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Ben Liegey stands at the forefront of food waste prevention. As the Founder and CEO of, his startup is reshaping the way hotels and restaurants approach sustainability. With a passion for sustainable food systems, Ben brings a unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit and food management expertise to the table.

Driven by a vision to create a more sustainable and accessible dining experience, Ben’s journey to founding traces back to his childhood growing up in France, where he sold surplus produce from his parents’ garden. Ben brings over 10 years of experience in consulting organizations throughout the food supply chain, coupled with a notable tenure in hospitality (ask him about his experience with the Rocky Mountaineer!).

We had the chance to sit down with Ben following his completion of our AccelerateIP Stream 1: IP Certification Program this past winter. Dive into our conversation to learn Ben’s takeaways from the program, and how he’s cooking up a robust IP strategy for

How did you first hear about AccelerateIP’s Stream 1: IP Certification Program and what motivated you to apply?  

Ben: I heard about AccelerateIP’s Stream 1 from New Ventures BC’s newsletter. I think every entrepreneur should be concerned about IP–it’s a topic that is becoming more and more important to learn about. I didn’t have much knowledge about IP previously, so I thought this would be a great way to understand the different protection options that exist in the market.     

Could you share some highlights from your experience during the program?  

Ben: I think this program is great because we covered many different aspects of IP. It was a small cohort, which provided many opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs who face similar challenges. The two instructors are really knowledgeable–I appreciated that they have both industry and academic expertise. That was very helpful.

Did you form any connections or maybe potential partnerships during the program that you think could add or have already added to the growth of  

Ben: We did make some connections during the program. This was a bonus for us–it was not necessarily what we were there to do, but if we have IP-related questions in the future, we now have peer support. So that is definitely a great opportunity, for example, we can share what kind of legal advice we’ve received, and learn what other startups are doing to develop their IP strategies.

In what ways has the program influenced or refined your business strategy when it comes to IP?  

Ben: The program has bettered our understanding around all of the different types of IP, including trademarks. It was a way for me to start this IP implementation process, and be more aware about the different streams of the AccelerateIP program. When I joined Stream 1, I was not aware there was a Stream 2 or Stream 3. 

Stream 1 really built the fundamentals of understanding what is IP and what are the different aspects of IP you need to consider.  

Now, I’m actually in the Stream 2-1 part of AccelerateIP, being mentored by Spring. It’s pretty neat to have this support from New Ventures BC and other partners in the AccelerateIP program. Spring works in the impact space, which is well aligned with, which is focused on delivering impact while reducing food waste. I think another way I will grow is through establishing a clear roadmap and IP strategy moving forward, to ensure that all the intellectual property is protected how it should be.

Were there any challenges you were facing before the program that you feel like you were able to address and gain some insights during the program to help solve them?  

Ben: I didn’t know much about IP to be honest, before the program. I had a very high-level view when I jumped into it. I appreciated how the program is structured as well, with just three weekends, making it easy for it to fit into my schedule. I think that it’s a great program that helped make me understand what I need to work on.

Is there any advice that you would give to other startups considering applying for the certification program? 

Ben: Maybe a piece of advice would be to join with another fellow entrepreneur that you know, and do the program together to share some successes and challenges along the way. 

Are there any specific stages of a startup that you think would really benefit from the program?  

Ben: I would say most startups maybe think about IP too late–I don’t think you need necessarily to be at a certain stage, or have everything figured out to be able to benefit from thinking about IP or this program. 

I think the earlier you are aware of the different things you don’t know the better–because that’s the other thing, there are things you know that you know, and other things that you know that you don’t know. And then, there’s other things that you don’t know that you don’t know! 

So that can be a big chunk usually, and being open to learning definitely helps in that regard.

Interested in learning more about the fundamentals of intellectual property for your business? Check out AccelerateIP’s Stream 1: IP Certification Program. Applications are approved for the program on a rolling basis.