Food + Enterprise

January 14, 2015 –

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - Food + Enterprise – created in 2013 as a Slow Money Showcase at Food Book Fair – has now re-launched as its own uniquely branded 3-day event presented at Industry City in Brooklyn, February 27-March 1, 2015. Food + Enterprise is a social impact, mission-driven summit dedicated to promoting understanding and collaboration amongst multiple stakeholders who aim to finance a better local food system. Food + Enterprise has developed a unique focus on developing relationships that will lead to funding a more sustainable foodshed -- engaging all key players required to close on financing for a small food or farm business: entrepreneurs, consultants and funders.

The program is robust, unique, and engaging. Food + Enterprise has been designed day-by-day to roughly track the three stages of small business and farm financing – inspiration, connection and investment. Day One “Inspiration” focuses on building relationships, structured networking and enhancing base business knowledge via the multi-part Entrepreneurship Clinic. Day 2 “Connection” fosters discussion that explores Anatomy of a Deal, investment strategies, consulting relationships, investment approaches and a Working Group on Shared Values in Sustainable Agribusiness Investing. Day 3 “Investment” takes the somewhat abstract to the very concrete: presenting investment opportunities at the Pitch Competition and cumulative sharing in MeetPlace, a curated display of local foods and resources for investors and entrepreneurs. Each day provides substantive content designed to provide value for all three stakeholders – enterpreneurs, consultants, funders – as well as anyone eager to understand the special role of capital in nurturing change in the local food system.

Kicking off the first day is the Entrepreneurship Clinic, a signature event providing multiple paths to optimize and to target networking and peer-learning. Entrepreneurship Clinic includes one-on-one coaching sessions, round table chats with experienced mentors, workshops designed to parse many facets of financing a small food business and open networking – essential space to cement relationships forged throughout the day. In addition to the curated experts featured throughout the clinic, Samuel Adams will be lending its coaching expertise as a featured lead in the one-on-one-coaching. Baldor Foods has joined the event and will be playing a leading role in educating and mentoring participants in local food distribution. Barnraiser, Foodtechconnect, Natural Gourmet Institute, Fare Resources, Bernoulli Finance, Plant Based Solutions and Edible Publications will be among those organizations adding their educational and marketing expertise to help improve attendees base of understanding.

Keynote Speakers are drawn from national and regional experts in the fields of sustainable business entrepreneurs, impact investing and economic development, including: Judy Wicks, author of Good Morning, Beautiful Business and founder of White Dog Café and Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, and Woody Tasch, who will discuss “Slow Money,” the national organization dedicated to investing in small, local sustainable business that he founded in 2008.

Saturday will feature a number of networking opportunities, speakers, panel discussions covering a wide array of topics. The authoritative leads for these discussions and panels, and will include industry experts and feature corporate partners such as Etsy and Kiva. Food + Enterprise seeks long-term impact beyond the summit itself convening a Working on Shared Values for Sustainable Agribusiness Funding, taking advantage of this concentrated group of great thinkers on food system change.

Both Friday and Saturday will conclude with receptions with help from Great Performances and Baldor. Attendees will have the option to conclude their Saturday schedule with a community dinner, hosted a various local restaurants selected with great care by the organizers.

Food + Enterprise will culminate on Sunday with the 3rd annual Pitch Competition. The Pitch Competition lays down a lively interchange between several entrepreneurs and experienced judges who assess the qualities of business plans -- rated on a scale of 0 to 5. The Pitch Competition will give selected growth-stage food and farm enterprises an opportunity to present their business models in depth to a wide audience. Selected business will also receive a Pitch Master Class consisting of mentoring and preparation provided by Bard Sustainable MBA, Slow Money NYC and Barnraiser. On the day of the competition, all finalists will also launch an online crowdfunding campaign on Barnraiser. A select panel of industry experts will judge the competition and the winner will receive prize package, which will includes a full scholarship to Natural Gourmet Institute’s food entrepreneurship certificate program. The goal of the Pitch Competition is to catalyze increased access to capital for sustainable business in the NYC foodshed.

Bringing together a curated group of purveyors from the local area, Sunday will conclude with popup marketplace – Meetspace -- arranged by New Amsterdam Market – a natural fit as their mission is to support sustainable food systems. Meetspace will also provide tables for sponsors and selected businesses that will be available to provide information and other resources to summit participants.

Early Bird tickets are now on sale through February 1st at a rate of $349 for the 3-day event after which the price will increase to $399. Sliding scale scholarships are available by application for “Emerging” or “Startup” professionals that can be sought via the Food + Enterprise website. The event has an expected attendance of up to 500 participants.

The setting for Food + Enterprise could not be more thematically intertwined. Industry City is a 6 million square-foot manufacturing district dedicated to 21st Century innovation situated on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It is home to many notable local sustainable food businesses and hopes to spur involvement of many more. The complex was developed by Irving T. Bush as Brooklyn’s first major industrial, shipping, and distribution center, and was so successful that it helped spur the economic and industrial development of the entire borough – making it a perfect venue for Food + Enterprise in 2015.

Food + Enterprise is a project of the North East Foodshed Finance Alliance (NEFFA)-- a network of over 80 organizations seeking to bring about food system change through financing the growth of a sustainable food marketplace. Food + Enterprise is licensed to be produced as a joint venture by Denckla Projects and Siriol LLC, with an executive production team that includes Cannonball Productions and Relish Food Project. Food + Enterprise is pleased to have been planned most directly by Slow Money NYC, Food Book Fair, Natural Resources Defense Council, Community Food Funders, and National Young Farmers Coalition.

For up to date information and tickets:
Twitter: @enterprisefood


Meg Savage
Cannonball Productions

Elizabeth Thacker Jones
Food Book Fair