Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference , Save the date, Nov 6 2019. at Morgan Manufacturing, Chicago

Driving Investment in Good Food and Natural Products Emerging Brands

If you are an investor, established business, emerging entrepreneur or otherwise involved in building a better food system, don’t miss the 2019 Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference on Wednesday, November 6, at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago’s food-centric Fulton Market district.

Now celebrating its 11th year, this industry-leading event stands today as the Midwest’s premier event for thought leaders, innovators, stakeholders and entrepreneurs across Chicago’s booming Good Food and Natural Products landscape.

This year’s F&IC Conference features a keynote by Seth Goldman, Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat; our annual Good Food Pitch Slam competition and Financing Fair, presented by Naturally Chicago; and much more. Then join us for an evening Fundraising Reception, featuring special guests, Good Food and craft beverages!

See below for program highlights. The complete schedule and ticketing info will be posted soon… Stay tuned for updates!

Once Upon a Farm-Photo by Brian Bowen Smith

Beyond Meat Executive Chairman Seth Goldman Headlines 2019 Conference

Seth Goldman is Executive Chairman of Beyond Meat, whose line of plant-based line of burgers, sausage and other meat alternatives are transforming people’s dining habits. Beyond Meat had a hugely successful IPO this spring, and its current valuation is over $11 billion. Goldman’s role at Beyond Meat segued from his earlier huge success, as founder and “TeaEO” of Honest Tea, which he sold to Coca Cola. Following his keynote, Seth will be joined by a panel of early Beyond Meat investors to discuss how they helped the company scale up.

2019 Financing & Innovation Conference Schedule


● Registration and Networking Coffee

● Setting the Stage: Industry Leaders Kick Off the Conference

● Keynote Address by Seth Goldman of Beyond Meat

● Beyond Meat Investor Insights Panel

● Big Food + Good Food: Building Strategic Partnerships Panel

● Breakthrough Entrepreneurs Talk Innovation Presentations


● Lunch Sponsored by Farmer’s Fridge

● Lunch & Learn Breakout Sessions

● Good Food Pitch Slam Presented by Naturally Chicago

● Naturally Chicago Presents Bankable Trends With Presence Marketing

● Good Food Pitch Awards Ceremony

● Financing Fair With Entrepreneur Exhibitors

● Private Sponsor and Speaker Cocktail Hour

EVENING (Separate Ticket Required)

● Fundraising After-Party with Good Food, Craft Beverages and Special Guests

Once Upon a Farm-Photo by Brian Bowen Smith

2018 Program Featured Good Food Industry Stars

John Foraker, Keynote Speaker
John was the longtime CEO of Annie’s Homegrown, which sold to General Mills for $820 million in 2014. He is now Co-Founder and CEO of organic baby food startup Once Upon a Farm; actress Jennifer Garner is the company’s Chief Brand Officer.

Carlotta Mast
Carlotta Mast, New Hope Network’s Senior Vice President of Content and Insights, then joined John Foraker in an engaging Fireside Chat. New Hope produces the annual Natural Products EXPO events (West and East) and other industry-leading programming.

Entrepreneurs, investors and stakeholders gain industry insights through thought-provoking Industry Leadership Panel Discussions and may participate in the dynamic Financing Fair, Pitch Competition and Networking Reception.

2018 Good Food Pitch Slam and Financing Fair

Entrepreneurs got their game on at the 2018 Financing & Innovation Conference and pitched on stage to potential investors, funders, buyers and thought leaders. Selected entrants competed for cash prizes and in-kind services at the Good Food Pitch Slam, with the Grand Prize going to Mark Muller of ready to BRANDS — a graduate of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator.

Funders, lenders, investment groups, service providers and entrepreneurs learned anew that the Conference’s annual Good Food Financing Fair has a dynamic format that can be a catalyst to spark new relationships, and that the informal environment fosters interaction, networking and exchange of strategies and ideas. Applications to apply to participate in the 2019 Financing Fair will be posted soon.

Meet our Good Food Pitch Slam Contestants!

More Info

Meet our Financing Fair Participants!

More Info

2018 Presenters

Brandon Barnholt

President and CEO, KeHE Distributors

Andrew Bluestein

Managing Partner, Bluestein & Associates

Jean-Pierre Comte

President Region Americas, Barilla Group

Linda Darragh

Executive Director, Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, Kellogg School of Management

Dave Donnan

Senior Partner and Head of Global Food and Beverage Team, A. T. Kearney

Sergio Eleuterio

General Manager, Springboard Brands at The Kraft Heinz Company

Charlotte Flinn

President, Flinn Consultants

John Foraker

Co-Founder and CEO, Once Upon a Farm; former CEO, Annie

Megan Klein

President & Co-Founder, Here

Carlotta Mast

Senior Vice President of Content and Insights, New Hope Network; Board President, Naturally Boulder

Marianne Markowitz

Managing Director, CIBC Bank USA; former Regional Director, U.S. Small Business Administration; CFO, Obama for America 2008

Patrick Nycz

Founding President, NewPoint

Tony Olson

Owner and CEO, SPINS

Glenn Pappalardo

Vice President International, RXBAR (at Kellogg Company)

Shelby Parchman

Managing Partner at InUrban Strategies, LLC; Growth & Advancement Strategist, Good Food Accelerator

Jim Parsell

Director Of Business Development, OwlTing USA Blockchain Platform

Lauren Rosenthal

Co-Founder and Executive Committee Member, SLoFIG (Sustainable Local Food Investment Group)

Luke Saunders

Founder and CEO, Farmer’s Fridge

Reese Schroeder

Managing Director at Tyson Ventures

Jim Slama

Founder and CEO, FamilyFarmed and Good Food Accelerator

Katlin Smith

Founder and CEO, Simple Mills

Chuck Templeton

Managing Director, Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures; founder, Open Table; former Chairman, GrubHub

Mark Thomman

Co-Founder, Spiral Sun Ventures

Joel Warady

General Manager, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Enjoy Life Foods (at Mondelez International)

Bill Weiland

Owner, Presence Marketing, Inc.

Andrew Whitman

Managing Partner, 2X Consumer Products Growth Partners

Peter Wilkins

Managing Director, Hyde Park Angels

Elizabeth “Betsy” Ziegler

CEO, 1871

2018 Good Food Pitch Slam Judges

Tera Johnson

Founder and Director of Food Finance Institute and Founder of teraswhey™

Michael Lavin

Founder & Managing Partner, Germin8 Ventures

Jessica Martin

Director of Client Relations & Portfolio Management, C.A. Fortune

Cristina Rohr

Vice President, Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures

Alya Adamany Woods

Executive Director, ChicagoNEXT

2018 Conference Presented by Presence Marketing

2018 Good Food Pitch Slam Judges

2018 Pitch Slam Prize Supporters

Our 2018 Media & Promotional Supporters

Our 2018 Good Food & Beverage Partners