SMNYC + CFF + Philanthropy NY Hosts Impact Investing Conversation On 10/5

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We’re partnering with Community Food Funders + Philanthropy NY to host a discussion on impact investing in the food space! Questions we’ll address: What is impact investing, and how can philanthropic organizations participate? Who is already doing food investing in our region, and what types of entities are seeking these funds?

Details: October 5th, 12:30 – 3:30pm at the Surdna Foundation. Lunch will be served! RSVP by 10/2 to


  • Karen Hiniker Simons, Hudson Varick Resources
  • Derek Denckla, Slow Money NYC
  • Stacey Faella, Woodcock Foundation
  • Alison Corwin and Tatianna Echevarria, Surdna Foundation

Suggested reading prior to this event. Thanks to CFF for gathering the below materials:

Other recommended resources:

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NESAWG Presents “It Takes a Region Conference”

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 10.32.31 AMNortheast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) hosts “It Takes a Region Conference” which brings together farm and food practitioners to learn, debate, collaborate, and innovate solutions to critical food systems issues.

This year’s theme is “Putting MOVE in the Movement!” and will include the following topics: policy organizing, racism in the food system, food activism, farm-to-institutions (including farm-to-hospital), food security, food hubs, and food + farm workers.

The conference will be held from November 13-14 in Saratoga Springs, NY.

More information and tickets available for purchase:

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Help Ensure #NYComposts


On July 1st, the NYC Sanitation Dept will decide on whether to require all food businesses to compost. SMNYC believes wholeheartedly in the importance of composting to solve issues of food waste, improving our local ecology, and strengthening NYC (and the nation’s) food system as a whole.

Feel free to school yourself on the issues by reading the following articles:

We hope you’ll join in on contacting NYC’s officials about composting. Egg Restaurant has composed the following tweets with which you should use to promote this initiative.

@NYCSanitation Chefs & business owners support a sustainable food system, from seed to waste. Make sure #NYComposts food scraps citywide! 

 @NYCSanitation – we need to reduce food waste through composting.  Require that #NYComposts by expanding organic waste program citywide!

Let’s make sure our food waste goes to good use!  Tell @NYCSanitation to require foodservice composting citywide #NYComposts

 If you have ideas or any suggestions or input for this initiative, please reach out to Evan Hanczor, chef at Williamsburg’s Egg, at, who has initiated this important conversation.

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Slow Money NYC June Update

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We hope you’re enjoying the first half of June. Keep on reading to learn about June’s highlights.

1. FOOD + ENTERPRISE 2015 FEEDBACK Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 10.05.06 AM

Food + Enterprise, the three day conference that took place last February, was established to foster community + collaboration among farmers, entrepreneurs, consultants and funders to finance a better food system.

We’ve finally had the time to sift through the pages of feedback we’ve received from attendees, and wanted to share a few nuggets of feedback that we believe encapsulate what we are trying to accomplish at F + E. We’ll be putting together a full report in the near future, so stay tuned for more comments, constructive criticisms, and reactions from event-goers.

“It was beautifully done!… I had such a blast meeting so many inspiring people in the industry and learning about which way the tides are turning. “–Friday Attendee

“It was particularly great to see people from so many stakeholder groups in the room – we’re so often stuck in our own little silos.”–Saturday Attendee

“The six one on one mentoring sessions I had on Friday were invaluable. I learned more on that day and during the rest of the weekend than I could have in months on my own.” — Friday Attendee



At Food + Enterprise last February, seven growth-stage food and farm enterprises presented their business plans to an audience of investors, consultants, peers and consumers, and launched crowdfunding campaigns on Barnraiser .

We are thrilled to report that five of our Pitch Entrepreneurs from Food + Enterprise were successfully funded on Barnraiser. Congratulations to Made By Lukas, Northeast Farm Access, With Love From Brooklyn, Next Door Organics, and Goldilocks Goodies!


June 17th: Productive Urban PlotsScreen Shot 2015-06-16 at 10.40.23 AM

June 17th-19th: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders

June 18th: Foodshed Investors NY (FINY) Meeting, Impact Hub NY, NY

June 24th: Access to Capital: Food, Beverage, Agricultural and Fishing Enterprises

June 25th: Giving & Investing Towards Just & Sustainable Environment for All

June 25th: Pollinating The Hudson Valley Economy

June 25th: Fail Friday with Food + Tech Connect

July 6th: Foodstand + Slow Money NYC Spotlight

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Local Farms Fund Announces Its First Farm Acquisition in Saratoga County, NY


