Entrepreneur Application Process

Entrepreneurs seeking funding through Foodshed Investors NY  (FINY) should plan to engage in our 5– Step Review Process which typically takes 6-12 weeks to complete:

  1. Eligibility – Investment Criteria to evaluate if you are eligible to apply for funding.
  2. Application – FINY is now collaborates with Investors Circle NY to review companies. The Screening Committee will review your online application and direct you towards your next steps.  
  3. Community –  Join our Meetup. Network with like-minded folks. Consult our Calendar for upcoming events.  Apply to present your idea at Slow Money Foodstand Spotlight.
  4. Screening – Your application and community involvement will be reviewed to assess whether to invite your company to present at a deal review meeting.
  5. Pitch –  You may be invited to present your investment opportunity at a private meeting of Foodshed Investors NY.  For upcoming meetings, refer to our Calendar.
  6. Diligence  – Some or all members of Foodshed Investors NY may decide to take a “deeper dive,” preparing questions and requests for further discussion at subsequent meetings.
  7. Investment  – Members of Foodshed Investors NY who are prepared to make an investment may submit a Term Sheet for review by the Entrepreneur that could lead to a Deal Closing.

Details of Each Step

1. Eligibility – You can save yourself and Foodshed Investors a lot of time by checking if you meet some or all of our Investment Criteria.  Your business does not have to be a “perfect” fit, you just have to be convinced that you could be a fit before applying.

One good way to check your eligibility (and to speed the processing of your application) is  undergo and then submit your company’s [B Impact Assessment Score](http://bimpactassessment.net/) (either short or long form) — or, even better, your B Corp Certification.  This is a third party questionnaire that renders your business practices into a score that Foodshed Investors can use to screen your company effectively.

2. Application is made to our online deal platform GUST managed by our colleagues at Investors Circle NY.  This is a two-sided investment deal space for your company.  Once you have registered, you can return to update, edit or modify your application at any time.  Apply to this URL: https://gust.com/organizations/investors-circle/apply

3. Community is the foundation of what we do.  Companies often begin this process by providing brief introductions to their plans, amounting to about 5 minutes including questions at a Meetup or Foodstand Spotlight.

Not all presenters will be invited to move the next step and share their investment opportunity with Foodshed Investors NY.  Some will be channeled to other financing options or advisory services.  Some Presenters are partner organizations not seeking investment at all.

In 2014, we have establish a nascent relationship with Kiva Zip as a trustee in which we can endorse companies seeking to crowd fund a 0% interest loans up to $10,000.  Please propose this funding option if it fits your business needs.

4. Screening – Foodshed Investors will then review your application and your level of involvement in our Community, applying our Investment Criteria, in order to decide whether to invite your company to present at an upcoming deal review meeting.

5. Investor Presentations – If you are invited to present at a meeting, we will reach out to your company to help answer questions and act as a guide to the process.  The deal review meeting is private and invitation-only — not a general solicitation.  The meeting consists of accredited investors and those persons who have a “substantial pre-existing relationship” with your particular business.  You will be given about 30 minutes to present your vision and discuss your business with Investors.

6.  Due Diligence may begin if a Deal Champion is assigned to your enterprise, following your Investor Presentation.  Not all investors that you meet will perform Due Diligence on your business.  Usually a small Deal Committee is formed to investigate each business jointly and report back to the larger group.

  • Due Diligence Process – consists of submitting a set of customized and standardized questions to the Entrepreneur to get a better sense of the particulars of the business plan.  Due Diligence almost always includes a site visit to the Entrepreneur’s place of business.  Additional meetings with all Members of Foodshed Investors NYmay form part of Due Diligence.
  • Due Diligence Timing – This process is not fast.  Due Diligence may take several months.  The amount of time dedicated to Due Diligence depends on the investors’ judgment about the strength of the investment opportunity and whether the business is well-prepared to take on investment capital.  Be patient — Investors are volunteering their time.  Even if they don’t invest, their questions may help you strengthen your business planning.

7.  Investment is the really last, most formal stage of Due Diligence which involves a discussion of Term Sheets detailing the aspects of the Investment.  After Investors and the Entrepreneur agree upon mutually satisfactory terms, they move towards a “Closing” where investment documents are signed and funds may be disbursed to the Entrepreneur.

  • Co-Investors share Due Diligence and Investment. Members of Foodshed Investors NY look to syndicate investment with some of the following financing entities: local banks, Community Development Finance Institute, Community Development Credit Unions, Local Development Corporations, Private Equity Funds, Venture Capital Partners, Non-Profit Loan Funds, Charitable Foundations and other Angel Investor Networks (like Investors’ Circle or NY Angels).  Foodshed Investors are always open to working with other investment vehicles to close an investment.