In its 8th year, FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference is the Midwest’s premier event for thought leaders, innovators, stakeholders and entrepreneurs to learn, connect, cultivate ideas and drive innovation in Chicago’s booming Good Food landscape. Businesses in FamilyFarmed’s network, which includes the Good Food Accelerator, have generated over $50 million in financing.
Insightful presentations and panel discussions, a live pitch competition, dynamic networking and a Financing Fair will make up this year’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference on June 19 at Morgan Manufacturing.
John Foraker, Keynote Speaker
John was the longtime CEO of Annie’s Homegrown, which sold to General Mills for $820 million in 2014. He is now Co-Founder and CEO of organic baby food startup Once Upon a Farm; actress Jennifer Garner is the company’s Chief Brand Officer.
Carlotta Mast, New Hope Network’s Senior Vice President of Content and Insights, will then join John Foraker in an engaging Fireside Chat. New Hope produces the annual Natural Products EXPO events (West and East) and other industry-leading programming.
Entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders gain industry insights through thought-provoking Industry Leadership Panel Discussions and may participate in the dynamic Financing Fair, Pitch Competition and Networking Reception.
Entrepreneurs, get your game on! Pitch on stage to potential investors, funders, buyers and thought leaders! Selected entrants will compete for cash prizes and in-kind services at the 2018 Good Food Pitch Slam — Tuesday, June 19 at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference.
Funders, lenders, investment groups, service providers and entrepreneurs: The Good Food Financing Fair’s dynamic format can be a catalyst to spark new relationships, and the informal environment fosters interaction, networking and exchange of strategies and ideas.
8:30 a.m. – Registration with Coffee and Pastries
Coffee is generously provided by Big Shoulders Coffee, whose Fresh Roasted, No-nonsense Artisan Coffees are available at five Chicago locations, online or for wholesale purchase. Pastries are generously provided by Flur, producer of delicious and delightful gluten-free baked goods… and a graduate of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator! Bagel bites with fresh veggie spreads generously provided by Here, producer of salad dressings, dips and other value-added products emphasizing locally grown produce…also a graduate of the Good Food Accelerator.
9 a.m. – Setting the Stage
Leaders discuss the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovation in Chicago.
9:20 a.m. -John Foraker Keynote Speech
John Foraker was the longtime CEO of Annie’s Homegrown, which sold to General Mills for $820 million in 2014. He is now co-founder and CEO of organic baby food startup Once Upon a Farm; actress Jennifer Garner is the company’s chief brand officer.
9:45 a.m. – Fireside Chat
Carlotta Mast, New Hope Network’s Senior Vice President of Content and Insights, will join John Foraker in an engaging Fireside Chat. New Hope produces the annual Natural Products EXPO events (West and East) and other industry-leading programming, and publishes Good Food Insights in partnership with FamilyFarmed.
10:05 a.m. – Breakthrough Entrepreneurs Talk Innovation
Five entrepreneurial leaders identify their definition of innovation, and share how they apply this thought process to developing their business models, products and services.
11:10 a.m. – Big Food + Good Food: Building Strategic Partnerships
Representatives from Big Food companies discuss how their corporations are approaching “innovation” and how they are building strategic partnerships with emerging Good Food brands.
11:50 a.m. – Good Food is a Good Deal: Investor Insights
Investors share insights on why Good Food is good for the planet, good for people and good for business.
12:30 p.m. – Networking Lunch with Farmer’s Fridge
Lunch is generously provided by Farmer’s Fridge, a popular Chicago company that got a boost from its participation in an earlier Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference. Farmer’s Fridge sells delicious, super-fresh salads in recyclable jars from customized vending machines.
12:45 p.m. – Breakout Lunch Session: The Retail Food Buyer’s Perspective,
Entrepreneurs: Learn the top 5 practices buyers are looking for in your pitch meeting, from Patrick Nycz, Founding President, NewPoint Marketing who specializes in emerging brands.
1:30 p.m. – Good Food Pitch Slam
The Pitch Slam — a first-ever business pitch competition at the Financing & Innovation Conference — will showcase up-and-coming local stars and provide stakeholders a first look at the latest drivers in the Midwest’s Good Food Business sector.
3:00 p.m. – Chicago + Boulder: Advancing the Impact of Good Food
CEOs of leading companies in the Good Food industry discuss the growing opportunities for Chicago to elevate its role in national leadership. Moderated by Carlotta Mast, board president of Naturally Boulder and senior vice president for content and insight for New Hope Network.
3:35 p.m. – Good Food Accelerator Showcase and Pitch Slam Award Presentation
Get a first look at the great product offerings from our most recent Good Food Accelerator (GFA) graduates, and hear a progress report from select alumni you know and love during our GFA Showcase. Then stay tuned for the moment you’ve been waiting for — as we announce the winners of our Good Food Pitch Slam! The Audience Choice Award will be presented, and our Judges’ Choice will receive their award along with insights from the industry-expert judges.
4:30 p.m. – Financing Fair
Put Yourself In Front Of The Money at the Financing Fair — the longtime heart of the Financing & Innovation Conference! Entrepreneurs gain visibility and interact with prospective investors, funders, fellow entrepreneurs, service providers and other stakeholders. Funders, lenders, investment groups and service providers get a close-up look at Chicago’s hottest new brands.
5:00 p.m. – Networking Reception; Financing Fair Continues
Celebrate and solidify relationships while sharing craft food and beverages!