Silence can be deafening can’t it…

It has been quite some time since we last posted to the blog or updated the site. For that we apologize.

However, we have not been sitting back, drinking craft beer and being lazy. *Not that there’s anything wrong with that! We have been hard at work spinning up a new entity to function as the action arm of what was started here as Slow Money Austin.

See, we think of Slow Money Austin as a bell cow, a conversation starter, a place to connect and have discussions around what it means to invest locally, in our food system, in small scale enterprises and generally invest in the 21st century. In this sense, the Slow Money Austin group exists to lead the conversation and connect us to what is happening in other parts of the country and around the world, with respect to investing in our soil.

Over the years, Slow Money Austin has struggled to activate our community. We were great at hosting potlucks, convening people but we fell short when it came time to actually move funds into the small businesses that feed us and call Central Texas home. This caused a great deal of frustration on our part, as we felt ourselves becoming “all talk and no action”. So, AFI was born.

Austin Foodshed Investors was started out of the Slow Money Austin group at the start of 2015. The goal was to find, organize and educate an investor base that wanted to put their money to work in our community, with the folks that comprise, grow and strengthen our food shed. So, that’s just what we’ve done.

You can find out more on AFI’s website. Check it out and let us know what you think. We’re always looking to innovate and continue to engage more members of our community with the goal of actualizing some of the things Slow Money stands for.

The down side of all of this is that there hasn’t been much in the way of bandwidth or energy to put into the Slow Money Austin website or towards planning more events. But, we wanted you to know that we are still here, we are still working with the other networks around the country, we are still going to national gatherings and keeping a pulse on what is happening. We just haven’t been able to relay most of that on a consistent basis.

Keep an eye out for some events, co-sponsored with Austin Foodshed Investors, in the future. In the mean time, let us know what you’re thinking, if you want to learn more about Slow Money or if you’re just crazy enough to volunteer to help bring some energy and spunk back into the group!

Sincerely,

The Slow Money Austin Team

Keep the first of April 2016 open!


Slow Money Regional Gathering and Urban Farm Showcase

 

We are happy to announce that we will be working with the Slow Money Institute this fall and winter in preparation to host a regional gathering event right here in Austin, Tx. The event is still in the early stages of the planning process, but we are hoping to lock in a date and location soon.

The event will have a format and feel similar to the event put on in Aspen, Co a few weeks ago, but with a decidedly Austin and Southwest vibe. You can find out more about the Colorado event here.

At this early stage we are looking for volunteers to help us with the planning and preparation, as well as logistics the day of the event. As you can imagine, we are hoping to out do our friends in Colorado (I mean, it is a matter of pride here!) but to get there we will need a lot of help from folks like you.

So, if you would like to find out more about our plans and possibly throw your name in the hat for helping us pull off one of the premier food and finance events of 2016, please let us know. We have plenty of ways to get your name on the list:

  • You can join us at our monthly Hoppy Hour at Hopfields this coming Monday, October 5th. Meet the team, see how you can help and grab some food or a pint.
  • Send me a message – jarred@slowmoneyaustin.org – and I will make sure I get you information on volunteer opportunities as they arise over the coming months.
  • Keep an eye on our website, as we will be posting and maintaining a list of specific things we will need as we move through the planning process – Sponsors, PR, Event Space, Day of Setup/Teardown, Speaker Coordinator, etc…

This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our local food community here in Austin, around the state and throughout the Southwest. So, we hope you can help us ensure that we have a wonderful event and keep the conversation going about how we can “bring our money back down to earth.”

Thanks,
The Slow Money Austin Team

AFI Presents: Raising Capital for Local Sustainable Food Companies, May 29 @ SFC

Are you a local Austin-area for-profit sustainable food company considering raising capital?  Have you built the “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and profits into the DNA of your business, and now see opportunities to expand your impact in each of those areas?

Are you wondering how to raise money, and who to talk to?  Are you concerned that only high-tech companies with super fast growth and plans for exit can raise capital?

This seminar will present an overview of the fundraising process, in understandable language and with real life examples, from both a traditional investment and “impact investment” standpoint.  While traditional investment requires “home-run” strategies, dramatic growth, and all efforts focused on eventually selling the business, in impact investing, “values” investors seek to fund sustainable companies with reasonable growth plans, the desire to reach attainable milestones and be profitable and cash-positive while doing good in the world, and maybe no desire to ever sell or “exit”.

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Presenter Kevin Castello is the former Executive Director of the Baylor Angel Network, where he closed over 250 private investment deals and ran several funds.  He is a Venture Fellow and on the Adjunct Faculty at Baylor University.  Kevin now runs Best Fit Capital, at  www.bestfitcapital.com.  He will help you understand the fundraising process, the different kinds – and implications – of investor money available, how to align your venture’s funding structure with your personal and company goals, pitching & presenting, NDAs and confidentiality, and the “cost of capital” of the various financial vehicles.

This workshop is brought to you by Austin Foodshed Investors, a new Angel Network in Austin that connects accredited “values” investors with local sustainable food companies seeking capital.  www.austinfoodshedinvestors.com.  Austin Foodshed Investors’ Co-Founder Curt Nelson will give a brief overview of how AFI works, and will invite qualified companies to apply to be part of the AFI process.

There will be ample time for question and answer.

$99 per person, lunch included.  Please register at https://eventbrite.com/event/16889067656/

Congratulations to Bola Pizza on their new oven.

Austin Foodshed Investors helps Bola Pizza conquer the state.

Folks all over the state will be seeing more of those white pizza boxes with the big, red “B” on them.  Bola Pizza will be adding 15 HEB stores in Austin, San Antonio and Houston to their current line up of Central Market stores in April.

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Husband and wife team, Christian and Jamie Bowers, have been making delicious wood fired pizzas for years now. After getting their start at local farmer’s markets and catering, folks just couldn’t get enough of their amazing pies. So, they decided to start making frozen pizzas and were quickly selling in Royal Blue Grocery, Wheatsville, Thom’s Market, Fresh Plus and through delivery services like Farmhouse and Greenling. Their growth has been steady and impressive with focus on maintaining quality. When HEB came calling they decided it was time to see if they could get the oven on their wish list.

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National Gathering Videos & Upcoming Events

National GatheringWatch every keynote, every town hall of the 2014 National Gathering – It’s all here

Did you miss this year’s National Gathering in Louisville, KY? Maybe you were there and you were really inspired by one speaker or wish you could remember exactly how Wendell Berry said that amazing one-liner. Well, either way, we’ve got you covered. Go on, let Vandana Shiva give you goosebumps again, let Joel Salatin make you want to strangle Monsanto Execs and cheer for Jim Richardson as he presents. It’s all here.

We have a YouTube Channel here: 2015 National Gathering Videos


Stay Tuned for details about our Spring 2015 Austin event

We are still working on details, but hope to have a date nailed down soon. We have been working on some great things over here and we can’t wait to share them with our supporters, entrepreneurs, investors and the general public. We are hoping to get Woody in to speak with us and we are cultivating a list of great partnerships that we hope to announce over the coming months. Stay tuned.


Volunteers needed for event planning

We have some pretty lofty goals for this spring event, but we are going to need some help getting there. If you would like to help, please just contact us here: info@slowmoneyaustin.org and let us know that you would like to help. We will be looking for help of all kinds, so if you have some energy, ideas or time to lend us it will for sure go to helping our local economy and food system. So contact us today.