was and, together, we helped each other get to the next levels of our businesses” - Aaron Schofield, Luana’s Coffee Yard

Check out our press in the Arizona Republic, Phoenix Business Journal, KJZZ Radio and ASU Now.  Read our blog post "Serving Up Food Entrepreneurship".

The Program

Prepped offers ventures immersive training in early-stage food business development including operations, food costing and financial literacy, small business marketing and communication strategies, permits and licensing, and more. Our instructors and experts focus on the fundamentals of launching a food-based business so you are adequately prepared to build and scale your company.

Prepped provides:

  • Weekly class sessions taught by ASU faculty and food industry experts
  • Interactive peer learning with a cohort of 15-25 fellow emerging food business owners
  • Dedicated 1-1 mentorship sessions with experienced food business experts
  • Financial support for ServSafe Manager Certification, Maricopa County Health Permits, and program-related food expenses - a value of up to $1200 per business
  • Participation in the annual Prepped Showcase to meet industry stakeholders and have a chance to win awards of up to $5,000 to grow your business
  • Access to Masterminds: Prepped's signature next level graduate circle creating a sustainable ecosystem of food entrepreneurs who support each other long term

Our Approach

  1. Entrepreneur Commitments: Entrepreneurs live by certain guiding principles that make them successful. ASU’s entrepreneurship faculty help you innovate your business model and understand your own adaptability as your biggest asset.
  2. Study Success: If you want to be successful, study those who have been successful. Prepped entrepreneurs have 1 on 1 time with successful food entrepreneurs on topics such as menu creation, marketing, and business operations.
  3. Know Your Numbers: Increase your capacity by understanding your finances and efficiency leaks. By the end of this program, you will have a solid financial foundation and a plan to increase your margins and revenue. 

Meet Our Team

Natalie Morris coordinates the Prepped program on behalf of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at ASU. Her academic background is in food culture, communications, and culinary arts. In addition to being a food entrepreneur, she has worked in the areas of nutrition, academia, and grassroots non-profits over the last 12 years. Her favorite thing about Prepped are the weekly food tandas.

Professor Rick Hall is the Director of Health Innovation Programs and Clinical Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU. His academic area of focus relates to leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation. Rick brings 15+ years of experience in management in the restaurant industry and is the founder of multiple nutrition related businesses. As an experienced food and nutrition entrepreneur himself, he is excited to be working with food entrepreneurs in this program.

Ji Mi Choi is the associate vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development leading Entrepreneurship + Innovation. She was the founder of this program in 2016 and serves as co-leader of the program.

Chef Kent Moody coordinates the Instructional Retail Kitchen, the Kitchen Café, at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion in ASU’s College of Health Solutions. He brings a career in the food industry to his work with ASU students. Chef Kent brings his knowledge and experience in the management of food service systems, food safety and food purchasing to Prepped participants.

More Information

Prepped runs once each fall and spring. If you'd like to stay updated on Prepped, please sign up for our newsletter.


Applications for the spring 2019 cohort are now closed. Those interested in applying for the fall cohort should sign up for our newsletter to be notified during the next call for applications.

Eligibility Requirements

Existing micro food businesses owned by women or underrepresented minorities that are looking to scale. Preference is given to businesses that can show that they have validated their business concept in the market and can demonstrate low to moderate household incomes.

Do I qualify?

Prepped focuses on early stage, non brick and mortar food businesses. Our curriculum aligns best with caterers, food and beverage trucks or carts, and farmers market products such as baked goods or other added value products.

Program Fee

Free to participants as costs are covered by the generosity of our sponsor.

Haven’t started yet?

If you have an idea but haven't started yet, our community partners offer programs to teach you everything you need to start your food business. Send us an email and we are happy to put you in touch. 

For More Information

For any other questions about the Prepped program including more details about the application process, please contact us.

Want to cater your next event?

Hire a Prepped graduate!

“ASU Prepped has changed the way we work and do business; now we are more prepared. Thank you for the opportunity given to us!” – Ricardo Aguirre, Tamales y Tacos Puebla