Austin Foodshed Investors
February 2016 Newsletter
About AFI
Austin Foodshed Investors  connects values-based impact investors with local sustainable food entrepreneurs needing capital to grow Central Texas' supply of good, clean, fair food, living wage jobs, and quality investment opportunities.

We're inspired by the  Slow Food
and  Slow Money
m ovements.

We're invigorated by the vibrant Austin food scene.

For entrepreneurs, we provide access to accredited investors and the personal help and tools to get deals done.

For investors, we provide access to a new asset class and the opportunity to align values with investing, with an emphasis on capital preservation, market returns, cash flow, and personal interactions with cool food entrepreneurs.
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We're on Twitter! For a good time follow @atxfoodinvestor !
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Bits & Bites

Are you a freelance graphic / website designer?  Know one?  We're hiring!

Top 20 Startups Fail:#1 No Market Need for What They're Selling.  #2 Ran Out of Cash

Sustainable Food, Finance, & Social Good Calendar updated weekly.  Have an event?  Submit it here.

Slow Money Austin Hoppy Hour every 1st Monday of the Month, 5:30-8ish, Hopfields on Guadalupe.

Free Angel Capital Association
 Webinar:  "Perform Due Diligence Like the Pros" on February 13.

2015 State of Small Business in Austin by Civic Analytics.  Small businesses are 92% of all Austin firms and 35% of all payrolls.

Will 2016 Be The Year Of Rapid Innovation In Angel Investing?  from Forbes, 1/19/16. Beyond valuations, exits, and crowdfunding, they ask, "Is this the year of social impact investing?"

Free online courses for entrepreneurs  from HP-Life:  Finance, Finding Funding, Unique Value Proposition, and many more.

"Plate of the Union", 14 page pdf from Small Food Business, outlines key trends and opportunities for small food producers in 2016.  Key trends: transparency, simplicity, veggies, heirlooms, 
spiciness, & bowls.

A different, but exactly samely titled "Plate of the Union" encourages citizens to petition the next President to take action on a food system out of balance:  "Current food policies prioritize corporate interests at the expense of our health, the environment, and working families."

Has it been that many months since we last talked?  Wow.  Lots happening at AFI, lots to come.  Welcome to 2016!

Two New Deals Closed and Funded

We're off to a roaring start in 2016, with two new deals already closed and funded.

Tandem Farm Company
got $11,000 to buy hoop houses to better protect their chicken s.  Here's a cool video of farmer Jordan when we visited to present the check...

Cat Spring Yaupon Tea
got $75k to "see
d" spending for the USDA grant they were awarded last year.  Here's a great picture of entrepreneurs Abianne and JennaDee, with a little story.

We have around a dozen deals in the works, including several that are new just this year.  As you may know, AFI "curates" deals... that is, we don't present them to investors until we think they're ready to be reviewed.  Here's the list of what's ready:  Capra, Cooks Nook, and Brewers' Table.

We are actively looking for new companies to help.  Please forward this to your Central Texas food entrepreneur friends. Even if they're not ready just yet to raise money, we'd love to hear their stories and explain the process and options, just as future reference.

2015 Wrap Up
59 Looks, 5 Deals Done, Much Learned 

2015 was a pretty good first year for AFI.  Our Annual Report looks at the numbers - what did we accomplish?  The blog post " Six Things We Learned in 2015, and What We'll Do about Them in 2016" reflects on some surprises, and " Keep AFI Weird - How AFI is Different - 2016 " refines how our structure, intent, focus, and approach are unique in the marketplace.  
Three Key 2016 Objectives

AFI Partners Eric, Jarred, & Curt just completed strategic planning for 2016.  Here are our three key objectives for the year:
  1. Do Deals, Better:  2015 was an infrastructure building year.  Now, with processes and relationships built, we can focus on doing deals, and doing them in a way that is easier for entrepreneurs and more personally engaging for investors.
  2. Grow Volume:  We're looking for more great companies and more cool investors.  Forward this email to someone that cares!  Watch the news as we (finally) publicly "launch".  Attend some of the many events we have planned.
  3. Create Powerful Metrics:  What is "impact" and how do we measure and report it?  How can we help both our companies and our investors have more impact? 
AFI Supports Our Community
9 Local Organizations Get AFI Donations
AFI Partner Curt Nelson with Capital Area Food Bank Chief Development Officer Mark Jackson

We're proud to support local organizations like the Capital Area Food Bank (they did a really nice write-up )Slow Food USA, Sustainable Food Center, Austin Food & Wine Alliance, Austin Independent Business Alliance, Farm & Ranch Freedom Al
liance, Creative Action, and the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association.

Speaking of TOFGA, we'll be at their 2016 Conference in Rock wall TX on February 12 & 13. Hope to see you there!

NEW:  Open-Door Office Hours

We're now holding "Open Door Office Hours" each Tuesday, from 2-4, at our offices at 4101 Medical Parkway #107, Austin TX  78756.

Impact food entrepreneurs considering fundraising, values-based investors looking for deals and like-minded fellow investors, food & social good activists wanting to make a difference, and potential organizational partners are all welcome to drop in to visit with AFI staff.

Come on by, sample our comfy couch, have some delicious Cat Spring Yaupon tea, and let's build a more robust local food economy together!
Thanks again for your interest & support!

If we can be of any service at all, please get ahold of us today!

Curt Nelson, Jarred Maxwell and Eric de Valpine
Austin Foodshed Investors