Crowdfunding Campaigns for Local Food System

Crowdfund ButtonCrowdfunding online — with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo — has proven to be a significant and potent source of seed capital for small, local, sustainable food and farm businesses.

For instance, last Summer 2013, Slow Money NYC was proud to work with Cayuga Pure Organics to raise over $87,000 on Indiegogo Campaign to help re-build their Barn and Beanery after sustaining devastating damage by fire that was only partially covered by insurance.

IMG_3592In the Fall 2013, Slow Money NYC followed up with a Crowdfunding Workshop, hosting a discussion by several major sites that help food companies raise capital. Our workshop participants, led by author Amy Cortese, identified five major types of capital available on crowdfunding websites: (1) Donations, (2) Rewards (3) Pre-Payment, (4) Debt Capital and (5) Equity Capital.  By far, the most popular and successful crowdfunding sites provide a platform for seeking donations (sometimes combined with rewards, sometimes not).  Least popular is equity capital because it is usually only available to “accredited investors.”

Money GiftQuite surprisingly, for-profit companies have been some of the most major recipients of donations on such sites as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. The prevalence of for-profit companies seeking donations for new or experimental ventures demonstrates the extent of market failure in accessing suitable capital for small and startup business in the US. Crowdfunding donations to enterprises have emerged as an innovative way for small business to raise low risk capital.

CrowdfundingSlow Money Buck via donation also aligns with the Slow Money movement. Slow Money NYC has explored ways for more people to move from conscious consumerism to impact investing in small, local sustainable food and farm business. To honor this impulse, Slow Money NYC adopted the motto “Everyone is an Investor in Food”.
In pursuit of this ideal, Slow Money NYC has encountered substantial challenges.

Few  ssuccess ratesmall businesses succeed, especially startups (See “Success Rates” chart). Thus, investment in small, local sustainable business bears a high risk of loss and low chance of return. Further, securities regulations (and the cost of compliance) make investment in small business largely out of reach for all but the most well-to-do, despite some reforms recently imposed by the JOBS Act of 2012.

Slow Money NYC has promoted the understanding that investing in our common sustainable future may require a downward adjustment of expectations in favor of low, slow or no return to the investors. “Slow Money” proposes a new hybrid investment philosophy that hovers somewhere between investment and philanthropy. Hence, crowdfunding donations to social and sustainable enterprise represents a robust “slow money” strategy that allows every person to become an active investor in the change they want to see in their food system.

Accordingly, Slow Money NYC has also created its own “channel” on Indiegogo and may act as a “trustee” for loans on KivaZip. If any entrepreneur would like to participate on either of these platforms, please contact us.

Slow Money NYC will also regularly feature crowdfunding campaigns of its friends, starting with this blog post!  So, while we are working on our tans this Summer, we can help entrepreneurs expand their business through crowdfunding.

Here’s a sample of some ongoing crowdfunding for local food companies:

DONATION + REWARD

KICKSTARTER

ROCKAWAY BREWING CO.

4 days to go! Seeking $30,000 for Canning Machinery. Raised $14,077.

DONATION

INDIEGOGO

BRIGHT FARMS

56 days to go. Seeking $50,000 to build greenhouse. Raised $8525.

DONATION

IOBY.ORG

CHICKEN APPRENTICESHIP GARDEN

Seeking $1315. Raised $701. No Deadline Listed.

https://ioby.org/project/chicken-apprenticeship-workshops

bee with birds copyThe goal of “Fort Hen”, our chicken coop at the Imani Garden, is to teach people how to raise their own hens in the city. Raising chickens in the city can reduce a person’s environmental footprint through a reduction in transportation of eggs and meat, a decrease in food waste sent to the landfill, decrease in energy and harmful chemicals used in producing their food and a decrease in gasoline use for motorized tillers and garden implements. And, of course, raising chickens is fun! We want to provide people with the knowledge and skills necessary to raise healthy, happy chickens.

PRE-PAYMENT

CREDIBLES

KRIEMHILD DAIRY

https://credibles.org/offering/Kriemhild

Campaign On-going, indefinite.
KriemhildFeatured at Slow Money NYC Meetup in 2013 and Pitch Competition in 2014.
Meadow Butter: Pasture Enhanced, Sun Infused
Kriemhild Dairy Farms uses healthy grass fed milk for its sweet cream, barrel churned Meadow Butter. Our goals are to create exceptional food while improving the quality of our community and incorporating methods that reduce our impact on the environment.
We’re now ready to expand our grass fed product line! We’ve spent months planning and are working to secure significant funding for a farmstead creamery. With your commitment, we will be able to: (1) purchase the necessary equipment to expand our product line; (2) install renewable energy systems such as solar thermal; and (3) retrofit a drainage system which will allow us to turn waste water into irrigation water for the pasture. Use your edible credits to purchase butter now and our expanded product line coming soon.

DEBT CAPITAL

KIVA ZIP

HUDSON VALLEY SEED LIBRARY

https://zip.kiva.org/loans/5167

Total Loan: $10,000. Raised $5,125. Commenced July 11, 2014.
IMG_4434We are a seed company which has distinguished ourselves by choosing to grow our own seeds in the Northeast and commissioning artists to create original works for our eye-catching seed packs. Our unique business model, which includes an optional membership based seed library program, along with our art, has helped us grow quickly. Use of Funds: Now that we have a strong and enthusiastic online customer base and extensive wholesale accounts, we want to even out our cash flow by developing products, related to who we are and our customer’s needs, that can be sold during our typical “off season.”

