FoodFutureCo held a successful UnDemo Day in June! The Cohort 6 graduates — Joy4Greens, Ouma Foods, Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery, Hire My Farmer, and MamaGaia — are already generating revenue and scaling fast.
At our most recent Demo Day, we had the fabulous opportunity to sit down with Jeff Furman, who, up until recently, was the board chairman of Ben & Jerry's—a role he occupied since 1992. He has been with the groundbreaking ice cream company since its inception, and he shares with us some insights at to what has made the Ben & Jerry’s brand, and his journey, so unique in the industry.
Kenny Rufino is the EVP / Creative Director of REQ, an award-winning digital marketing agency that works with brands like Sweetgreen, CHOPT, Cava, and a range of other businesses and non-profits. Kenny works with the creative team to deliver imaginative solutions across all media. He practices user-centric communicative design and strongly believes that good design is more than how something looks or works—it's also very much about how it makes people feel.
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Wendy Nunnelley is a beverage industry executive and an angel investor in more than 20 early-stage companies, primarily in consumer goods and services. She is a Senior Vice President at Diageo and was previously a Vice President at The Coca-Cola Company, with experience in strategy, planning, operations, business development, and revenue management, including pricing/promotion. She is on the board of Naturally Austin and advises several early-stage companies. Most of her investments are in minority and women-founded companies, and she often works with emerging brands that serve underserved consumers or are oriented towards health and wellness.
This month, we are excited to take some time to introduce our new FoodFutureCo program coordinator Ana Ojeda Osmena. Ana is an entrepreneur and Food Studies Masters candidate at NYU. She tells us about the amazing farm and fast-casual restaurant projects she co-founded in the Philippines, as well as her work in the Food Studies program.
Sarah Smith is a Research Director with the Institute for the Future’s Food Futures Lab, where she works with many of the world’s largest food, health, and CPG companies to challenge their assumptions and identify emerging trends and discontinuities that will transform the global marketplace and global food system. We chatted with her about how to envision the role of impact-focused food companies in the future, and what types of values should shape our growing and eating.
This month, as we celebrate the graduation of our fourth cohort from our accelerator program, we are excited to share the stories of the fabulous founders of our fifth cohort, and how their social enterprises are changing the food system for the better. From Indian snack foods to solar-powered greenhouses, these companies are now a part of our good food community.
We sit down with Alicia Robb, a managing partner at Next Wave Impact, an early stage venture fund, to gain insights into the investor perspective on food start-ups. She is a Visiting Scholar with the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, as well as being the author of several books on investing in women-run and minority-run companies.
We ask her what she looks for in a food entrepreneur, as well as her take on diversity in investing and the future of veganism.