Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference – Thursday of the Conference

Farmers, investors, and Good Food business owners:
Join us to forge new connections and learn how to grow the Good Food system!


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The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference helps to address one of the biggest challenges facing the Good Food Movement: helping food and farm businesses scale up to meet the burgeoning demand for local, sustainable, and artisanal food. The 2014 Conference, sponsored by Crain’s Chicago Business, included a Financing Fair, where selected businesses can pitch directly to investors!  Read on for more information about last year’s conference and come back soon for details about the 2015 Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference!

See a full list of 2014 Financing Fair Participating Businesses here!

Read more about the importance of Good Food Financing on our blog.

The 2014 Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference:




8:30-9:00 am Registration and Networking Get here early to connect with good food leaders over coffee from Crop to Cup and snacks from Kind Bar.
9:00-9:20 am Introduction and Welcome Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, City of Chicago
Jim Slama, President,
Mari Gallagher, Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group, board member,
Dave Snyder, Crain’s Chicago Business
9:20-10:45 am Opening Symposium Walter Robb, co-CEO, Whole Foods Market
Howard Tullman, 1871
Erika Allen, Growing Power
Jim Slama, President, FamilyFarmed.orgThe Good Food Business of the Year Award will be presented to Walter Robb and Michael Bashaw, Midwest Regional President, Whole Foods Market
10:45 -11:00 am Good Food Financing Overview An overview of opportunities available for investors, the potential for growth in the Good Food space, and brief summary of his own successful experiences investing in Good Food businesses.
Andy Whitman, 2X Consumer Products Growth Partners
11:00 am -12:00 pm Financing Fair Finalist Pitches Six finalists make 7-minute pitches followed by a 2-minute investor Q&A

Lee Greene, Scrumptious Pantry • Raj Karmani, Zero Percent
Mark Schneider, Living Water Farms • Cathy Scratch, Feed Earth Now
Jessica Smith, This Old Farm • Jenny Yang, Phoenix Bean

Andy Whitman, 2X Consumer Products Growth Partners, moderator

12:00-1:00 pm Lunch Roti Mediterranean Grill
1:00-2:00 pm Financing Fair Selected businesses have the chance to network directly with investors in the Good Food space.
2:00-2:30 pm Crowdfunding Update The impact and outcomes of the SEC’s crowd funding ruling and description of its technical implementation. 
Marc J. Lane, Marc J. Lane Wealth Group

2:30-4:00 pm

Good Food Business Success Stories Successful local food businesses outline their respective paths to funding company growth.
Introductions: Jennifer Worstell, Polsinelli Shughart
David Miller, CEO, Iroquois Valley Farms/Working Farms Capital
Scott Mandell, Enjoy Life Foods
Tera Johnson, Founder, Tera’s Whey
John Peterson, Farmer, Angelic Organics
Marc Schulman, CEO, Eli’s Cheesecake, moderator
4:00-5:30 pm Good Food Is a Good Investment Perspectives on investment opportunities in the Good Food space from a diverse group of investors.
Introductions: Colleen Callahan, Illinois Rural Development, USDA
Mark Fick, Chicago Community Loan Fund
Kim Hack, SLoFIG
Barbara Stille, 1st Farm Credit Services
Brian Smith, Angel Food Investment Group
Trinita Logue, IFF Founder and President
Chuck Templeton, Impact Engine, moderator
5:30 pm  Adjourn


2014 Illinois Food Farms and Jobs Council Meeting, 1-3pm

The Good Food Festival & Conference is very happy to host the March meeting of the Illinois Food Farms and Jobs Council! The Council’s purpose is to facilitate the growth of an Illinois-based local farm and food product economy that revitalizes rural and urban communities, promotes healthy eating with access to fresh foods, creates jobs, ensures a readily available supply of safe food in an emergency event and supports economic growth through making local farm or food products available to all Illinois citizens.

This meeting is FREE and open to the public. If you intend to attend this meeting as a member of the public, and are not registered for the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference, please arrive at the registration desk no earlier than 12:30. We encourage all attendees at the meeting to register for the Conference, but this is not required for attendance at the Council meeting.