The Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship (NECFE) started as a joint effort to expand the activities of the NYS Food Venture Center at Cornell University and the Center for Food Science at the University of Vermont, and was funded in part by Fund for Rural America/CSREES/USDA from January 2000 to January 2005.
Currently, NECFE activities are carried out by the New York State Food Venture Center (NYSFVC) with support from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agriculture Innovation Center grant. The NYSFVC, which began operations in 1988 under the direction of Dr. Donald Downing, is an extension program of the Department of Food Science & Technology at Cornell University funded by New York State. The Food Venture Center provides technical and regulatory assistance to food entrepreneurs and food companies by drawing on Cornell experts, links with federal and state regulatory agencies, and the professional knowlege of the center's director, Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour, and extension support specialists. In the last decade, the NYSFVC fielded more than 10000 requests for assistance and assisted more than 1000 food entrepreneurs and businesses with the commercialization of over 1700 new food products in New York State alone.