EQUITY CAPITAL

RETURN ON CHANGE

IROQUOIS VALLEY FARMS

Featured at Slow Money National Gathering in Boulder Colorado, April 2013.

Note: Available to “Accredited Investors” Only.

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Upcoming Food & Impact Events in June 2014

HUB_marketing_1-28_38-621x407Impact Hub NY Open House and World Café Salon

Date: Wednesday, June 11th
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: Impact Hub NYC / 394 Broadway, NY, NY 10013
RSVP here.
Impact Hub is opening their doors and inviting the social & environmental impact community to explore their new 3-story space with a roaming, world cafe-style experience hosted by local impact organizations. Impact Hub is a shared workspace & events platform for a global community of entrepreneurs, activists, artists & professionals who believe in the power of business to accelerate social & environmental change.  Learn more at impacthubnyc.com.  Come say hello, bring old friends, meet new friends, enjoy refreshing drinks + snacks, and engage in meaningful conversation. RSVP here.

bthechangebadgehi-res1To B or Not to B Corp Certified? Workshop

Date: June 18, 2014
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Location: 61 Local, 61 Bergen St, Brooklyn NY 11201 (Community Room – Upstairs)
RSVP: Slow Money NYC Meetup
Join us for this Slow Money NYC Meetup in which Sophie Faris from B Lab leads a workshop on the challenges particular to food and farming companies seeking B Corp Certification, a standard for positive impact, calling on the experiences of entrepreneurs who have been through the process such as Sarah Endline of Sweet Riot and Jon Zeltsman of Down To Earth Markets. Special presentation from Museum of Food and Drink and Lightning Pitches from entrepreneurs in our extended community.
Food Policy Action Logo

Briefing on Food Policy Action

Date: June 20, 2014
Time: 10:00-11:00 am
Location: Jewish Funders Network, 150 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001
Free! RSVP to Samantha Anderson at samantha@jfunders.org
Claire Benjamin, the Managing Director of Food Policy Action, will speak this Friday at a special meeting to discuss the organization’s agenda and pressing issues for the food movement.  A recent profile in NY Times of Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio highlighted his work with FPA. Food Policy Action was established in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders in order to hold legislators accountable for their votes on food and farming through education and publication of the National Food Policy Scorecard.  Learn more: http://foodpolicyaction.org/

Empire PlazaAccess to Capital for Food and Beverage Enterprises

Date: June 24, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY
Register Now
Empire State Development, The Federal Reserve Bank of NY and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets are co-sponsoring a forum to help businesses identify traditional and nontraditional sources to Capital. If you’re involved in agriculture, food or beverage enterprise please join us.  Derek Denckla, Network Director of Slow Money NYC will be speaking on a panel. Register Now

Hack DiningHack Dining with Food + Tech Connect

Hack the future of dining to catalyze a revolution in food. Ambitious, no?  From June 27-29, Food+Tech Connect, in partnership with Applegate, Google, Chipotle and Studio Industries, is bringing restaurant and foodservice rabble-rousers together to hack the future of dining at Hack//Dining NYC.  Throughout the hackathon, a series of classes and panels will give the restaurant community insights into better business practices. Tickets are $35 for classes and $15 for the panel on Saturday, June 28. We’re also offering a limited number of packages for all three for just $60. Space is limited, so snag your tickets here.

  • 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Developing a Restaurant Technology Strategy 101 class with ShopKeep
  • 3:15 PM – 4:45 PM Scaling + Branding Your Business class with Felicia Stingone (formerly of USHG)
  • 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM Best practices in Employee Hiring panel with Culintro, Culinary Agents, Easy Pairings. Moderated by Leiti Hsu.

Entrepreneur SpaceFunding for Food: Financing Workshop

with NYBDC & Accion
Date: Tuesday, July 1st
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Place: The Entrepreneur’s Space, 36-46 37th St, Long Island City

Finding financing to grow a small business is a common challenge for food entrepreneurs, traditional bank financing can be hard to get and funding programs are often confusing. To help shed some light on the process, we have teamed up with our friends at the The Entrepreneur’s Space to host a financing workshop and networking event.

Our presenters from New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) and Accion will provide information on the NYC Food Manufacturers Growth Fund and other opportunities available for financing the growth of your business. In addition to information on both organization’s financial products, NYBDC and Accion staff will also provide guidance on what lenders are looking for and advise on how to craft a competitive application. This is a great opportunity to speak with lenders about your specific situation, and to check out the facilities up at The Entrepreneur’s Space!

Food and drinks will be provided. RSVP now to cdourmashkin@ewvidco.com to reserve your seat.

