CG Foundation

Common Ground is creating a vertically integrated food supply chain through financial investment as well as through mentoring small businesses, policy work, education, community building and creating various distribution channels.

CG Foundation was incorporated to further the development of agriculture, arts and education in Hawaiʻi. The Foundation launched the Common Ground Incubator program– a workforce development and business training program for food and beverage lifestyle businesses – in 2020.

CG Foundation seeks long-term solutions to create a more diversified and resilient local economy and bolster the food supply chain. The Foundation's vision is a sustainable local food system that nourishes our land and our people and provides equitable economic development on Kauaʻi and through the Hawaiian Islands.  Committed to helping form a thriving food-based economy that is inclusive and whose benefits are equitably distributed, the Foundation's flagship program, the Common Ground Incubator, launched in 2020 and recently graduated it's 2nd cohort of companies. The Incubator program provides business training services and a $10,000 grant award to each company to achieve strategic growth goals.  The only program of its kind in the state, CG Foundation is currently raising funds for the 3rd cohort of the Incubator and hopes to expand the program statewide. If you would like to contribute to the Foundation's work please consider making a donation, if you are interested in learning more about our work and future plans please contact Jennifer Luck at


Common Ground Incubator

A business development program to collaboratively revitalize a diversified and sustainable agricultural economy in Hawaiʻi.

Led by instructor Dirk Soma, Common Ground Incubator seeks to cultivate the next generation of Hawaiʻi-based food, beverage, and farm-based entrepreneurs to establish Hawaiʻi as a food innovation hotspot. Incubator cohorts will have the opportunity to develop strategic growth goals and business plans. Cohort companies will be allotted $10,000 per company for approved expenditures to assist with achieving strategic growth plan goals.

About Cohort 3

The program consists of weekly, 2-hour instructional sessions in addition to weekly one-on-one sessions with the Program Instructor. Sessions will be held in-person with the option of switching to Zoom, if necessary. Participant time commitment for the course is 4-5 hours per week, which includes weekly instructional sessions.

Each instructional session is scheduled from 9:00AM-11:00AM. Individual one-on-one sessions with the program instructor will be held weekly and are at the discretion of the participant and program instructor to coordinate.

Cohort participants are expected to attend all instructional sessions, as well as one-one-one sessions, to complete the entire course.
The program will culminate with a ho’ike where participants will present their companies and celebrate the completion of the program. Please note that this program is currently only available to Kaua'i-based entrepreneurs. We hope to open up this program offering state-wide in the near-future.

A date for Cohort 3 will be announced in Q1/2023

If you're interested in making a contribution this program or would like to find out more information, please contact us at You can also donate via PayPal here!

Ideal Candidates

Early-stage, food and beverage companies with niche products that have reached the market

Companies with connection to Hawaiʻi-grown ingredients and global demand potential

Have revenues less than $350,000/year

Program Partners

Launched in August 2020, Cohort 1 of Common Ground Incubator was initially launched in part through funding provided by a CARES Act grant from the County of Kauaʻi Kupaʻa Kauaʻi program and in partnership with Kauai Federal Credit Union (KFCU).

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