Pilotworks: Learning to Fly

Pilotworks, the nation’s largest on demand kitchen space, recently opened a facility in Newark, New Jersey. The kitchens provide access to flexible cooking infrastructure and equipment that rents by the hour and month, lowering the barrier to entry to young culinary entrepreneurs.

They play host to market vendors, QSRs, CPG companies, bakers, caterers, delivery-only concepts, ice cream makers, chocolatiers, meal preppers and many other forms of culinary entrepreneurs. The company also connects their members with access to their network of 75-plus mentors that help with a wide range of topics, including fundraising, legal, social media strategy, recipe development, sourcing, branding and accounting. Pilotworks has spurred business growth for food businesses including Aida Eats, Mac & Son, BOONBOX, Dank and Crown Jewel Beverages.

Co-founders Mike Dee and Nick Devane acquired the first kitchen in September 2016 as a way of supporting emerging food startups. Since its launch, Pilotworks has helped 250-plus nascent food and beverage businesses start and scale. The businesses in the kitchen are more than 70 percent women and minority-owned.

In this MRM Profile, Pilotworks Newark GM Ted Rosen and Makiko Ishida, Founder of Alter Native Foods discuss the Pilotworks experience.