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Food + Enterprise Sells Out & “Fresh Connection” Wins Pitch Competition

Mark Jaffe

Mark Jaffe

Fresh Connection, a customized logistics and delivery service for farm products based in Brooklyn, won Food +EnterprisePitch Competition, presented as part of Food Book Fair at Wythe Hotel on April 25, 2014.  The Winner was chosen by a panel of 5 expert judges from among 

Mariana Cotlear gives Honorarium to Winner

Mariana Cotlear gives Honorarium to Winner

ten amazing local and sustainable food enterprises.  Mariana Cotlear, Marketing Strategist for Event Sponsor Chipotle, presented an oversized check for the $500 honorarium made out to “Mark Jaffe,” (pictured right) Founder and CEO of Fresh Connection.

Entrepreneur Clinic

Entrepreneur Clinic

The Pitch Competition was one part of Food + Enterprise, a day-long gathering that included an Entrepreneur Clinic, featuring 45  Mentors and Coaches, and Anatomy of a Deal, giving a rare glimpse of how a Foundation and Investors collaborated to support Farm to Table Copackers.   The event was sold out almost two weeks in advance and produced by NE Foodshed Finance

Full House at Wythe

Full House at Wythe

Alliance,  a newly-formed collaborative coalition aiming to increase capital access for social enterprises accelerating change in the local food system.  Food + Enterprise was produced by key leaders of this new effort, namely, Slow Money NYCGrowNYC, NRDC, Community Food Funders, Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders and Acción.  Food + Enterprise was attended by over 500 people. (Psst . . .Participants please fill out a post-event Evaluation). Fresh Connection_Logo“I had no real idea that I might win,” Jaffe stated, “I just stated the case for my company’s role in improving the food system as best I could. I guess the judges saw the value in what I’ve been doing.” Jaffe was being modest. He received two perfect scores of “5″ for an aggregate score of 23.5 out of a possible 25 — an occurrence we have not seen before at previous Pitch Competitions — or with any other competitor. A score of “5″ indicates that a business is “ready to fund today” and is most aligned to the Investment Criteria designated for the Pitch Competition, as laid out in greater detail below.  So, we expect great things from Fresh Connection.

Liz Neumark, Pitch Judge

Liz Neumark, Pitch Judge

Something about Fresh Connection struck a chord with our panel of judges, all of whom have been deep experience working to make change in the food system. “You are either crazy or courageous or both,” joked Judge Liz Neumark, (pictured right) CEO of Great Performances Catering and Katchkie Farms. “Either way,” she continued, “what you are doing is vitally necessary, not sexy and absolutely under-appreciated.” Impressive Runner Up Enterprises

Lindsey Jakubowski

Lindsey Jakubowski

The Winner faced stiff competition from 9 other Food Enterprises. Second place was awarded to Kriemhild Dairy Farms, producer of Meadow Butter and other products made from grass fed dairy in Hamilton, NY, near the Canadian border. “I was reassured we’ve been doing things ‘right’ when three of our five judges were already fans of our product!” exclaimed co-owner Lindsey Jakubowski (pictured left). “I enjoyed the whole thing and it was inspirational on so many levels (minus my car getting towed).”  Welcome to the “joys” of NYC parking regulations.

Christopher Washington

Christopher Washington

Third place went to Radicle Farms, producer of hydroponic greens in urban areas in NJ, sold with roots — or radicles– attached and farmed with help from disabled workers. “We learned so much from the Pitch Prep Workshop and we really valued connecting with other Entrepreneurs.” said CEO Christopher Washington (pictured right).

Every Enterprise Was a Winner

Gudelio Garcia & Erica Dorn

Gudelio Garcia & Erica Dorn

In reality, all the companies that pitched were winners.  “Our version of winning: [Judge] Liz Neumark said our CSA tote bag was one of her favorites!” explained Erica Dorn with a laugh, CSA Coordinator for El Poblano Farm, growing Mexican specialty crops on Staten Island, who acted as translator for Farmer Gudelio Garcia (pictured left) during their joint presentation — an important bilingual milestone for our Pitch Competition.  “It felt incredible to be so supported by the 9 other entrepreneurs in the pitch– a true showcase of diversity and ingenuity of the food movement in the New York region.”

In addition to the intensive half-day Pitch Prep Workshop provided for each entrepreneur, Food + Enterprise provided a uniquely targeted opportunity to make lasting business connections with other entrepreneurs.  In fact, as an example, Radicle Farms will soon be supplying its produce to Field Goods, Brooklyn Kitchen and possibly Greenmarkets Co. and Betony Restaurant.  That’s quite another sort of winning!

Diversity in Many Dimensions

_MG_0269

Diana Lovett

Diversity was a consistent theme of this year’s Pitch Competition: “I loved being a part of such a diverse group of entrepreneurs working in such different parts of the food world.” said Diana Lovett, (pictured right) Founder, Cissé Trading Company, that makes baking mixes using Fair Trade Cocoa processed in Auburn, NY.  And the diversity this year extended beyond the types of businesses — to the types of people behind them – 6 of the companies are led or co-led by women and 3 are helmed by people of color.

Arshad Bahl

Arshad Bahl

Most entrepreneurs, like Arshad Bahl, (pictured right) CEO of Amrita Health Foods told us that participating in Food + Enterprise was its own reward: “The process of learning from and presenting to this incredible community of like-minded food entrepreneurs reinforced that the sustainable food revolution has significant momentum.” He added “It feels so great to have this strong support system to help the seed that I planted, less than 2 years ago, take strong root and flourish.” Arshad’s company makes Plant Based Energy Bars using many local ingredients and free from the top 8 major allergens.

