Food Entrepreneurs and Investors Convene for Educational Sessions and
Live Investor Presentations to Catalyze the Capital Flow in our Food & Ag System.
Climate Action in Food and Agriculture: Resilience and Reversal
What are current priorities for food and agriculture to move the needle on climate change now?
Systemic Investing - One Regenerative Solution at a Time
What are impact investors looking for when funding systemic change?
FOOD FUNDED 2021 Climate Speakers
Meet experienced leading practitioners at the intersection of food, investment, and impact
Albert Straus has been a leader in sustainable organic farming practices for many decades. He is a strong advocate for organic, non-GMO dairy production, environmental stewardship, and family farms. In 1994, when he converted his family farm to organic - the first organic dairy farm west of the Mississippi River - he founded the creamery in the same year, and it became the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States.
Albert aims on having his dairy farm become carbon neutral in 2023 and is extending the carbon-neutral farming model to Straus Family Creamery’s supplier farms. Albert has been recognized internationally for his substantial environmental accomplishments.
Founder and CEO
Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author, a renowned advocate for sustainability and justice along the food chain, and an advisor to funders investing in food system transformation. A James Beard Leadership Awardee, Anna is the co-author or author of three books on food, farming, and sustainability and the contributing author to thirteen more.
Anna is the founder or co-founder of three national organizations including the Small Planet Institute, Small Planet Fund and Real Food Media. Anna developed and leads the Food Sovereignty Fund, a global grantmaking program of the Panta Rhea Foundation.
Director, Founder, Strategic Advisor
Clayton Harvey is a White Mountain Apache farmer with Ndee Bikiyaa (The People's Farm), a program working to restore personal and cultural health to the White Mountain Apache Tribe through agriculture.
Clayton spends his days growing healthy food for his people in eastern Arizona and teaching community members about food sovereignty, including how families can grow their own foods and revitalize a local food system that existed for thousands of years by Apache ancestors long before the reservation was created.
White Mountain Apache Farmer
Cole is a modern-day shepherdess, an agrarian entrepreneur, educator, and community advocate. With over a decade of experience working in land stewardship, livestock management, and targeted grazing with sheep and goats, Cole's pursuits contribute to ecological resilience, wildfire mitigation, and evolution in the fiber, hide, and leather industry. She operates two businesses: Shepherdess Land and Livestock Co., a targeted grazing business with educational, consulting, and wool production arms; and Shepherdess Holistic Hides, a retail business repurposing sheep and goat hides from the meat industry to produce luxury home goods and Climate Beneficial Wool™. Alongside her own entrepreneurial endeavors, she is the director of the Community Supported Grazing Program, a nascent endeavor of the Ojai Fire Safe Council.
Shepherdess, Owner Operator
Esther is the CEO of Cienega Capital, a regenerative investment firm utilizing an integrated capital approach to systemic change in the areas of soil health, regenerative agriculture, and local food systems.
Cienega Capital is also part of the #NoRegrets Initiative, a regenerative asset strategy focused on the health of agricultural soils and agricultural communities of North America.
Jonathan is a Partner at Brightpath Capital, where he focuses on growth equity investments across food, agriculture, cleantech, and resource efficiency.
Jonathan also advises and mentors incubators/accelerators including Food System 6 and ICA Fund Good Jobs and is an active angel investor in healthy food/foodtech, sustainable/regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, resource efficiency, and health & wellness.
Lisa Curtis is the Founder & CEO of Kuli Kuli, the leading brand pioneering the sustainably sourced superfood moringa. Moringa is a protein-rich leafy green, more nutritious than kale, with anti-inflammatory benefits rivaling turmeric.
Kuli Kuli’s moringa powders, bars and wellness shots are sustainably sourced from African women and other small farmers around the world and sold in 11,000 U.S. stores.
Founder & CEO
Nick McCoy is a Co-Founder and Managing Director with Whipstitch Capital, the largest independent investment bank in
the U.S. solely focused on the better-for-you consumer sector. Nick has over 20 years of investment banking experience. Previously Nick was at First Albany (now Jeffries), Allmerica Financial Corp, and Wheelabrator Technologies.
