Bears Nutrition and its innovative, milk-based nutritional shakes for children was named the grand prize winner of the Real California Milk Accelerator dairy startup competition. The competition, sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and powered by innovation consultancy VentureFuel, Inc., will provide Bears Nutrition with $250,000 in resources and funding to bring its fortified milk beverages to market.
As presented by co-founders David Sheu and Kevin Yeung, Bears Nutrition focuses on helping active kids grow. The winning product is a daily milk-based beverage fortified with protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3's designed specifically for children aged three and older. It was created when Yeung’s son, Bear, stopped growing when his hockey performance started to take off. When a clinical nutritionist prescribed milk, and “lots of it”, with some added nutrients, Bears Nutrition’s shakes were born. The products currently have limited distribution in Europe and China but the founders look forward to expanding throughout the U.S. with Real California Milk at the core.
The Milk Accelerator competition was designed to inspire innovation and investment in fluid milk products, packaging and capacity within California by connecting manufacturers, producers, investors, ideas and entrepreneurs for high quality, sustainable dairy beverages. Alongside eight other finalists, Bears Nutrition was judged on taste, nutritional value, packaging innovation, sustainability, and the ability to scale by a live panel of judges from the dairy, consumer packaged goods, and investor communities including business, industry and academic influencers. Bears Nutrition was one of nine finalists that each received up to $25,000 of support to develop protocepts while receiving elite mentorship from marketing, packaging, and distribution experts.
More than 1,200 family dairy farms produce the milk found in fluid milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products identified by the Real California Milk seal – which will soon include Bears Nutrition beverages. California is the number one producer of fluid milk, butter and ice cream in the US and the second largest producer of cheese and yogurt.
Learn more about the competition and finalists.