On Being the “New Kid”

Raphael Lyon

Raphael Lyon

“It’s uphill battle with Judges when you are presenting a whole new category of beverage,” offered Raphael Lyon, Founder of Enlightenment Wines, producer of unique wines concocted in Clintondale, NY from honey and fruits produced in New York.  Judge Michael Hurwitz, Director of Greenmarkets NYC, agreed: “Your

Michael Hurwitz

Michael Hurwitz

biggest opportunity and your biggest challenge is that you don’t have competition.  Introducing the customer to a product they have never tasted before is tough.”  Despite being a bit of “new kid,” Lyon lit up the crowd with warm laughter when he mentioned his unique bootstrap marketing method which he labeled: “Community Support Alcohol” — a riff on Community Supported Agriculture.

The Show (Business) Must Go On!

Donna Williams

Donna Williams

“I didn’t expect to get teary-eyed about when I started to speak about the Field Goods team.”  admitted Donna WilliamsFounder & PresidentField Goods, LLC, who employs developmentally disabled adults in addition to delivering local produce to central drop points, like offices and health clubs.  Caroll Lee and Nicole Chaszar of  Provenance Meals and The Splendid Spoon, respectively – also did amazing jobs telling their stories and making a case for investment in their early stage efforts.

Nicole Chaszar

Nicole Chaszar

Judges Jon Zeltsman, President of Down To Earth Markets, Taylor Erkkinen, Founder of Brooklyn Kitchen and Elly Truesdell, NE Forager for Whole Foods, all brought their “A” games too, providing amazing insights and valuable suggestions to the Entrepreneurs. “Just to be able to get these amazing judges attention and

Caroll Lee

Caroll Lee

honest feedback was a real honor,” said Nicole Chaszar, Founder of The Splendid Spoon.  And, for the second year in a row, Emilie Baltz, Founder of Baltz Works, was once again a masterful MC.  She kept things lively, light and moving along schedule (despite the previous panel running overtime!).  Three Cheers and Thanks to All!

Last Year’s Models, Good as New

SOHHA_LOGO_RGB (2)

Last Year’s Pitch Winner

At the beginning and end, we gave Enterprises from last year’s Pitch Competition a chance to update us on their progress.  Michael Ray Robinov kicked things off with a video about Farm to People, his online farmer’s market site.

And, concluding the proceedings, Angela Fout gave us the news on Sohha Yogurt, last year’s Winner.  Sohha has attracted amazing press — including being named Best Yoghurt by New York Magazine — and it is selling at over 15 retail outlets and farmers markets in NYC and Westchester.  We are all amazingly proud to have been a small part of Sohha’s success story so far.

What About Your Enterprise Winning Next Year?

And now, it’s up to you Social Enterprise Dreamers! You will have to put your axe to the grindstone and sharpen your approach so that you may join us for the Pitch Competition next year.

Appendix: What Criteria Guided Judges in Voting?
During the Pitch Competition, Entrepreneurs were evaluated using the following Investment Criteria established by Slow Money NYC:
  • Small, local and sustainable orientation in the business.
  • Immediate and tangible impact on accelerating positive change in the local, sustainable food system.
  • Food processed or produced in NY foodshed (CT, MA, PA, NJ, NY or VT) serving NYC markets.  Not just a marketing and sales office HQ’d in NY area.
  • Credible plan, experienced management and competent advisors with clear path to near-term execution and profitbality realized by raising funds.
  • Best of its type among similar businesses.

In addition, Judges looked at a variety of impact criteria to evaluate each business:

  • Environment: Reducing Wasting, Contaminants and Emission — Using Resources Sustainably
  • Equity: Improving Working Conditions, Living Wages and/or Increasing Access to Food and Just Distribution of Resources
  • Vibrant Communities: Foster Community Engagement – Care of the Commons — Support Development of Local Economies
  • Public Health: Reduce Hunger, Improve Health

 

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5 Ways You Can Boost Your Local Food Economy

local food economy

An article by Emily Main that appeared in Rodale News, interviewing Derek Denckla, Network Coordinator for Slow Money NYC.

Around April 15th of every year, people fill out their tax forms and maybe hand over a chunk of their earnings to the IRS and their local and state governments. It’s a fact of life no one can avoid.

But have you ever thought about where that money goes? The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has calculated that $9 billion in taxpayer money was paid to farmers as insurance and other subsidies in 2013, and much of that went to farmers who were already billionaires and didn’t need the help. That same year, the bottom 80 percent of farmers who aren’t wealthy got about $5,000 apiece, according to EWG.

While you may never be able to opt out of taxes, you can opt out of supporting big agriculture operations, and do tons to support small farmers in your day-to-day life, says Derek Denckla, chair of the New York City chapter of Slow Money, a national nonprofit committed to increasing investment in local food systems. “The majority of people invest in the stock market, but we want people to invest in their local food system.”

More From Rodale News: How Your “Slow Money” Can Change the World

Shopping at your farmer’s market is a great place to start—but it’s far from your only option. “You can think of investing in a variety of different ways,” he says, and you don’t need thousands of dollars and a stockbroker to start….

