FOOD FUNDED 2021 Community Traction

October 13, 2021

Thank You!

"Engaging and incredibly inspiring" • "A whirlwind of great content and interesting people"

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


Hands-on Sessions by experienced practitioners
"Just the right mix of experienced presenters and inspiring attendees to allow me to make the connections I hoped for to help my company get to the next level."


Annual Bay Area Food Investor Fair
"I was truly blown away but the caliber of people and companies. They were all inspiring and so clear about the impact they want to have on the world. Fantastic!”


Marketplace of Opportunities. Collaboration.
"Food Funded is my favorite place to have authentic conversations and to explore ideas and opportunities to follow up on."

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

Program Overview

Raising the Food Maker's JEDI Signal above the Market Noise

People care about Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion. How to activate them as ambassadors across the channels?

10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

Sustaining Market Traction for Food with Climate Impact

If customers preferred climate-aware food, how would they recognize it if it stared at them from the shelf?

11:50am PT / 2:50pm ET

Paul Muller

Full Belly Farm, Real Organic Project

Ryan Zinn
Regenerative Projects Manager
Senior Lending Manager, Food

When Community Members Commit as Investors

How do the new crowdfunding models generate funds and brand awareness for new businesses? Hundreds of investors as influencers?

1:25pm PT / 4:25pm ET

Food Investor Fair

10:40am PT / 1:40pm ET
12:25pm PT / 3:25pm ET

FOOD FUNDED 2021 Community Traction: Speakers

Meet experienced leading practitioners at the intersection of food, investment, and impact. Hover over picture to see bio.

Alicia Kidd

Alicia Kidd is a seasoned social impact entrepreneur in the wine industry. With 18 years of professional work experience in the corporate sector, Alicia's passion for wine, travel, art, and culture turned into a part-time job in the wine industry and led her to create her first company The Wine Noire. With the success of her current business, she created CoCo Noir Wine Shop & Bar. CoCo Noir Wine Shop & Bar is a brick-and-mortar wine shop that offers Women, BOPIC, and POC winemakers the opportunity to sell their wines. Her company is raising capital on the Wefunder platform and will open in the 1st quarter of 2022 in Downtown Oakland California.

Founder & CEO

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

I started my career in technology as the first African American female conferred in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s more than 100 year program in Aerospace Engineering. My career focus has been on  domestic volume manufacturing of emergent technologies in green/clean & food tech working for companies such as Boeing, Solar Turbines and Bloom Energy before co-founding Healthy Oceans.

Co-Founder, CTO

Keba Konte founded Red Bay Coffee in Oakland, CC, a wholesale roaster with a several retail spaces. Red Bay Coffee is building a global community through committing to sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best and most beautiful coffee to the people.

He's been a coffee pioneer in the Bay Area for over 10 years, and has been recognized for his commitment to fair and equitable working conditions for his staff, and for drawing talent from his community.


Reem Assil is a Palestinian-Syrian entrepreneur based in Oakland, CA and founder of Reem’s California, a nationally acclaimed bakery and restaurant, 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.


Shrina Kurani is Vice President Business at Republic, democratizing access to capital through new regulation and technology.

As an engineer and entrepreneur, she is a fierce believer in the power of innovation to solve the world's most pressing problems and is running for US Congress.

Vice President Business

Full Belly Farm is a 400-acre certified organic farm located in the beautiful Capay Valley of Northern California. Full Belly has been farmed using organic practices since 1985 and is certified by California Certified Organic Farmers.

Full Belly is home to many outreach activities, including educational tours, school group visits, and the much-acclaimed annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival. Through such programs to the general public, Full Belly seeks to create awareness of farm realities and to stress the importance of farms in the fabric of our society.

Paul Muller


Full Belly Farm, Real Organic Project


Adrian is a Co-Founder and a Managing Director of Provenance Capital Group where he helps develop blended capital structures that catalyze resilient biological systems and businesses.

Before Provenance, Adrian co-founded the boutique consulting firm Hyphae Partners where he helped companies finance and build regenerative business models. Additionally, he worked at Patagonia within its Venture Capital arm Tin Shed Ventures, helping author a standard for Regenerative Organic Agriculture and exploring Regenerative Organic Land Funds.

Managing Director
Ryan Zinn

Ryan Zinn manages Dr. Bronner’s international organic,  fair trade and regenerative supply chains in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Ryan has worked the last 20 years with small-scale farmer organizations to develop agroeological, just and resiliency strategies. Ryan also supports non-profits like the fair trade advocacy organization, Fair World Project, and the small farmer crowdfunding platform, Grow Ahead.

