Yes, it was! This boutique first time event in Los Angeles, on April 8th, came on the heels of some very impressive shows in southern California, most notably the Natural Products Expo West with a record setting 80,000+ in attendance.
Billed as, “…. your start-up game changer…… you will learn the best sales & funding strategies to build your business from founders & CEOs of million-dollar companies, discover investment, distribution & retail opportunities with 50+ breakthrough brands, and network amongst 400+ entrepreneurs, corporate partners, investors, buyers, and media to accelerate business growth.”
Once thru the entry corridor there was an expansive room set up for speaker presentations and panels, a guest VIP lounge, and two areas for food vendors to show off their products. One could feel the intensity building as folks met with friends, colleagues, consumers, their idols, buyers, distributors and potential business partners.
As the day moved on, the intensity accelerated as everyone got swept up in the abundant sea of diverse opportunities. People were networking at a record pace and enjoying each and every promising encounter. By mid-afternoon the noise level had reached such a high level that everyone began huddling closely together which facilitated much more intimate conversations.
Exciting faces in the crowd included Doug Evans, Founder of Juicero, as well as T.K. Pillan, Founder of Veggie Grill, who also sat on an investment speaking panel and Mariana Rossano, Founder of ZEN FOODS as well as Michael Leb, Founder of Choctal Ice Cream. Other standouts included HEYDAY Cold-Brew Coffee, 4th & Heart, detox water, The Hummus Guy, KNOW Foods, KAIBAE, tio gazpacho, STAGG JAM, TruVibe Organics, PACIFIC PICKLE WORKS and jumpstart bodyfuel.
There was also a pitch competition with several up and coming brands. When it was all said, and done, Naughty Noah’s Vietnamese PHO Noodles took the prize with its healthy and disruptive spin on ramen noodles. A fairly stale sector that has seen sales exceed well over $100 Billion. Founder, Jimmie Trinh simply knocked it out of the park with a flawless pitch that many could learn from and brought the crowd to its feet.
The day was rounded out with a candid and informative speech that was given to a packed audience by Dave Asprey, Founder of Bulletproof Coffee. Asprey’s speech was so inspiring that he was left speaking with a long line of fans well beyond the event crew breaking down the room and stage.
Finally, the event was concluded in the evening on the rooftop with a beautiful reception and view of the City. Yes, this event was not only “The Future of Food” but just may well be the “The Future of Food Networking” thanks to the beautiful and talented Meghan Asha, Founder and CEO of FounderMade.
Among the myriad of opportunities for organic food manufacturers, keynote speakers, food distributors, healthy food company executives, organic food venture capital firms and more this small event was able to draw the best in class from all categories for an intimate day at Hudson Loft in downtown Los Angeles.
As everyone trickled in early in the morning for the start of this daylong event you could tell that something special was going to transpire. Attendees were greeted in the lobby by the lovely, courteous and gleeful FounderMade team and escorted to the fourth floor where they were greeted once again by FounderMade team members, checked in, offered New York Times bestselling author Dave Asprey’s newest book Head Strong and a huge tote bag filled with all sorts of delectable goodies.