#1: Shop locally. Even if you don’t have any extra money lying around, you can invest some of your weekly food budget in a local food business, be that a farmer’s market, a locally owned bakery, or a butcher shop that sells regionally raised meats. This kind of “conscientious consumerism” is even as simple as asking your favorite restaurant or grocery store if they use local ingredients.

#2: Join a CSA. If you have a bit more cash on hand (like, say, an IRS refund), invest it in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. These are investments in their own way, Denckla says, because you’re buying shares in a farmer’s harvest similar to the way a stockbroker buys shares in a company, only you profit in fresh veggies rather than money (and after all, you can’t eat money!). Of course, it can come with similar risks: If some disaster wipes out a farmer’s crop, you’re still out the money. But the farmer at least has some financial support to rebuild his or her farm for the next season.

Join Derek Denckla and Slow Money NYC on Friday, April 25, 2014, for Food + Enterprise, a daylong program dedicated to promoting change in the local food system, presented as part of the Food Book FairBuy a Day Pass Here.

#3: Move your money to a credit union. Big banks lend money to big companies, but small banks and credit unions are more likely to keep their loans close to home. “Move your money into a local credit union, and that allows those lending institutions that are aligned to your values to loan funds to businesses that you care about,” Denckla says. You might find a credit union that lends only to food and farming businesses, and some even provide no-interest loans to people who’d like to join a CSA but don’t have the $200 to $500 it can cost to buy a share.

#4: Give a local business a leg up. Thanks to sites like Kickstarter.com andIndiegogo.com, it’s easier than ever to invest in local businesses and nonprofits looking to get off the ground or expand their operations. And there’s no minimum investment, so you can help out as much as your credit-union account will allow.

#5: Be an “angel investor.” This might be an option only for the 5 percent, says Denckla, but “if you have $1,000 to spare, you have the minimum amount to place in funds that have a more direct impact on things you care about.” For instance, one small nonprofit called Equity Trust invests in farmland preservation and allows lenders to pick the repayment interest rate, so you can get some return on your investment. Another national group, RSF Social Finance, offers a variety of investment funds that support food and agriculture operations that benefit people locally and regionally. You can find other social-investing opportunities atSlowMoney.org.

 

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Running on Local: Building a Resilient Economy

Local food. Local fuel. Local finance. All these popular ideas can help us build a more resilient local economy, and that means an even better community to live in.

On March 20, 2014, authors and locavists from North Carolina, Carol Peppe Hewitt (author of Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money, and Lyle Estill (author of numerous books on alternative energy and local activism) are bringing “Running On Local” to Brooklyn for the evening.

When: Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: Egg Restaurant
109A North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY (edit map)
Restaurant Closed for This Private Event. Please Knock Gently on Door.
Ticket: $15.00/per person
RSVP by joining Slow Money NYC Meetup and visiting the event page: http://www.meetup.com/Slow-Money-NYC/events/168066452/

“I heard an inspiring idea, in 2010,” Hewitt explains, “of moving money into the hands of farmers and the local food businesses that support local, sustainable farming. It was called Slow Money, and I tried it and it worked.”

If that’s not inspiration enough, Hewitt has teamed up with Lyle Estill, who is well known in alternative energy circles.

“In a world of global doom and gloom,” remarks Estill, “there are ways to localize all aspects of your life.” He should know. He runs one of the few surviving community-scale biofuel operations in the Southeast, turning waste cooking oil into about one million gallons of B100 biofuel each year.

Together they host a powerful conversation they call “Running On Local” and are taking their message and expertise from Miami, to Orlando, to Beaufort and Charleston, SC before heading up to Washington DC, NYC and Western MA.

Don’t miss this rare chance to meet and talk with these pioneers in local food, local fuel, and local finance while they are in our area as they travel the East Coast on their Speaking Tour.

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Alley Watch Profiles Derek Denckla

Alley Watch DEREK-DENCKLAOn my Birthday, Alley Watch, the newspaper dedicated to the tech financing in NYC, ran a portrait piece about Slow Money NYC Chair, Derek Denckla. The coverage got a few things wrong (I am not on the Board of Food Book Fair) but it was a nice profile and yielded some interesting contacts. Nice birthday present, Alley Watch! Read it for yourself here: http://www.alleywatch.com/2014/02/an-angel-in-new-york-derek-denckla/

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“Foodshed Investors NY” supercedes “NYC LION”

map_foodhsedseries_090709_CS3It’s a New Year and it’s time for a New Name!

The angel investor network formed in association with Slow Money NYC is changing its name to “Foodshed Investors NY” (formerly known as “NYC LION”).

We make this name change to better express the specific focus of our investment interests and the type of food companies that we would like to attract to work with us.

We are investing in the Foodshed.  So now: form follows function.

Our INVESTMENT CRITERIA remains the same.  We are interested in funding food and farm businesses that are SUSTAINABLE, SMALL and LOCAL.

What is a “foodshed”?

Though it may be unfamiliar, the term “foodshed” was used almost 80 years ago in a book entitled How Great Cities Are Fed (Hedden, 1929) to describe the flow of food from producer to consumer.

Seven decades later, the term was used to describe a food system that connected local producers with local consumers (Kloppenburg et al., 1996).

