back to blog Ricky Stephens May 18, 2018 4:13 p.m. EDT

Alternative Investment Vehicles for Good Food & Agriculture

Change Food Meets: Brooklyn

“Alternative Investment Vehicles for Good Food & Agriculture”

Creating positive change in today’s food & agriculture system is challenging. But AgTech X has witnessed a wave of newcomers eager to flip the food economy’s status quo as an extractive and environmentally-degrading system. And nonprofit Change Food is seeing the lines blur between social good companies and nonprofit organizations.

Over the last year,  AgTech X has hosted 300+ students in over 40 classes, ranging from how to start an urban farming business; to closed-loop farming systems like aquaponics; to cloud-connected smart gardens. Over 20 coworking members have worked on projects and startups including an online marketplace for ugly and surplus produce; a smart hardware solution for indoor farms; and a collaborative art exhibit focused on rewilding New York City.

Now, AgTech X is looking to make it easier for our growing community of impact-driven innovators to find access to capital. This process starts with understanding one’s options…

  • “Is my organization better suited as a non-profit, for-profit, or benefit corp?
  • “How do I know if it’s worth applying for grants?”
  • “What are the downsides to raising a crowdfunding campaign?”
  • “I’m looking for investors who care about more than just bottom-line.”

…These are all variations of questions and statements we hear from members of our community. Change Food Meets: Brooklyn is meant to help us begin to answer them.

Meanwhile at Change Food, founder Diane Hatz has begun noticing a growing discussion around the distinction between for-profit and nonprofits and which might be better for Good Food, especially with growing frustration from smaller nonprofits regarding grants and foundations. A goal of the event is to connect our two networks to build stronger cohesiveness between the nonprofit and for-profit worlds within Good Food & Agriculture.

Some of the specific pathways for funding we’d like to discuss and hear examples of:

·       Government Grants ·       Democratized Community Investments
·       Non-Extractive Loans
·       Prize Competitions ·       Impact Investment Due Diligence Platforms
·       Crowdfunding
·       Equity Crowdfunding ·       Non-Dilutive Accelerators & Incubators
·       “Symbiotic” VC Portfolios

>> Event Details & Speaker Applications <<

About the Author

Ricky Stephens

Co-Founder, AgTech X.
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