Food Finance Accelerator

                               The 2013 Food Finance Accelerator

November 13th

Lussier Center, Madison, WI

Building the capacity of entrepreneurs, investors, and finance professionals to successfully grow sustainable food businesses



Elizabeth Ü- Author of Raising Dough and Founder of Finance for Food

Tera Johnson - Founder of teraswhey & Food Finance Specialist at UW-Extension


Panel Discussions - with Food Entrepreneurs, Investors, Bankers, Guarantors, Attorneys


Why a Food Finance Accelerator?

We wanted to change the world so we started new local and environmentally sustainable food companies.  We personally invested in them.  We created new sources of socially oriented capital to fund them. Now we see that some of these businesses and funding models are working, and many others are not.  What’s the difference?


It turns out that food businesses, local and otherwise, make money (and don’t) in predictable ways.  They also use the right kind of financing at the right time as their businesses evolve.  The more entrepreneurs, investors, and financial professionals have a common understanding of what works, the more successes we will have.


Program Components


What You Will Get Out of The Accelerator


A clear understanding of food business models that work and don’t.  If you are an entrepreneur, this gives you the chance to optimize your business model.  If you are an investor or financial professional, this can inform your due diligence, investment choices, and advisory work.


A clear understanding of what type of capital is needed at what point in successful food companies.  Social venture loans and royalty models are often described as more compassionate than equity, yet more often than we like to admit these loans end up non-performing because the businesses really needed equity not debt.  We will all benefit from a common understanding of what capital structure will work, at what stage, and why.


Insight into emerging models for early stage financing and how they can be most productively combined with conventional financing.  These include pre-payment vehicles, crowd-funding options, and local social venture lending options.  You will learn how some of these act like equity, some like debt, and when to use what.


Tools for becoming more active as a direct investor.   Even accredited investors are often not set up to make personal loans and don’t understand what they can and cannot do under current SEC laws, never mind after the current crowd-funding rules are released.  Entrepreneurs and investors will benefit from interacting with legal professionals at the Accelerator to learn what you can and cannot do and where to get documents you need.


Follow-up consulting to accelerate your financing efforts. Whether you are getting ready to present to a banker or investors, or trying to assemble the resources you need to start investing, we will be available to work with you to help make that happen.


What You Will Get Out of the Optional Sessions


All entrepreneurs are strongly encouraged to attend Day 1’s optional finance workshop.  This will help you understand what your financial statements mean, particularly your balance sheet, and what an effective request for financing will include.


The What’s Working Tour on Day 3 will enable you to visit food businesses that are both local and economically sustainable.  These are our models for the future.  Register early as tour space is limited.



(All fees include food…this is a Food Finance Summit afterall)

Entrepreneurs and Non-Profits - $150 for Days One and Two

Investors and Finance Professionals - $200 for Day Two

What’s Working Tour –  $75 for Day 3



Contact Tera Johnson at 608.358.1556 or

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