In this project, the general definition of a foodshed is a geographic area that supplies a population center, like NYC, with food.  – (Local Food Mapping Project, Cornell University).

NYC receives food from all over the world.  So, NYC’s “foodshed” is, in a sense, global. However, NYC has only three days of non-perishable food per person on hand at any given time. (Red Cross Preparedness Report 2013).  And we seek to make investments that increase local capacity to produce more food, improving the resilience of the region that includes NYC as its largest marketplace for the sale of food.

With this goal in mind, we face the challenge of defining “local.”  For us, a “local” food business is able to travel to NYC markets within a business day and sells its goods or services there.

If you are an Accredited Investor, feel free to apply online to join us for a free trial period of 6 months.  Our next meeting is February 26, 2014.

If you are an Entrepreneur, please apply online to make a public presentation to Slow Money NYC as the first step in getting your business introduced to Foodshed Investors.

We are interested in hearing about businesses in all aspects of the food system: farms, processors, distributors, retailers, consumer brands and waste processing.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this change of name or the business of Foodshed Investors NY.  Thanks!

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Bring Money Down to Earth: Give to Slow Money NYC

Hawthorne Valley Farm
Slow Money NYC gives so much to you.
Now, we ask you to give to Slow Money NYC.

Slow Money NYC has been catalyzing investment in local, sustainable food business since 2011. Disseminating information. Producing events. Creating investment pipelines. Building our Network. Thanks to all of you for making Slow Money NYC such a success.

Our Ask

Give to Slow Money NYC today — so we can give to you year round! Donate now
Write Checks to: “Slow Money” with memo: “Slow Money NYC” and send to:
Slow Money
PO Box 333
York Harbor, ME 03911

Bring Money Down to Earth
Our Need

Help realize our plans for the New Year.

  • 6 Meetups — one every other month — starting on February 18, 2014
  • Collaborate with GrowNYC, NRDC and other good food organizations to plan “Catalyzing NY Foodshed Finance” in early 2015.
  • Collaborate with Food Book Fair: Pitch Competition
  • Improve deal pipeline with newly-renamed Foodshed Investors NY (formerly NYC LION).

As usual, these ambitious plans will be coordinated by Derek Denckla and Brian Kaminer with generous help from the Board. However, this year, we’re looking to raise sufficient funds to rent desk space and pay our Network Coordinators a small stipend. This modest but necessary step will help maintain our small organization.

Local Food Mashup
Year in Review

2013 was an amazing year for growth.

Slow Money NYC brought on a new board of directors in 2013, helping catalyze investment through an amazing number and variety of impactful activities:

  • 10 Meetups attended by 388 SMNYC Networkers
  • Co-hosted 4 events with other organizations
  • Produced Food Book Fair: Resource Fair + Pitch Competition, 260 attended.
  • Hosted Regional Food Finance Work Group attended by 60 good food organizations.
  • Grant of $2,000 from Sustainable Agriculture Food System Funders
  • Activist in Community Food Funders, NESAWG Regional Food Funders, NYC Food Policy Forum
  • Launched Indiegogo Campaign for Cayuga Pure Organics, helping raise $85,000
  • Coordinated 5 Meetings of NYC LION, reviewing presentation by 13 local food entrepreneurs
  • Held Educational Webinar on Royalty Financing attended by 25 Networkers.

Help us continue to build on this amazing track record — achieved on a shoe string budget with all volunteer effort!!!

Kimberly WetherellOur Impact

Testimonial from Slow Money NYC Community:

I was introduced to Slow Money NYC just a few months ago and as a Brooklyn entrepreneur with a locally-minded start-up, I found both Meetups I attended to be incredibly insightful. . . . I am inspired to re-invest in my community as my own business grows and flourishes. Having the opportunity to speak to the Slow Money NYC group was a great chance to practice my pitch, expand my audience and share a small taste of what I make with other like-minded individuals.

Kimberly M. Wetherell
Owner/’Baketender’
Spirited

Goatfell FarmHappy Holidays

Hope to see you in the New Year!

Our next event is February 18, 2014 — rumored to be a chocolate-theme for Valentine’s Day. Location: Purpose, 115 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011. Check Meetup for more details.

Please let us know if you have any wishes for the New Year! Thanks for your interest in slow money and your support of Slow Money NYC.

Late with gifts? Buy Woody Tasch‘s new e-book “Staring the Pig in Face,” released today on Amazon.

Or, buy Credibles for friends and family from these NY food businesses:

And, if you have some additional charitable dollars left after you have made your donation to Slow Money NYC, please consider making a tax-deductible gift via Indiegogo to non-profit, CARI Organic Farm, located in Lisbon, NY, which lost its greenhouse in windstorm on November 16, 2013.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year,

The Board of Slow Money NYC
Claude Arpels, Amy Cortese
Erica Dorn, Derek Denckla
Lindsay Greene, Jennifer Grossman
Kerry Gendron, Brian Kaminer
and Job Zeltsman

Posted in Membership & Meetings, Updates & Discussion | Comments Off

Slow Holiday Mixer + Gatheround Viewing Party

20120419-ParishHall-3-thumb-500xauto-234266Celebrate a year of good, slowwww work (and network) with us!
Event Date: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from 6:00-9:00 PM
(+ Gatheround Viewing Party: 9:00-10:30 PM)
Location: Parish Hall Restaurant
109A North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
RSVP & Buy Tickets


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We’ll serve local food and drink at an eatery funded by slow money investors (through NYC LION)!

