Most successful entrepreneurs have a network of support behind them, like an advisory team, board of directors and funders. These individuals provide mentorship and guidance that is invaluable for that company’s success, augmenting what the entrepreneur and management team bring to the fold. The company’s customers, whether individuals or wholesale buyers, can also provide invaluable feedback and partnerships that yield fruit.
So, we encourage people to diligently seek feedback and guidance as they strive to grow their business, especially as they navigate securing funding. We believe that access to sophisticated financial technical assistance is needed for entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level. This willingness to seek help, solicit meaningful feedback and build a network of support is key to the success of food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses.
And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…
Jacqueline Claudia, self-proclaimed fish nerd and LoveTheWild’s founder, reflects on her win at the Natural Products Business School Pitch Slam at Natural Products Expo West 2017. She also offers advice to brands for pitching at events like Natural Products Business School. FFI Director Tera Johnson also gets a shout out for mentoring Jacqueline for her win.
Business Model Insights
- A Balancing Act: How to go from idea to successful food startup (FoodDive) – “A critical and sometimes overlooked step is doing the homework to pinpoint market and product positioning and gauge the potential for consumer acceptance. Many startups jump right in with their recipe or prototype, which is premature. While an entrepreneur’s recipe and enthusiasm are a great start, it’s not enough. Startups succeed when the product is differentiated and appealing enough to be saleable, the business plan has a clear path to profitability, and sufficient startup funding is in place.”
- There Aren’t Enough Slaughterhouses to Support the Farm-to-Table Economy (Bloomberg)
- Maple Hill Creamery talks innovation and how to break the mold (New Hope Media)
- Navigating funding sources: From crowdfunding to private equity (New Hope Media) – “Getting good advice and mentorship is extremely important to the money raising process, and most funds and capital sources provide this to help the entrepreneurs they invest in be successful. Accelerators can invest some equity into companies, but mostly help them get ready to raise money. Venture Capital funds invest in companies that have a proof of concept but are not ready for private equity. Crowdfunding can help companies find new investors, but they still have to do the work to connect with investors to actually get them to invest. Private Equity firms invest in the lower, middle-market in growth oriented companies, usually on behalf of other investors.”
- Accelfoods raises $15m from Danone Ventures and other ‘hands-on, value-add investors with unique resources and insights’ (Food Navigator)
- Craft the perfect pitch and connect with investors in 30 seconds (New Hope Media)
- How to Get Your Food or Beverage Product onto Shelves in Mass Retail (RealFoodMBA) – “Understanding whether the Buyer you are speaking to is part of the industry disruption (i.e., ecommerce) or part of the industry being disrupted (traditional brick-and-mortar) should serve as a good baseline as to the appetite of a particular Buyer to add an innovative product to their assortment. Buyers aren’t just looking for a hot product. They’re also evaluating your potential as a strategic partner. Will you help them grow their business over the medium and long-term?”
- Podcast: Elliot Begoun of Intertwine Group Talks Brand Building For Your Ideal Customer (Chef’s Best)
- Micro Food Manufacturers Account For The Industry’s Biggest Growth (Small Food Business)
- Friendly labels, transparency become bigger factors in ingredient selection (Food Business News) – “Surveys show many consumers seek transparency in the sourcing of ingredients and in the marketing of products. Consumers are changing their definition of health and wellness. We go back over time, health and wellness was defined as lower fat, lower calorie, defined as added vitamin fortification, etc. Now increasingly, health and wellness means the absence of negative. It could be G.M.O.-free, gluten-free, any number of definitions along those lines. To address this, companies are aggressively changing foods to ensure they are on trend with long-term needs of consumers.”
- Understanding the Snacking Landscape (CPG Marketing Trends)
- Organic Sector Posts Record U.S. Sales (Progressive Grocer)
- Study: VC funding goes to plant-based proteins and enhanced drinks (Food Dive) – “Considering two of the hottest areas in food right now are plant-based proteins and healthier drinks, it’s not surprising that these two categories are leading the pack in VC dollars. The companies at the top of the list are either at many mainstream retail stores or they have backing from major manufacturers. Why are these companies attractive to venture capitalists? Not only are they trendy, but analysts have said they resonate with consumers on many levels.”
- Ag Tech Deal Activity More Than Triples (CB Insights)
- Is Blue Apron Even Going To Exist In Five Years? (Fast Company)
- Scaling Your Food Business (FaB Wisconsin) – $, 7/19 in Milwaukee, WI
- Natural Products Expo East (New Hope Network) – $, 9/13 – 9/16 in Baltimore, MD