Food for Thought

and thought for food

Money from the many: Crowdfunding options for food businesses

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With the arrival of crowdfunding, many bureaucratic hurdles for raising funds have been removed. For too long, raising capital in small businesses meant either being at the mercy of bank underwriter or a lengthy process with affluent angel investors, involving lawyers and a lot of paperwork. Now, entrepreneurs can use many different crowdfunding options. What […]

California Needs an Investment Crowdfunding Law. Here’s our Proposal

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  By Christina Oatfield – (Sustainable Economies Law Center) Summary of the Local Economies Securities Act (SB577) Existing Securities Law The laws regulating investment offerings in the US are called ‘securities law.’ When an investment offer, sale, or advertisement is made, that is, when a “securities offering” is made, it must generally either be permitted by […]

Everyone Eats: Employee Engagement Solved

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Guest post by Sarah Ahern, The Cleaver Group When I say we build healthy food environments for companies, a lot of people ask, “That’s sounds great, but what exactly does that do for an organization?”  A fair question!  The conversation around food is robust, but very little of it focuses on using food as an organizational or community development tool. The idea of […]

“What’s for dinner?” Of course, there’s an app for that.

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By Arno Hesse Airbnb and VRBO are changing how we travel. Lyft and Uber have definitely disrupted the taxi industry. What about the food business? Will apps and sharing models change our daily routines for getting dinner on the table? The San Francisco Bay Area has seen a myriad of news services offering bringing dinner […]

Getting Food Funded

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Entrepreneurship and Investor Fair in San Francisco On March 26, 350 food entrepreneurs and investors convened for an inspiring day of educational workshops and live investment presentations to catalyze the funding flow for food ventures. Since that energetic sold out event, many participants have been huddling in follow-up meetings to work out investments in a […]

The Capay Valley Farm Shop: A Good Bet on the Farm(s)

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By Andy Bamber Aggregation, distribution, scale—such are the new buzzwords in the world of grocery delivery platforms. In recent years, AmazonFresh, Good Eggs, and Instacart, to name a few, have used the power of big data and the web to launch grocery delivery services in select markets with the hope of achieving a broader rollout. […]

Self-Directed IRAs and the Slow Money Investor

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By Michael Kuntz. I’m a sucker for ice cream. The more exotic, the better. Bourbon ginger snap. Salted caramel. Orange cardamom. You get the picture. I’m also committed to the Slow Money movement. So, when my local creamery needs funds to expand their kitchen and pay for the sustainable ingredients of their sub-zero sublimities, I’m […]

My Health in a Vulnerable Food System

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By Theo Ferguson, Vital Systems. I am an eater, as are you. My relationship with food, farming, and living systems is very personal. As Barbara Kingsolver writes, “Recall that whatever lofty things you might accomplish today, you will do them only because you first ate something that grew out of dirt.” Is it inconceivable to […]

Local Investing – a Powerful Tool for Effective Economic Development

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By Marco Vangelisti With the economic slump well into its sixth year and unemployment still significantly higher than at its inception in 2007, it is understandable that the priority of elected officials is job creation. States, counties and municipalities, while dealing with budget deficits, have been competing with each other to attract jobs in their […]

CROWDFUND Act (Title III of the JOBS Act)

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by Jenny Kassan of Cutting Edge Capital Remember, crowdfunding was supposed to get easier, with the passing of the JOBS Act? Now, the SEC has finally issued the most important rules for implementing the new law. The following is a summary of the requirements for using the crowdfunding exemption that was created by the JOBS […]

A closer look at royalty financing

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(by Marco Vangelisti) In a prior article “A New Funding Structure for Slow Money Projects” I introduced the idea of using royalty financing for Slow Money projects. Such structure presents advantages for both investors and entrepreneurs. Investors get to participate in the success of the enterprise with a self-liquidating investment, therefore greatly reducing their liquidity […]

Appropriate Funding Mechanisms for Slow Money Projects

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(by Marco Vangelisti) Slow Money projects and businesses are building a restorative economy by improving the livelihood of their communities, by valuing the uniqueness of place and by restoring the fertility of the soil either directly or by supporting activities that do so. The funding challenges that any business faces are augmented by the focus […]

Comparing Royalty Financing to Debt and Equity financing

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(by Marco Vangelisti) Royalty financing, whereby investors receive a percentage of revenues, relieves the entrepreneur of the implicit pressure early equity investing creates to grow rapidly towards an “exit” and avoids dilution of the original owners. Royalty financing is more appropriate than debt in the early stages of a business since repayments are based on […]

Assessing Project Impact on Our Regional Food System: 15 Questions

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By Constance Washburn and Kathryn Lyddan: As participants in Slow Money Northern California, weʼve been working to develop a methodology to analyze the impact of potential Slow Money projects on a local food system. Our goal was to create a simple list of questions that an investor could ask to identify the projects that have […]

A new funding structure for Slow Money projects

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By Marco Vangelisti: Royalty financing, whereby investors receive a percentage of the revenues, relieves the entrepreneur of the implicit pressure early equity investing creates to grow rapidly towards an “exit”. Royalty financing is aligned with the ethos of Slow Money and allows for broader participation on the part of Slow Money investors while allowing the […]

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

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a beautiful excerpt from Woody Tasch “Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: investing as if food, farms and fertility mattered”: …Let us dare to imagine an investor who has the sacred passion of an earthworm, slowly making his or her way through the soil of commerce and culture, playing a small, vital role in […]

A few thoughts on Slow Money investing

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By Marco Vangelisti Slow Money seeks to catalyze investments into the local foodshed and to bring about a new way of dealing with investments, one that is appropriate to place, based on direct relationships and aligned with the values of caring for the commons, sensitivity to the carrying capacity of the planet, and non-violence. Slow […]