Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 12

Pitching in a pandemic
Entrepreneurs and investors discussed startup funding in the current market during a webinar hosted by FoodBytes!
by Rabobank, a platform for food and agriculture innovation. The panelists advised
founders to frame pitches in the context of
the coronavirus crisis.
"It would be a critical error to go

Sustainability remains of interest to investors, even in difficult market conditions.
Apeel Sciences raised $250 million in new
financing in May.

APEEL SCIENCES

billion, according to the company.
The Apeel product works on fresh
fruits and vegetables by adding a layer to the
surface that slows water loss and oxidation.
The company said, on average, US retailers
that use Apeel have experienced a 50%
reduction in shrink, a 5% to 10% growth in
dollar sales, and an incremental 10% growth
in dollar sales when sold in conjunction
with in-store marketing campaigns.
"For those fundraising right now, I
recommend making sure you are contributing positively to the serious challenges in
the food industry, including plastic waste,
climate change and food access equity," Ms.
Lagally of Rebellyous Foods said. "Building
a business that genuinely addresses a real
societal need in the food industry is the best
way to attract good investors."

into a pitch and not mention coronavirus," said Sean Peters, CEO of DryGro, a
London-based agriculture technology
company. "Address it head on. Take a look
at your model and see if there are ways to
pivot to better serve markets."
Tom Spier, founder and managing
partner of Boulder Food Group, added, "As
long as you have a clear and decisive plan
on how to pivot, that could potentially
give investors comfort and give folks a
reason to want to get involved."
Companies with existing connections
to investors prior to the pandemic are better

positioned than those starting anew. Mr.
Spier recommended building relationships
through written updates and video conferencing while in-person meetings are limited by travel restrictions and shutdowns.
"We would consider a new investment in someone we've never met before,"
he said. "It's going to take more time, and
it's going to take a lot of effort on both
sides to make it happen."
Perfecting the virtual pitch requires
a focus on fundamentals and a clear value
proposition, the panelists said.
"Your story has to be tight, and the
impression has to be strong up front," said
Richard O'Gorman, managing director of
the food and agriculture innovation fund
at Rabobank.
Startups may also consider alternative financing strategies, such as equity
crowdfunding, though that path lacks the
industry expertise that typically accompanies strategic investment, Mr. Spier said.
"We consider ourselves value-added
investors because of our deep knowledge
in consumer packaged goods," he said.
"But if we or other institutions are not
willing to do it and you can raise $1 million
from the crowd, I think for a company
that's fabulous." ▪

Discover what's possible with Guava.
Subscribe to the iTi Innovation blog for Guava
applications and more on all tropical fruit trends.

ititropicals.com/blog

42

Food Business News

June 23, 2020


http://www.ititropicals.com/blog

Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020

Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 1
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 2
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 3
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 4
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 5
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 6
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 7
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 8
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 9
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 10
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 11
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 12
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 13
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 14
Food Entrepreneur - June 23, 2020 - 15
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-may-10-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-february-15-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-october-12-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-august-17-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-june-22-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-may-11-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/food-entrepreneur-march-3-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2021_01_05
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2020_12_08
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2020_09_15
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2020_06_23
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2020_05_12
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2020_03_03
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/fbn_fe/2020_01_07
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com