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Edible-Alpha®

Edible-Alpha®
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Our Mission Is To Ensure High-Quality Financial Technical Assistance For Every Food, Beverage and Value-Added Farm Business. Edible-Alpha is a project of the Food Finance Institute (FFI) and the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Division of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The Chesterhill Produce Auction: A Catalyst For Produce Producers

1 hour of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

The auction focuses on getting smaller producers in the area to the scale to where they can sell and get attention for their products. Last year the auction grossed over $300,000, with the auction taking a 16% commission for all vegetables sold.

Podcast about Sales and Marketing for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

At Evolve Brands, Strategy is Everything

1 hour & 20 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Since the snack category is crowded, Evolve Brands has focused their efforts on sales and marketing to build and continually support a strong distribution footprint of around 2,500 independent, natural and co-op grocery stores. From there, they can pursue a larger go-to-market strategy.

Podcast about Sales and Marketing for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Financial Technical Assistance

Why Financial Technical Assistance Is Key To Food Entrepreneurs’ Success

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Access to high quality financial technical assistance is the biggest gap in accelerating the growth and success of more good food and beverage companies. Companies can transform, grow and thrive when they have access to this kind of assistance and when the founders surround themselves with the right people, including technical assistance providers.

Article about Raising Capital for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Fair Food Network

How The Fair Food Fund’s Patient Capital Yields Great Impact

50 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Seeded with a 2012 challenge grant of $3.75 million, the Fair Food Fund, the impact investing arm of Fair Food Network, has attracted a total of $6.4+ million in grants and program related investments from more than 20 funders. Since then, the Fund has provided more than $3.6 million in financing and business assistance to over 80 enterprises across 9 states.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Due Dilligence

Food Entrepreneurs: Investor Due Diligence is Good For You

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Because food businesses tend to grow in a stairstep function rather than incrementally, most food businesses need to raise outside funding to be viable and profitable. Investor due diligence can help entrepreneurs to mature their businesses into viable enterprises because the process forces them to get clear and articulate about how they make money.

Article about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Tim Keane Golden Angels Investors

Tim Keane On Golden Angels Investors’ Funding Philosophy

50 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Golden Angels Investors advise entrepreneurs to focus on building their sales and getting as much customer feedback as they can before they risk too much with the business. This, as well as the identification of competitors, helps validate that the business has some traction in the marketplace in the eyes of investors.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Capital Changes Over Time

Your Food Business’ Capital Needs Change Over Time

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Getting proper financing for growing food businesses is one of the most challenging obstacles food business owners face, due in large part to the high bar for fundraising and financial communication when growing a food business. And, there are often many sources of capital that need to be brought together to adequately fund the growth of these food businesses.

Article about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Demystifying Funding Terminology

Demystifying Funding Terminology

5 minute Free read by New Hope Network

Most entrepreneurs start out with friends and family funding (essentially people they know who will take a risk with them) or else they "bootstrap" their company, self-financing from the owner(s) and free cash flow. However, in food, this doesn't get you very far - food businesses need outside capital, usually from a variety of sources, to compete.

Books or Guide about Raising Capital for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Joel Solomon Renewal Funds

Joel Solomon On How Food Businesses Can Be Part Of The Clean Money Revolution

50 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

There is a disconnect between perceptions of available money for food business and the sheer volume of individuals/funds looking to invest at various stages. And, natural food investors are starting to look at even earlier stage companies now that there is so much competition at the product, retail and investment levels of the food business ecosystem.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Gary Hirshberg Stonyfield Organic On Taste Radio

Growing Organically With Stonyfield Farm Co-Founder Gary Hirshberg (Taste Radio Podcast)

1 hour & 20 minutes of Free audio by Taste Radio Podcast

The founders of Stonyfield were running a nonprofit organic farming school on a small New Hampshire farm when they began what became Stoneyfield farms. After starting with seven cows, now Stoneyfield sells hundreds of millions of dollars per year in dairy and other products in supermarkets, natural food stores and colleges across the country.

