FOOD FUNDED

convened by

Food Entrepreneurs and Investors Convene for Educational Sessions and
Live Investor Presentations to Catalyze the Capital Flow in our Food & Ag System.

PROGRAM

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?

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.

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.

Scott Chang-Fleeman is an organic farmer in West Marin county. His farm, Shao Shan Farm, grows cool season vegetables with a focus on East Asian and dry farmed varieties on 5.5-acres of coastal land.

Scott Chang-Fleeman

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.

Food Investor Fair

Finalists
ATP-white
12-golden-coast-mead-circle-icon-dark-blue
GroGuru-Logo-SQUARE
HELL-NUTS-LOGO-TM-2019
MSM_Logo-Badge_200217
CD-Farm-Logo-2012-1
Social-Logo
re_nuble_logo_small_transparent_copyright
republic-logo-full-dark-2000px
Shepherdess-LL-Logo-Circular

Systemic Investing - One Regenerative Solution at a Time

What are impact investors looking for when funding systemic change?

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.

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.

Noramay Cadena is a Managing Partner at Supply Change Capital, an early stage venture firm investing at the intersection of food, culture, and technology.

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.

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.

Clayton Harvey

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, regenerative agriculture, and targeted grazing with sheep and goats, Cole's pursuits contribute to ecological resilience, wildfire mitigation, evolution in the fiber and hide industries, and supporting the next generation of agrarian change-makers.  Shepherdess Land and Livestock Co. is a targeted grazing business with educational, consulting, and wool production arms. She is also the director of the Community Supported Grazing Program, an endeavor of the Ojai Fire Safe Council, and co-director of the Grazing School of the West, a training program for new shepherds and grazing entrepreneurs.

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.

CEO

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.

Partner

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.

Managing Director

Noramay Cadena is a Managing Partner at Supply Change Capital, an early stage venture firm investing at the intersection of food, culture, and technology.

Managing Partner

Pierre Thiam is a chef, award-winning cookbook author, activist, and entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Senegal, he is widely considered a leading authority on African foodways.

Co-founder & President

Reem Assil is a Palestinian-Syrian entrepreneur based in Oakland, CA and founder of Reem’s California, nationally acclaimed bakeries and restaurants, inspired by her passion for Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities they feed.

Informed by twenty years of work in the both non-profit and food industry, Reem’s current work sits at the intersection of her three passions: Arab hospitality, community-building, and social justice.

Founder

Scott Chang-Fleeman is an organic farmer in West Marin county. His farm, Shao Shan Farm, grows cool season vegetables with a focus on East Asian and dry farmed varieties on 5.5-acres of coastal land.

Scott Chang-Fleeman

Farmer

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.

Co-Leader

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

Co-founders

Chef Kami is the Executive Chef at Hella Nuts The Plant-Based Eatery. Providing flavorful relatable PlantBased eats to the Black & Brown Community.

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™

 

Co-Founder

Frank's grandpa made mead.  After graduating from UC Berkeley and serving in the Navy, Frank founded Golden Coast Mead in 2010. Frank's mission is to make and share mead to light up people's lives, regenerate the earth and create a return on investment.

President

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

Kaitlin Mogentale is a self-proclaimed food waste warrior and the founder of Pulp Pantry. Pulp Pantry transforms upcycled ingredients — the overlooked, nutritional byproducts of fruit and vegetable processing — into wholesome, better for people and better for the planet, snack staples.

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

I'm a conservationist on a mission to better the world through high integrity, consumer-facing agricultural supply chains. As in, ones that consumers can see and trust. Growing Mainstem has been my full-time focus since 2015.

Co-Founder & 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.

Co-Director

Re-Nuble, is helping indoor farms enable closed-loop production, deliver a carbon-negative product, a full micronutrient profile, and increase profitability.

 

Founder & CEO

FOOD FUNDED 2021 Climate: Investor Fair Finalists

ATP-white
12-golden-coast-mead-circle-icon-dark-blue
GroGuru-Logo-SQUARE
HELL-NUTS-LOGO-TM-2019
MSM_Logo-Badge_200217
CD-Farm-Logo-2012-1
Social-Logo
re_nuble_logo_small_transparent_copyright
republic-logo-full-dark-2000px
Shepherdess-LL-Logo-Circular

FOOD FUNDED 2021 Content Partners

RSF-Logo
2-x-2-bitmap-for-Navision-002
Supply_Change_Logo_S_Mark
Farm-Logo-Black-and-White
PRF-Logo
GCP_Logo_236x236px
KuliKuli_PrimaryLogo_2020
RFM-square-logo-transparent
Brightpath_Logo_web
Whipstitch_capital_Navy_black
One World Training - Investing in Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion
Cienega Capital - Investing in Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion

“The best event for leading food entrepreneurs and the community that supports them to come together.”

FOOD FUNDED Advisors

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.

Arno Hesse is dedicated to financing a sustainable and equitable future with thriving food systems and regenerative technologies. He co-founded the community capital services Credibles and Investibule. As a co-leader and investor with Slow Money Northern California, Arno has led multiple investments in food businesses, with a focus on climate change and social justice. Previously, he was Executive Vice President for Retail Markets at MUFG Union Bank.

Carlotta Mast leads the strategy, growth and impact for New Hope Network, the leading events and information services company for the natural & organic products industry, which includes Natural Products Expos, NBJ Summit, Nutrition Capital Network, Esca Bona, Natural Foods Merchandiser, newhope.com, Nutrition Business Journal, NEXT Forecast, SupplySide, Natural Products Insider, and Vitafoods.
Carlotta serves on the board of Naturally Boulder. She is a co-founder of the J.E.D.I Collaborative and serves on the board of the Climate Collaborative.
In 2013, Carlotta co-founded the paleo snack company Wholly Bites, sold to 1908 Brands in 2016.

