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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 Edson 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 2016

Small Businesses Served Minority Owned Increased Revenue Media
75 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, commercial kitchen rental, 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 Prepped Alumni Circle: our signature graduate network 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 Edson 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 13 years.

Dr. Rick Hall is a registered dietitian, clinical professor, and senior director in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. He previously owned eight restaurants in Arizona and was the director for the National School Lunch Program for the State of Arizona. He has been teaching leadership courses at ASU since 2002 and is the co-leader of Prepped.

Ji Mi Choi is the associate vice president of Knowledge Enterprise Development leading Entrepreneurship + Innovation utilizing her twenty-plus years of expertise in higher education at the intersection of entrepreneurial and public-private partnerships. She is the founder of Prepped and currently serves as co-leader of the program.

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

Arnim Wiek is an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainability at ASU where he runs the Foodlab. Arnim is committed to partnerships with local food entrepreneurs, businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, and community groups to advance sustainable local food economies and believes that interdisciplinary and international collaborations with scholars and practitioners offer unique learning opportunities to advance sustainable local food economies around the world.

Mentors and Coaches

Adrienne Brown specializes in offer optimization and analytics as Marketing Manager at USAA. Adrienne holds an MBA in Marketing from Western International University and is also Director of Marketing for Jamburritos and Jammin BBQ & Dawgs Food Truck, two successful concepts founded by her husband, chef Michael Brown. When not engaged in marketing, Adrienne enjoys traveling, going to the movies and restaurant hopping with her husband.

Chef Michael Brown is the chef and owner of Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express and Jammin BBQ & Dawgs, where he trains and develops future staff and entrepreneurs creating inventive dining experiences for guests. He graduated from Middlesex County College with an AAS in Hotel & Restaurant Management. He has been married to his wife Adrienne Brown for over 30 years and plans on increasing that batting average.

Michael Mazzocco has worked twenty-seven exciting years in the marketing, customer service, and special events industries. He is passionate about the arts and assisting our community to create a beautiful and productive environment for everyone. He has mentored for all but the first Prepped cohorts and manages the Prepped Alumni Circle in addition.

Travel, life experiences and passion for being socially conscious have brought Stephanie Vasquez, owner of Fair Trade Café, to this exact moment in her life. An Arizona native who graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in education and began her professional career as a middle school science teacher, Stephanie was always inclined and passionate about helping her community.

More Information

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


The application for prepped is close now.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be existing food businesses owned by women or underrepresented minorities. Businesses must have validated their business concept in the market prior to applying and should be able to 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.

For More Information

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


Contributions made to our program go to support the funding needed to sustain training for our entrepreneurs.


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“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