Personally, Nick is an avid road cyclist and thinks it’s ok to cross country ski in below-zero temperatures. He’s a health-focused foodie, cooks frequently and has an extensive knowledge of wine and whiskey. Nick is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has
an MBA from Wake Forest University and an undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire.
Stephen brings a decade of focus on regenerative food systems, having invested, studied and collaborated across diverse categories of food and agriculture. His perspectives were shaped by a systems approach, the teachings of others, observations in exploring a thesis for how our food system is evolving, and a belief that all stakeholders are interdependent.
Since 2017, Stephen has served as the CEO & CIO of Meyer Family Enterprises, an entrepreneurial impact-focused single-family office in the Napa Valley, where he oversees entities that include direct investments, real estate and farming. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Agribusiness.
Founder and CEO
Angie Mertens is a board member of Slow Money Northern California and part of the FOOD FUNDED production team. Her expertise is in program design and implementation, training early stage companies, investors and corporates to scale their social impact, and ecosystem building.
Angie has been spearheading ONE WORLD Training as the Program Director since 2015. She has produced numerous ecosystem events and enterprise showcases in collaboration with organizations such as Social Venture Circle, toniic, Spero Ventures, Nia Impact Capital and others. Angie is a lifelong health-focussed eater, passionate cook and can be found exploring Bay Area’s farmer’s markets.
In 2018, mother-daughter plant-based duo, Chef Kami and Chef Mieko started their plant-based journey. After realizing that available supermarket vegan food was just vegan junk food, they knew there needed to be a better option. No chemicals, no fillers—just natural ingredients. So they started Hella Nuts™
Chef Kami & Chef Mieko
Joe James is a black, ag-tech entrepreneur, who invented and is implementing patented processes, which cost-effectively combat Climate Change, promote Environmental Justice, and create new jobs in poor urban and rural communities of color, globally.
Using his patented Combined Remediation Biomass and Bio-Product Production (CRBBP) Process, one plants and then multi-tasks special Bio-Crops, to do good things, like capturing large amounts of CO 2, remediating air, soil and water, and then making circular economy bio-products from the harvested material.
Founder & President, ATP-CA, LLC
Founder & CEO
Mindy oversees all aspects of RSF’s lending programs—business development, relationship management, and credit risk, including underwriting, portfolio management, and loan operations. Prior to RSF, Mindy was First Vice President of Amalgamated Bank working as a commercial relationship manager and leading Philanthropy and Social Impact banking on the West Coast. Before Amalgamated Bank, Mindy worked for New Resource Bank, as a Kiva Zip Fellow in Kenya, and Bank of America. Mindy has a B.B.A in Finance from the University of Iowa. Mindy is also a graduate of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values Leadership Academy through the Presencing Institute and MIT CoLab. When she’s not at RSF, she enjoys traveling and hiking, scuba diving and serving an advisor for ICA Fund Good Jobs.
Vice President, Lending
Serial entrepreneur with multiple exits, including and IPO that led to a $1B valuation. At GroGuru, drives the overall strategy and operational execution for an exciting AgTech company that is changing the way that we grow crops by using an innovative IoT and SaaS system for water management. GroGuru helps farmers make more money by increasing crop yield, and more efficiently using water and other scarce resources in a more sustainable way.
President & CEO
A lifelong “foodie” turned activist, Tiffani has been writing, researching, and advocating for food system change for over seven years. Tiffani is an advocate for just food systems and can be found talking about it with anyone who will listen. She leads several areas of educational programming, communications strategy, and engagement at Real Food Media, and co-produces and co-hosts the Real Food Reads and Foodtopias podcasts.
Tiffani brings years of active engagement in food policy discussions, event organizing, and important discussions around food system transformation in the Bay Area and beyond.
“The best event for leading food entrepreneurs and the community that supports them to come together.”