Georgia Centers of Innovation Agribusiness

From small-town startups to Fortune 500 enterprises, the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness accelerates the growth and development of Georgia’s number one industry by providing focused industry expertise, product commercialization assistance and access to ground-breaking research. The Center of Innovation for Agribusiness provides the technical industry expertise, collaborative research and partnerships to help the state's #1 industry connect, compete and grow globally. With focus areas in emerging and novel crops, food business development, and precision agriculture, the Center supports Georgia’s agriculture industry and enables companies to access high-growth opportunities for increased success.
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03/22/2013

Growing Agribusiness: One Jar at a Time

When Lauri Jo Bennett decided to start a business, she had just four recipes handed down from her great-grandmother. Now, her company has 37 products, 22 employees and is sold in 3 countries and 41 states.

“When I first met Donnie Smith, the director for the Center of Innovation (COI) for Agribusiness, I didn’t have a business plan,” said Lauri Jo Bennett, founder of Lauri Jo’s Southern Style Canning. “I didn’t have a clue what a business plan was.” Since she began her business, the COI has provided her with business plan preparation, international business opportunities, revenue generation strategies, food analysis for nutrition labels, food label design and marketing resources.

“Doing business in Georgia is fantastic. Georgia just really has it going on. And everybody from the governor to the lieutenant governor to the ag commissioner, they are all about helping small businesses grow,” said Lauri Jo. “The Centers of Innovation—I just can’t say enough good about them.”

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