Austin Foodshed Investors
Sept 2015 Newsletter
About AFI
Austin Foodshed Investors is a new Impact Investing Network focused on local sustainable food businesses in the greater Austin Texas area.

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

We're invigorated by the vibrant Austin food scene.

We're dedicated to building a more robust regional food system by connecting local investors to local for-profit entrepreneurs creating "good", "clean", and "fair" food products and services. 

For entrepreneurs, we provide access to accredited investors and the 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, and cash flow.
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From the Blog...

Dewberry Farms gets investment, certifies Organic...

Swedes test their pee, find a bunch of pesticides. Sounds nasty but there's a cute video...

Economist Michael Shuman's lastest book proposes the "Local Economy Solution" is dependent on "polinators" like AFI...

Six Questions to Ask Before You Invest in a Social Enterprise...

Perdue buys Niman Ranch...

School's back in session, cold weather (below 100) is on the way, and we're in high gear at AFI!

"Intake Meeting / Intro to Fundraising"

We're combining our "Intro to Fundraising" and "Intake Meeting" for companies interested in potentially pursuing fundraising through AFI into one combined meeting on Sept 14, 2015, at the Sustainable Food Center in East Austin, 9am - Noon.  

The event is free, but does require an RSVP.

As we put the curriculum together for the two sessions, we realized that there was so much overlap that we should just combine them.

Topics we'll be covering:
  • What is "sustainable finance", what is the "Triple Bottom Line" and why does AFI care?
  • Identifying and tracking the impact your company is making on our community
  • Bootstrapping vs. OPM ("Other People's Money")
  • Why are you raising money?
  • What is the appropriate vehicle to use & what are the implications of each?
  • How to think like an investor
  • The Fundraising "Value Chain": challenges & opportunities along the way
  • Business plans, financials, investor videos... what do most investors really need? What does AFI need?
  • What does the funding process look like with AFI and what is expected of everyone involved?
  • Other resources & help here in Austin
  • Plenty of time for questions and answers. 
Don't worry, there won't be a quiz at the end and these topics will be very interactive. The idea is for everyone to leave knowing more about the fundraising process, both in general and how it specifically pertains to working with us here at AFI. We will also touch on some other local resources that are available to small businesses that you might not be aware of.
If you'd like to attend, please RSVP to  Jarred Maxwell ASAP. 

Join Us at these Food, Finance, Social Good Events

Sept 10-11:   Greenlights Mission Driven.  Austin's "summit for social innovation".  We're attending, if you are too let's find each other!

Sept 14:  AFI Intake / Intro to Fundraising (above)

S ept 14: City of Austin Sustainable Food Policy Board .  We'll give the Board an overview of AFI activities and goals, and answer questions.

Sept 19-20:  Slow Money Harvest Weekend.  Carbondale, CO.  Jarred will be there, hope you will be too!

S ept 22:  Austin, the New Hotbed for Food Innovation.  Join the Austin Rice Alliance, Food+City at the University of Texas at Austin, The Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Austin and  Boston University's Alumni Network for an  in-depth discussion of Austin's food startup environment, innovation and culture.   AFI's Curt Nelson will be one of the panelists.  This event is open to the general public, for a $30 registration fee.

Sept 28:  Intro to the Austin Food+Tech Startup Scene AFI's Curt Nelson will be a panelist.

Oct 5:  Slow Money Hoppy Hour, 5:30-8, Hopfields on Guadalupe.  Drop in, have a pint, meet some cool folks.

Oct 5-7:   SXSW Eco, here in Austin.  If you're traveling in for the show, let's hook up!

Oct 6-9:   Social Capital Markets (SoCap) in San Francisco.  Accelerating a new global marketplace at the intersection of money and meaning.  Now that's a mouthful!

Oct 22:  Central Texas Angel Network's Entrepreneur's Workshop.  We'll be an attendee, learning from the area's masters of Angel investing.

Nov 9-10:   Angel Insights Exchange, hosted by the Angel Capital Association, in N'awlins.

We've Looked at 51 Companies Since January !

Since AFI started in January, five of our companies have gotten funding:  three through AFI Investors, one on our recommendation at a bank, and one from a non-AFI investor.

We wish those numbers were higher, but it isn't  for lack of trying!  Of the 51 companies we've looked at since January 1, here's how they break out, in addition to those above:
  • 15 are in the pipeline
  • 9 indicated interest but didn't ever apply
  • 6 we didn't like their business model
  • 4 didn't like our terms, or we didn't like theirs
  • 3 went out of business
  • 3 weren't local enough
  • 2 were referred out to other funding sources
  • 2 just went dark
  • 1 didn't really have any "impact"
  • 1 we referred out for more coaching
Here's our plan for the Fall:
  • help the companies that continue after the Intake meeting prepare to face investors, then help get them funded!
  • continue to share the AFI approach,and story, to the wide, awesome community of food, finance, and social good in Austin
  • make progress on four secret projects we can't wait to get to the point where we can tell you about them!
Cheers friends!

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