New food-related crowdfunding platforms on deck

In February, I co-presented two hour-long sessions on Crowdfunding for Local Food Businesses at the Progressive Opportunities Conference in Berkeley, CA. The East Bay Express ran a great review and recap of these sessions, which were filmed, and I look forward to sharing the footage when it becomes available.

I am continually inspired by the people who joined me as panelists at this event, all of whom will be featured in my upcoming book, Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business. Here is a bit more about them, and I hope you will check out their work:

Jenny Kassan is a principal at both Katovich & Kassan Law Group and Cutting Edge Capital. Her expertise with regard to the laws surrounding financing is unprecedented, and she’s helped many food entrepreneurs with direct public offerings and other capital-raising campaigns.

Arno Hesse is a super-engaged member of Slow Money Northern California, and one of the masterminds behind Credibles. This the new crowdfunding platform connects helps food businesses seeking financing raise money by encouraging people to pre-pay for the company’s products. What’s particularly exciting about this model is that the edible credits (“credibles”) can be transferable between other companies using the platform, so that instead of trying to eat through $200 worth of artisanal sauerkraut from a business you really want to support, you can spend your $200 in “credibles” credit on artisanal sauerkraut AND pasture-raised chicken, for instance. Credibles is currently functioning in beta mode, though you can see previews of how the system works (and sign up for updates) by visiting their website.

Mary Rick is on the team at The Hoop Fund. In addition to their crowdfunding work with international projects, they’re building a place-powered and “hyper-local” fundraising platform for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits that are creating environmental, social and economic benefits in their communities here in the US. I’m looking forward to reporting on this in more detail as they get closer to launching the project!

—- UPDATE —-

Sadly, as of early May 2012, The Hoop Fund closed its doors, a decision explained on their website… the good news is that Mary Rick is still keeping us up-to-date on some interesting topics relevant to social enterprise on her blog.

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