Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference, March 16

The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference addresses one of the biggest challenges facing the growing Good Food sector: helping food and farm businesses gain access to investment so they can scale up and meet the fast-rising consumer demand for local, sustainable food.

We invite speakers and panelists to inspire innovation and encourage financing of Good Food businesses. This year we welcome national and regional speakers and thought leaders such as U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Michael Bashaw, Whole Food Market, Danielle Gould of Food+Tech Connect, George Siemon of Organic Valley, Howard Tullman of 1871 and more.

Fellows in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator will pitch their business plans to attract investors in the Good Food space.

And the afternoon Financing Fair provides a dynamic environment where innovative farms and food businesses seeking capital can engage with funders, pitch their business plans, and forge new partnerships! Nearly $23 million in business investments have been raised by past participants in Good Food Festival Financing Fairs.

2016 Conference Co-Chairs:

Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Market
Marc Schulman, Eli’s Cheesecake
Jennifer Worstell, Natarajan | Worstell LLC, FamilyFarmed Board Member

8:30–9:00am Registration and Networking. Arrive early and connect with Good Food leaders over refreshments sponsored by the official coffee partner Columbia Street Roastery, Organic Valley, Kind Bar and Simple Mills.
8:55–9:00am Musical Medley Craig Sieben, CEO, Sieben Energy Associates
9:00–9:15am Welcome Introductions: Jennifer Worstell, Natarajan | Worstell LLC, FamilyFarmed Board Member, Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference Co-Chair
Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed
Marc Schulman, President, Eli’s Cheesecake, Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference Co-Chair
Eric Weinheimer, President and CEO, Forefront
Terry Mazany, President and CEO, Chicago Community Trust
9:15–9:35am Good Food Public Policy Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
9:35-10:00am The Intersection of Public Policy and Good Food Entrepreneurship Introductions: Marianne Markowitz, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
Sara Eckhouse, Chief of Staff, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Moderator
Michael Alston, Associate Administrator, USDA Risk Management Agency
Sam Rikkers, Administrator, USDA Rural Development
10:00–10:45am Opening Symposium Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed, Moderator
Michael Bashaw, President – Midwest Region, Whole Foods Market, Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference Co-Chair
Danielle Gould, Founder and CEO, Food+Tech Connect
Raj Karmani, Founder & Chief Impact Officer, Zero Percent
David Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Iroquois Valley Farms
George Siemon, CEO, Organic Valley
10:45–10:55am Good Food Business of the Year Award George Siemon, CEO, Organic Valley
10:55–11:00am Business and Innovation in Chicago Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871
11:00-11:15am Good Food Business Accelerator Roundtable Discussion Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed, Moderator
Daniel Caballero, Sofrito Foods LLC
Tony Fiorenza, Wind Ridge Herb Farm
Javier Haro,
Emily Miller, Rumi Spice
11:15am-12:20pm Good Food Business Accelerator Fellows Pitches Rachel Bernier-Green, Laine’s Bake Shop
John Biondi, The Cider Farm
Susan Fink, Karma Kombucha
Josh Katt, KitchFix
Ryan Jones, Gotta B Crepes
Kevin Sabo, Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
John Schiff, Real Good Juice Co.
John Wellehan, Managing Director, Good Food Business Accelerator, Moderator
12:20–12:30pm Lunch Introduction Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed
Cynthia Klein-Banai, Ph.D., Office of Sustainability, University of Illinois at Chicago
Luke Saunders, Founder and CEO, Farmer’s Fridge
12:30–1:00pm Lunch Our thanks to Farmer’s Fridge and Eli’s Cheesecake
1:00–2:00pm Financing Fair An exhibiting opportunity for selected Good Food businesses to engage directly with funders and investors.

Financing Fair Participants:
2015-16 Good Food Business Accelerator Fellows
The Cider Farm, Food, Gotta B Crepes, Karma Kombucha, KitchFix, Laine’s Bake Shop, Sofrito Foods, Wind Ridge Herb Farm

2014-15 Good Food Business Accelerator Fellows
Spark of the Heart, Urban Canopy

Other Participating Good Food Businesses
Ancient Brands Grain Traders, Creme de la Coulee Artisan Cheese, Dill Pickle Food Co-op, FarmBox Chicago, FarmMatch, Fox Valley Hops, Fruitbelt, LLC, The Hatchery, Heritage Foods Farms, Jimmy’s Vegan Cookies, Majani Catering, Prairie Fruits Farm, Real Good Juice Co., Rumi Spice, Tiny But Mighty Foods, UniquePak of Illinois (dba Asian Sun Tea), Windy City Greens, LLC

Financing Fair Funders
1st Farm Credit Services, Accion, Chicago Community Loan Fund , Chicago Farmers , Colonial Funding Group LLC , Iroquois Valley Farms , VEDC

2:00–3:00pm Good Food Trends Introductions: Mari Gallagher, Principal, FamilyFarmed Board Member
Jamie Ponce, Chicago City Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, FamilyFarmed Board Member, Moderator
Brandon Barnholt, CEO, KeHE
Andrew Lutsey, Founder and CEO, Local Foods
Katrina Markoff, President, Vosges Haut-Chocolat and Wild Ophelia
Tony Olson, Owner and CEO, SPINS
3:00-4:00pm Good Food Is a Good Investment Introductions: Lauren Rosenthal, SLoFIG, FamilyFarmed Board Member
Bram Bluestein, Managing Partner, Bluestein & Associates, Moderator
Victor Friedberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director, S2G Ventures
Steve Hall, Vice President Small Business Lending   Development, Accion
Teri Lowinger, Founding Member, SLoFIG
Michael Schopin, Partner, Zenfinity Capital
4:00-5:00pm Successful Food Business Exits Introductions: Charlotte Flinn, Owner, Flinn Consultants, FamilyFarmed Board Chair
Marc Schulman, President, Eli’s Cheesecake, Moderator
John R. Hall, President, Chicago Brewpubs Inc.
Scott Mandell, Founder and CEO, Enjoy Life Foods
Matt Matros, Founder and Board Director, Protein Bar
5:00-6:00pm Craft Beverage Reception, Financing Fair continuesAn exhibiting opportunity for Good Food businesses to engage directly with funders, investors and attendees. Open to all Thursday attendees. Food and beverage provided by*: Farmhouse Tavern, The Cider Farm, Tiny But Mighty Popcorn, Think Jerky, Koval, Eli’s Cheesecake, Karma Kombucha, Fox Valley Wine, Top Note Tonic, Wind Ridge Herb Farm, Simple Mills, Brickstone Brewery, Creme de la Coulee Artisan Cheese, Wild Bloosom , Fresh Coast Distributors

*Subject to change

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