Parish Hall will serve its now-classic small plates: beef fat beignets, smoked trout toast, squash and goat cheese toast, and house-made pickles. Included with ticket price.

evanhanczor-700

Parish Hall Chef Evan Hanczor

Guests may also purchase specially-paired drinks selected by the chef: cocktails, wines and beers.

Stay for dinner, enjoying “a seasonal menu that’s free-ranging and inventive,” according to NY Mag.

Or, keep the party vibe humming and join us for the Gatheround Viewing Party. . . .

logoGatheround Viewing Party

At 9:00 pm, we will split off for a viewing party projecting Slow Money’s latest Gatheround webcast.  Register here.

EliotColemanProgram: Nuturing the Soil with Starmer Eliot Coleman

Entrepreneur Presentations: (1) Coast of Maine Organic Products, (2) Massey Creek Farms, and (3) Ollin Farms .

What is Gatheround? It’s a new online event platform being tested by Slow Money to create opportunities to engage with cutting edge thought leaders and small food entrepreneurs.

How does it work? Each Gatheround calls for a minimum $25 donation to Slow Money that will be loaned (interest-free) to the entrepreneur of your choice during a voting round at the end of the event or thereafter.

How do I donate? Click this registration link or the “register” button in the upper right corner of the Gatheround site.

Posted in Updates & Discussion | Comments Off

Crowdfunding Workshop: Options for Food Enterprises

IMG_3972Event Location: The Moderns, 900 Broadway, NYC
Date: November 19, 2013, 6:00-9:00 pm
Get Tickets
Drinks and snacks will be served.

Summary: The 2012 JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), has created myriad options to raise money from many.

But which Crowdfunding Platform is right for your business?

To answer that question, Amy Cortese, author of Locavesting, will guide us through presentations from representatives of a variety of Crowdfunding platforms.  Hot off the press! This article helps explain the impact new SEC rules on raising equity through Crowdfunding, prepared for Slow Money Northern California by Attorney Jenny Kassen.  Presenters include:
• IOBY - Micro-donations for local environmental projects – Co-Founder Erin Barnes – More
• Smallknot - Donations for local companies – Founder Jay Lee – More
• KivaZip - Zero Interest Loans for local businesses - Liezl Van Riper, Dir. of Development. More
• Credibles - Prepay for farm and store credits – Founder Arno Hesse – More
• Mission Markets (Beta) – Customizable platform for impact capital raising – Dawn Edwards, Sr. Managing Director – More
• Return on Change - Investment platform for high-impact startups – Founder Sang Lee – More
For some additional background info, check out this recent article by Andrew Hanks, due diligence expert and founder of Crowdcheck.
Erin_thumbnail headshot2Liezl head shot aug 2013Arno Hessenew dawn
Pictured above: Erin Barnes, Jay Lee, Liezl Van Riper, Arno Hesse and Dawn Edwards.

Entrepreneur Presentations: Entrepreneurs will present their story of sustainable business for 10 minutes each. Invited enterprises include:
BM Logo• Blue Marble Ice Cream - Jennie Dundas, Founder – Organic Ice Cream Made in NYC.
IVF Logo Graphic Only• Iroquois Valley Farms - Kevin Egolf – Fund for Purchase and Preservation of Small Farms
SS logo• The Splendid Spoon - Nicole Chaszar, Founder – Ready to eat vegan soups made with local ingredients

JDundas2Kevin EgolfNicole Chazer thumbSheilaAkbarAngelaFout
Pictured Above: Jennie Dundas, K. Egolf, Nicole Chaszar, Sheila Akbar & Angela Fout.

Lightning Round of Elevator Pitches from concept-stage business:
• Bed Stuy Fresh and Local - Sheila Akbar, Founder – Community Grocery Store stocking Locally-Sourced Foods

Our Pitch Competitors: Where Are They Now?  We invited participants in our Pitch Competition from the Food Book Fair held on May 5, 2013 Status Update:
• Sohha Savory Yoghurt - Winning Pitch – Angela Fout, Founder – Savory yogurt made with NY milk
• Rooftops Reds - Devin Shoemaker – Rooftop wine grapes for urban vintages
• Global Kitchen - Leah Selim, Founder – Cooking Classes celebrating Chef Instructor’s authentic culture and traditional recipes.
• Switchel LLC - Ely & Garrett, Founders – Hydrating beverage with all-natural local ingredients
• Farm to People - Michael & David Robinov, Founders – Online store featuring independent, small-batch producers and small farms from the Northeast region.
• Invited: Borough Mushrooms, Local Bee, and Browder’s Birds.

Additional Information

More on ioby
ioby is a digital crowd-resourcing platform that supports citizen-led, neighbor-funded initiatives that make neighborhoods stronger and more sustainable. On ioby, anyone can raise tax-deductible donations, recruit local volunteers and share ideas.