Podcast about Raising Capital for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Your Food Business Has A Life Of Its Own

Your Food Business Has A Life Of Its Own

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

What started as one person's idea or passion quickly turns into a complex branded relationship with a customer supported by complex manufacturing processes and multiple sales, marketing and other staff to support the business growth. While businesses go through "growth spurts", the life of a business that is built to last is a marathon, not a sprint.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Peter Robertson Of RPs Pasta

Peter Robertson of RP’s Pasta On Managing Growth And Changing With The Consumer

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

A trip to Expo West in 2010 validated the demand and uniqueness of RP's gluten-free SKUs, generating demand that spawned rapid growth of the brand on a more national level, which can be challenging to manage the customer relationships and the right equipment setup/space to match production with demand.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Customers Are Your Greatest Asset

Your Relationships With Your Customers Are Your Food Business’ Biggest Asset

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

In a marketplace with rapidly changing food preferences, restrictions, diets and ethical concerns around food production, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to deliver a product that solves enough problems for the right customers while building a strong relationship with them.

Article about Sales and Marketing for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Willy Street Co-Op

Ownership Differentiates Willy St. Co-op In A Changing Grocery Market

1 hour & 5 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Willy Street Co-op is a set of cooperatively owned retail grocery stores in Madison, WI with 35,000 member-owners and about 400 employees across three stores. They have found that operating transparently and openly, emphasizing cooperative ownership and owner literacy, has provided a point of differentiation in the current marketplace.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Great Food Entrepreneurs Are Always Learning

Great Food Entrepreneurs Are Always Learning

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

The best entrepreneurs are getting constant feedback from their customers, reaching out to potential mentors for advice and attending industry events and tradeshows to network with and learn from their peers and industry veterans. This learning can lead entrepreneurs to radically change directions in their business model, product or packaging.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Pre-Venture | Startups

Ron Williams Junior

This Food Hub Leverages A Diverse Food Shed For A Resilient Future

40 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Dorchesters Farm Food Hub aggregates and tries to ensure consistent supply of seafood and farm products (fruit, produce, livestock) and then redistributes to areas that are historically under-served via direct delivery of fresh and healthy food options, giving its customers lots of choice and flexibility.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Grocery Store Shelves Where Does My Food Brand Need To Be

Where Does My Food Brand Need To “Be”?

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Sometimes the ideal distribution path looks different than the entrepreneur intended when they started the business. The brands that survive today's marketplace will be making decisions about distribution and channels of delivery with customer expectations and preferences at center stage.

Article about Sales and Marketing for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Funky Fresh Spring Rolls

Food Entrepreneurship and Resilience – A Funky Fresh Take With Trueman McGee

1 hour of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

Funky Fresh Spring Rolls is a company that produces uniquely flavored, hand rolled spring rolls that are baked or grilled (not fried) with fresh and local ingredients. The Funky Fresh team began selling at Farmers Markets, which in addition to providing early cash flow have functioned as market research labs, allowing them to talk directly to consumers.

Podcast about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

Food Supply Chain

Building A Defensibly Unique Food Supply Chain

10 minute Free read by Edible-Alpha®

Building markets and the supply chain relationships necessary to support them requires a long-term vision that aligns consumers, suppliers, funders and their brand. But, if it is properly built and capitalized, it can lead to a defensibly unique business model that allows that food company to be built to last.

Article about Operations for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

ReGrained

ReGrained, A Business Model For The Long Term And The Planet

1 hour & 10 minutes of Free audio by Edible-Alpha®

ReGrained launched their product at scale in January 2018 after multiple iterations of their product (in the crowded bar category) and now are working with other businesses to help them produce/co-brand new products using their production facility and the expertise embedded in their proprietary process.

Podcast about Business Models for businesses that are Growing and Scaling

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