Memorial Day, while a day of remembrance honoring fallen veterans, is often associated with the start of summer. For Local Farms Fund it will be associated with the Fund’s first farm purchase. On Friday last week, Local Farms Fund closed on its first property, a 63 acre farm located in Saratoga County, NY. The farm is being leased to Jamielynn and Timothy Biello and has a working title of “Saratoga Draft Power Farm.” Following the Local Farms Fund investment model of farmer driven acquisitions, the farm property was initially found by Jamielynn and Tim and highlighted as one that suited the needs of their long-term business plans. The property, located 20 minutes from Saratoga Springs, has a beautiful 1800s colonial house, two spring fed ponds and several barns, perfect for the Biello’s farm business plan of developing a free-choice on-farm vegetable Community Support Agriculture (CSA) operation powered by draft horses. After reviewing the farm property, the Biellos and Local Farms Fund worked together to acquire the farm at an economic price from the sellers that met the needs of both the Fund and future farm tenants. Now the Biellos have a 20-year lease with purchase options rights from Local Farms Fund allowing them to focus capital on a successful business but still providing the necessary land security.

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During the first couple of years the Biellos will focus on building soil fertility and infrastructure development necessary to support the CSA. The long-term farm plan includes eggs and meat, wholesale to local restaurants and grocers, as well as the potential for on-farm education and agritourism. Tim and Jamielynn will be moving to the homestead over the course of the next few days learning the ins and outs of their new home.

This purchase represents the first of several farms that Local Farms Fund intends to acquire over the next couple of years. The Fund has a very simple investment model. Find sustainable farmers looking for land access in the NY Foodshed. Buy farmland that meets the needs of the farmer’s business. Provide the farmer with a lease-to-own arrangement. The farm purchase in Saratoga County is a perfect example of the Fund’s investment strategy at work.

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Local Farms Fund is extremely excited to have Jamielynn and Tim as the first farm tenants and know they will have great success with the Saratoga Draft Power Farm.

Jamielynn and Tim standing in the field closest to the house and barns. This field is approximately 10 acres. Directly behind wooded area in the photo there is another large open field of around 15 acres. In total the property is 63 acres and about 35 of those are wooded, providing a natural habitat for native wildlife.

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Goodwin Procter Hosts Event For Start-up Entrepreneurs

Law firm Goodwin Procter will host a networking and Q&A session with founder of KIND, Inc. Daniel Lubetzky, as well as a speed coaching session with pros from Accion, Goodwin Procter, KIND and Sam Adams. Coaches will cover a range of topics including digital branding, communications, marketing, writing a business plan, creative design, raising capital, growing your business and much, much more.

In addition, there will be information about Goodwin Procter’s Neighborhood Business Initiative, which offers pro bono legal services to low income and inner city entrepreneurs. Other resources available to take advantage of include: Sam Adams’ Brewing the American Dream and Accion.

Date: June 10, 2015
Time: 5:30PM
Location: Goodwin Procter
620 Eighth Avenue; Manhattan, NY


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The First Edible Business Conference Will Convene From June 5th-7th


The NYC area Edible Magazine collective (Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan and Edible East End) is producing a conference from June 5-7 at Stony Brook Southhampton to discuss all things about the business of food and drink. The conference will be hosted by The Food Lab, a center for food education, media and enterprise, and will bring together farmers, chefs, drink makers, food investors and many more folks to promote a healthier regional food system.

The weekend-long conference will include:

A cocktail and shellfish reception curated by Edible East End (The EIC of which is SMNYC board member Brian Halweil).

Discussions on the business of booze, the convergence of food and technology, and social enterprise in the North Eastern Foodshed.

A keynote conversation with Food 52’s Amanda Hesser and food novelist Jessica Soffer

Tastings of a wide array of products from brewers, yogurt makers, ice cream scoopers, poultry-women, baristas and more

And, what’s especially exciting, is that SMNYC’s Derek Denckla will be a panelist on Sunday June 7th. He’ll discuss the social purpose of the food business with Mary Cleaver (Cleaver Company), Tanya Steel (Kid’s State Dinner at the Whitehouse), Kathleen Masters (AFI), Ron Tanner (NASFT), Kevin Elgoff (Local Farms Fund) and Liz Neumark (Great Performances).

Grab your tickets to this event filled with amazing food, drink and conversation here: Grab your ticket 

See you there!

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The Fresh Connection Kickstarter Launch

FC_letterheadWe’re excited to announce that on the heels of our successful KivaZip fundraising campaign, The Fresh Connection has launched a new campaign on Kickstarter (

unnamed-2The Fresh Connection is the only trucking and logistics company in New York City that specializes in supporting the local food system. Since 2012 we have made it our mission to get food from local farms and producers to the restaurants, businesses, and CSA customers they serve.

The goal of this Kickstarter is to purchase a refrigerated Sprinter Van. We currently lease our trucks, and this will be the first vehicle owned outright by The Fresh Connection. It will be branded with our logo, and will increase our capacity and flexibility, enabling us to grow and serve an even wider range of local farmers and food producers.