Regenerative Projects Manager

Jason is a Principal at Cleveland Avenue focusing on its CAST US, leading sourcing and due diligence of investment opportunities.

Jason has over ten years of work experience in strategy, finance and mergers and acquisitions-related roles within large, multi-national organizations in the Food & Beverage sector.

Principal, CAST US Due Diligence

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.

Slow Money Investor

Priyanka Khole is on the Leadership team of the Slow Money Northern California where she is  involved with Community building, outreach and events. She is passionate about healthy food, sustainable food systems and regenerative agriculture.

A  tireless advocate of Slow Money investing principles, she loves to learn about emerging opportunities to support entrepreneurs building businesses focussed on strong social impact and sustainability goals.


Refugee from Afghanistan turned entrepreneur, on a mission to bridge our worlds through health!
Zen Basil, a 1st to market superfood edible organic basil seeds, that look like chia, but on a g/g comp, Zen Basil seeds has nearly 2X the fiber, calcium, potassium and iron.
New product line, Cellular Hydration drink mix, to help 95% of ppl missing their daily fiber needs and support 70% of dehydration in America. Zen bottle, a reusable glass bottle, design to be, zen for life.

Sanjay Rajan

Sanjay Rajan is a parallel social entrepreneur, a compassionate and authentic leader building a thriving organizational culture that brings the best out of anyone and everyone.

He is an idealist yet adaptable and does not get bogged down by business as usual. Planet-People-Prosperity is his mantra.


Born and raised in India, Narendra’s first career was in the technology sector. Ten years ago, Narendra founded Our Table Cooperative, which strives to create a model community-scale food system by bringing together all stakeholders in the food value chain as members of a single vertically integrated organization.

Your Title

Sarita Lopez, aka The Cactus Whisperer, worked for Big Red soda company until she moved back to California to start an organic farm, selling Nopales (prickly pear cactus paddles). In 2015, she decided to combine her two worlds of beverage and farming to create an organic cactus water.


Vegan Mob is a restaurant and Food Truck that serves Vegan BBQ and Vegan Soul Food/Soul Fusion. Soul Fusion is the fusion of traditional African American dishes mixed with soul food from other ethnic backgrounds.

Our mission here at Vegan Mob is to provide nutritious and healthy food with plant-based ingredients. Our passion is to help surrounding communities by empowering them with food they love and enjoy, while also supporting a healthy life-style.

Toriano Gordon


Matt turned his lifelong passion for baking and working in the food service industry into Firebrand in 2007.  Matt has a passion to create a great workplace culture of inclusion, hard work and service.  Matt believes that a company has the responsibility to it’s employees as well as the community it serves.  Being raised in a house where his mother went to jail as a teenager and having experienced homelessness himself, Matt aims to make Firebrand a place where people can create a better life for themselves, their families and their community.

Founder, CEO
Angie Mertens

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.


Perri Kramer is the Program Director at Food System 6 Accelerator. She designs and leads the programming to support entrepreneurship and provides direct strategic support to frontline innovators in the food and agriculture space. Perri has led Marketing and Operation teams, as well as product launches, in the organic food industry for over fifteen years.

Program Director

Ali is responsible for identifying mission-aligned businesses throughout the U.S. and deploying effectively-structured integrated capital to support their success, with a focus on inclusive resilient food systems and regenerative agriculture.
She has an MBA in Sustainable Solutions, and 13+ years of professional experience catalyzing market transformation, focused on leveraging community development finance to empower marginalized communities.

Senior Lending Manager, Food

I am Founder & CEO of Nuflours, a gluten free baked goods company that has successfully introduced delicious, nutritious baked goods that everyone can enjoy. I am driven leader, passionate about access to quality food, agrobiodiversity, and inclusive culture. Our products are based on alternative grains and cleaner ingredients, supporting biodiversity and conscious consumers.

Growing a women-led company, I am dedicated to supporting and growing women and minorities in professional capacities, with 90% of Nuflours workforce being women, LGBTQ, or POC.

Founder & CEO

Autism Advocate and Organic Operations Executive with over thirty years experience in the Foodservice, Retail and E-commerce channels including time with notable companies including Disney, Safeway, Revolution Foods & The Town Kitchen PBC.

Passionate about leveraging technology to bring a cleaner food supply to the masses. I pride myself on building relationships that grow and support health, wellness and organic food companies.

CEO & Investor

PLANETARIANS makes the best meat combining the power of both worlds: plant-based proteins and fermentation.

Founder and CEO

FOOD FUNDED 2021 Content Partners

full belly
One World Training - Investing in Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion
Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion



Climate Change regenerative
More to come ...

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