A better local food system is a big and worthy goal, but how do we create it? On April 8-9, the Food+Enterprise Summit presented by Slow Money NYC is tackling that question by bringing entrepreneurs, investors and experts for a weekend of workshops, discussions and sampling.
This year’s theme, “Finding Food Value: Balancing Purpose + Profit,” will be explored through panels such as “For Love and Money: What Motivates Food System Investors,” “Funding an Ethical Food Economy: Plant Based Ventures” and “Story of This Place: Developing Our Regional Identity.” The focus on sustainable growth for entrepreneurs seeking to create an alternative to the corporate food system is evident throughout the extensive program, and the organizers are explicitly dedicated to supporting farmers and “human-scale” businesses in the local economy.
Fittingly, it’s all taking place at the Pfizer Building in Brooklyn, which houses Brooklyn FoodWorks, a kitchen incubator for emerging businesses where some of the borough’s most successful food entrepreneurs are getting their dreams off the ground. They’ll likely be showing off their wares at the Meet + Eat Marketplace, which is billed as “part food fair and part trade show.”
“Food+Enterprise is a unique event where hundreds of producers and entrepreneurs get to meet, swap ideas and forge links,” says participant Carolyn Steel, author of Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. “I am really looking forward to being part of it.” Joining her on the slate of incredibly accomplished speakers are Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, founder and CEO at Hot Bread Kitchen; Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute; Terry Romero, food and craft outreach lead at Kickstarter; and so many more. All sectors of food business are covered, ensuring your questions will get answered.
Aside from the workshops and the eating, there will also be a chance for new food businesses to pitch their concepts to a panel of very esteemed judges. Elly Truesdell (Whole Foods), Cassie Abrams (Relish Food Project), Tapan Shah (Accel Foods), Jonny Price (Kiva Zip) and Dave Hanold (New York Business Development Commission) will be providing instant feedback on business plans.
You can make sure you have a seat at the table if you get your ticket ($300) by April 1. You can also be a guest at Friday night’s Jeffersonian Dinner, where you’ll share an intimate table with 8 to 10 other guests for conversation on the weekend’s big topics. For those interested in making a sustainable future for small food business, it’s going to be an illuminating weekend.
Edible Brooklyn is a media sponsor of this event.