What do I want? Equitable access to all facets of the Natural Products and CPG industry for anyone who wants to join!

When do I want it?? Now!!

Combining 2 decades of experience assessing, creating and optimizing "systems" with a doctorate in Public Policy and Education Leadership - Cynthia tries to throw the majority of her mental effort behind actions and initiatives that solve the (arbitrary and systemic) inequities that prevent individuals from reclaiming the right to shape their lived reality.

David is the co-creator of the Mission Driven Finance Regenerative Harvest Fund. He leads the Fund’s business development, structured finance, and impact due diligence. He and his team create opportunities that match risk with return and reconnect impact investors to the entrepreneur's performance.

David’s work is focused on an industry-wide commitment to agroecological social, environmental, and climate impact investing and asset management.

Dianna Tremblay is the Chief Program Officer at ICA, responsible for scaling the impact of the ICA's programs and cultivating the support and capital ecosystem necessary for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.  

With expertise in program design and implementation, small business support, accessing capital, and ecosystem building, Dianna strives to use these skills to increase equitable access to capital, coaching, and networks for entrepreneurs of color.  Dianna also currently serves on the board of Naturally Bay Area.

Prior to joining ICA, Dianna's worked in sales, corporate relationship management, and business development roles. Dianna received an MBA at Mills College and a Bachelor’s from California State University, East Bay.

Elliot Begoun is a 30-year industry veteran, author, podcast host, founder of TIG Brands, and champion of Tardigrades. TIG Brands supports a community of entrepreneurs interested in building nimble, capital-efficient, resilient brands that become Tardigrades, not Unicorns. Learn more about TIG Brands’ programs here and catch Elliot at FoodBytes, the Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute, and the Natural Products Business School. Tune into the TIG Talks podcast and find Elliot’s articles in publications such as The Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and New Hope.

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.

Kathleen Casanova has spent more than a decade working in and with nonprofits and universities across the country as a fundraiser, talent consultant and DEI program manager. In 2018, Kathleen decided to pursue her lifelong dream of working with food (she’s been throwing dinner parties since she was nine) and entered the CPG space as a recruiter for emerging brands. She soon fell in love with the industry but also saw the need for more support and resources for other professionals and entrepreneurs of color in the field.

Kristin is founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, a women-led Registered Investment Advisor changing the face of finance by hiring women and people of color in sustainable and transformative investing. Kristin founded Nia Global Solutions, a gender-lens portfolio of solutions-focused companies, bringing impact investing into the public markets.

In 2010 Kristin founded Nia Community, a 100% mission-aligned impact investment fund focused on social change and environmental sustainability in Oakland, California.

Kristin was a full-time educator, teaching bilingual classes in Oakland and San Francisco. She earned her PhD in Education at University of California, Berkeley, her Masters in Research in Bilingual Education from Stanford University.

Laina has over three decades of experience in the tech industry and social impact space as consultant, entrepreneur, investor, mentor and educator. She has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for organisations of all sizes, and is co-founder of an angel investment network for women-led community based enterprises called Angels of Impact.

Laina is also the co-author of a book “Sustainable Impact: How women are key to ending poverty” (2017).

Lara is a founder in the OSC Venture FundJ.E.D.I Collaborative and the Climate Collaborative, projects of OSC (One Step Closer) and SFTA.

Lara was the CEO of LightFull Foods, VP Retail Sales & Marketing at Numi Organic Tea, and VP of Marketing at the Balance Bar Company, where she helped drive sales growth from $10M to $110M and sell it to Kraft Foods.

Lara has spoken on food trends, sustainability, and innovation at Natural Products Expo West, So Cap, SXSW Eco, Zero Waste Summit, SFTA, Bioneers, Net Impact, the Brower Center, and Esca Bona.

Lauren's background in nonprofit development made her eager to activate more capital for social change, leading her to co-found Mission Driven Finance, an impact investment firm and Certified B Corporation that actively develops impact investment strategies to close financial gaps that will close opportunity gaps.

As Chief Community Officer, she leads the design of community-driven strategy, providing a frame for both internal culture & partner relationships.

Merril Gilbert is a provocative thought leader in the future of food and cannabis consumable innovations. A visionary connector enthusiastic about change, Merril believes in using available resources to lead healthier and more resilient lives. As co-founder and CEO of Curious Futures, Merril provides strategic guidance to innovators, disruptors, and refiners.

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.

Patrick Wyman has 29 years of experience in the natural foods industry, and 19 with Whole Foods Market. He started with the company in a store support role for the grocery department, moved through grocery leadership, and now oversees the Northern California region’s local purchasing program and local vendor partnerships. In this role Patrick helps guide vendors through the logistics of bringing a product to market including topics like packaging, distribution, financing, and compliance with company and governmental standards. He’s passionate about the environment; professionally he participates in Whole Foods Market’s Green Mission leadership team, and spends plenty of time off work hiking and skiing.

Founder @ Sanchi Foods, puffed bean snacks made from 3 ancient beans, Modern Snacks inspired by ancient wisdom.

Advocate for diverse, nutrient- dense food sources and regenerative farming.

Renata's career has been focused in philanthropy, community relations and the impact ecosystem - both from the investment and entrepreneurship side. In addition to her current role with FOOD FUNDED, she serves as a Program Specialist at ONE WORLD Training & Investments. She has directed community programs at Social Venture Circle and Investors' Circle, and for more than 20 years served in various leadership roles at The Hitachi Foundation, focused on using the tools of business to advance economic opportunities for under-represented communities.

Renata's work has been rooted in uniting seemingly disparate communities for the broader good, recognizing the power of collaborative approaches and the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

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