For your contribution you can receive The Fresh Connection swag as well as rewards generously contributed by other food businesses in our network such as Regal Vegan, Splendid Spoon, Good Eggs, Great Performances, Natural Gourmet Institute, City Saucery, Culture Yogurt, Heritage Radio Network, Brooklyn Grange, and Quinciple.

Thank you so much for your support!!


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Food + Enterprise Feedback & Funding

FE2015__021We can’t believe it’s been an entire month since Food + Enterprise.

The Wall Street Journal gave us their feedback on Food + Enterprise + Pitch:

“Last weekend, a crowd of investors, entrepreneurs and consultants packed a modish Brooklyn warehouse to hear funding pitches from some of the city’s buzziest startups….”

Now, we’d love your feedback, so fill out this Survey.

Since the Summit, we’ve been busily promoting the funding of those “buzziest startups” — Pitch Finalists from both 2015  AND 2014 on Barnraiser and Kiva Zip, respectively.

FE2015__048Our “slow” community set a new speed record  on Kiva Zip– funding a $10,000 loan to The Fresh Connection in less than 4 days! Thanks to all who participated.

Barnraiser and Kiva Zip represent a new initiative by Slow Money NYC to develop relationships with funding platforms for local sustainable food and farm businesses at various stages of development. For a full range of financing options, check out the “Get Funded” page on the Food + Enterprise website.

FE2015__034We’ve also had the chance to review some of the feedback we’ve received from F+E event-goers. Here are some of the nice things folks had to say about Food + Enterprise:

“It was particularly great to see people from so many stakeholder groups in the room – we’re so often stuck in our own little silos.” 

“Great people! I made so many great connections and learned so much.”

“I attend a lot of food industry related events and I’ll be the first to say — not all of these events are created equal…This event is definitely one that will be remembered… There is nothing more motivating than being in a community with folks who love what they do!” 

We’d love to hear from anyone who attended Food + Enterprise.  Help us make the event serve to build our “slow” community by filling out this Survey.  Thanks!

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Slow Money NYC Endorses Fresh Connection on Kiva Zip

Fresh Connection

Mark Jaffe of Fresh Connection NYC

Slow Money NYC has endorsed Mark Jaffe and his business, The Fresh Connection, for a $10,000 loan on Kiva Zip.

UPDATE 03/24/15: The Fresh Connection Loan has been fully funded — in less than one week!

Kiva Zip is an online portal that allows you to support small businesses with 0% interest loans and enable them to access up to $10,000 to grow their businesses. It only takes $5 to make an impact and anyone can lend.

KivaZipKiva Zip is about human connections. Kiva Zip uses an entrepreneur’s network as a measure of creditworthiness, obtaining loan endorsements from Trustees in their communities.

Kiva Zip Trustees source entrepreneurs they believe in and publicly endorse them as borrowers on the Kiva Zip website.  Trustees have no financial liability for loans, but their reputation is tied to the repayment rate of the borrowers they endorse. Trustees can be individuals or organizations.

Slow Money NYC recently became a “Trustee” on Kiva Zip.  Fresh Connection is the first endorsement of a Borrower made by Slow Money NYC as a Kiva Zip Trustee. And, we are excited to share this loan with all of you.  As of this writing, The Fresh Connection has raised almost 90% of his loan amount in just five days!

Mariana Cotlear gives Honorarium to Winner

Mariana Cotlear gives Honorarium to Winner Mark Jaffe

You probably remember Mark Jaffe and The Fresh Connection as the winner of Food+Enterprise + Pitch in 2014. By participating as a lender in this campaign, you can directly invest in building the infrastructure that farms and small food producers need to get their products to wholesale customers, CSA drop-off locations and even directly to consumers.

Please join us by making a loan to The Fresh Connection on Kiva Zip:

Derek Denckla, founder of Slow Money NYC –and an early lender to The Fresh Connection on Kiva Zip — puts it this way:

“You should fund Mark Jaffe for the same reason that he won Food + Enterprise + Pitch last year. Anyone who studies how to restore our local food and farm economies knows — like our Pitch judges knew — that diverse distribution options for farms are key business resources required to rebuild missing infrastructure. Now you can be part of the change you want to see and increase access to local food by lending to Fresh Connection.”

As the first loan endorsed by Slow Money NYC, Deutsche Bank is doubling all loans to The Fresh Connection; so if you loan $100, its worth $200 to The Fresh Connection.


Mark Jaffe featured in NY Times

For more about The Fresh Connection and why we think it’s an excellent company to back, read this New York Times profile of Mark Jaffe and other entrepreneurs that participated in the Fair Food Fund Network Bootcamp.  Or, watch Mark Jaffe’s winning pitch at Food+Enterprise 2014:

your name hereYour business could have the next loan endorsed by Slow Money NYC on Kiva Zip! Any business may apply to Slow Money NYC for its endorsement of a loan on Kiva Zip by letting us know how you fit most or all of the Investment Criteria laid out in this link in an email to info [a]

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