Success Story: http://ioby.org/blog/mayflower-oil-spill-gets-national-attention

Erin Barnes, Founder: The Rockefeller Foundation awarded Erin Barnes and her co-founders at ioby the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Technology and Innovation. Before ioby, Erin Barnes was a freelance environmental writer and a community organizer. She has a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.E.M from Yale University. Erin lives in Brooklyn and serves on the Board of EcoDistricts, and as an advisor to ArtBridge and the Social Innovators Collective.

More on Smallknot
Smallknot is a community crowdfunding platform for small businesses. Smallknot connects local people with local businesses to fund improvements and projects by facilitating a funding campaign through pre-sale financing — a “loan” repaid in products, services and experiences. We also partner with lenders to combine crowdfunding with a small business loan. Smallknot has helped raise over $300K to date in approximately 100 campaigns.

Success Story: Franklin Hill Vineyards is a small family-owned vineyard in Bangor, Pennsylvania. They planted an experimental vine in 1976 at a time and place where no one thought that wine grapes or even wine was possible. They began producing wine in 1981 and have used those same vines ever since for almost four decades. They ran a Smallknot campaign in June of 2013 and quickly raised almost $5500 to replant 2000 young vines to keep the family business going. 12 people even had the opportunity to have a row of new vines named in commemoration for someone they loved — which disappeared in a matter of hours.

Jay Lee is the Founder and CEO of Smallknot. Prior to Smallknot, he worked as a corporate and securities lawyer at in New York City. In addition to Smallknot, he currently manages special projects for Farmigo, an online people powered farmers market.

More on KivaZip – In 2014, Liezl will spearhead the launch of Kiva City New York, which will extend micro-finance to entrepreneurs across the region. Kiva Zip is a website where individual lenders from around the world can crowdfund small business loans to entrepreneurs, artisans or farmers in $25 increments, at 0% interest. Over time, as loans are paid back, the individual lenders get their $25 back, and can relend it to another entrepreneur.

Success Story: An example of how KivaZip helped fund a sustainable food enterprise is River Hill farm: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/1353 Alan is the proud owner of Riverhill Farm in Nevada City, CA. Alan raised $17,000 from 220 individual lenders on Kiva Zip, in less than a month. Alan was “endorsed” for a Kiva Zip loan by an organization called California Farmlink, who had known Alan for several years, and so deeply trusted his character, and commitment to repay the loan.

Together, Alan and California Farmlink invited 38 new Kiva Zip lenders to fund Alan’s loan, but that was supplemented by 182 lenders from the wider Kiva Zip community. The dialogue between Alan, his trustee, and his 220 lenders was incredibly encouraging and positive. Funds Moved: $2.1M in 2 years. Liezl is responsible for creating and expanding Kiva’s fundraising, loan-raising and program-related investment (PRI) partnerships with foundations, corporations and philanthropists.

More on Credibles
Credibles is a service offered by Slow Money, and powered by Clearbon, for crowd-funding small, sustainable food-related businesses. On Credibles.org, customers crowdfund their favorite food business by prepaying their purchases in advance, in exchange for “edible credits”.Instead of having to pay a bank loan back in cash, the businesses repay their funders with products they can grow or cook themselves. The outstanding Credibles can be tracked and transacted with mobile apps.

Success Story: Business in all stages of the food chain raise funds with Credibles: farmers, dairies, producers, co-ops, stores, restaurants. (“If you eat, you’re an investor.”) A single business can raise thousands of dollars, – repeatedly. While originally launched as a fundraising platform, the business find that prepaying customers come by significantly more often (2x-3x). The service is not restricted to limited, one time campaigns with fixed money goals.

Arno Hesse, Co-Founder – Before Credibles/Clearbon, Arno was Executive Vice President for Retail Products and Marketing at Union Bank (over $80 billion in assets) where he led Product Management, Customer Experience Management, and Marketing. Over the past 20 years, he has executed market strategies with a special focus on changing organizational cultures, as culture tends to eat strategy for breakfast.
As a founding member of Slow Money, Arno works on directing investments into local food systems.

More on Mission Markets
Mission Markets is unlocking the full potential of capital markets by integrating community and shared values to create a sustainable economy. We provide the technology and expertise to connect investors to mission-focused organizations. Our market supports a broad range of financial products from donations to debt and equity investments.

Dawn Edwards – Senior Managing Director, Institutional Investor Services
Dawn brings over 20 years of institutional capital markets experience and manages Mission Markets large institutional investor and issuer relationships. In 2006, Dawn co-founded and became the President of AltruShare Securities, LLC, is the first institutional brokerage firm specializing in community investment, and the only nonprofit owned brokerage firm based in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

More on Return on Change
Return on Change is an investment platform connecting high-impact startups with investors. We work
with socially innovative startups in the Tech, CleanTech, Life Sciences, EdTech, and Social Enterprise sectors. Democratizing startup finance through crowdinvesting, investors come together to help fund startups in exchange for a share of the company.

Success Story: Over $30 million of current startup deal pipeline, approx $45 million of interested wealth, $1 million of investment reservations

Sang Lee is the CEO and founder of Return on Change <http://www.returnonchange.com/> and the Executive Director of CF50, a global crowdfunding think tank. He is a recovering investment banker who strives to use his background in financefor good. He was awarded the Under30CEO of NY in 2012.

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