I write about it often and talk about it more. The ecosystem of this industry is robust. The founders who get hoisted on the shoulders of it have a far greater chance of success. It is part of the threefold path to growth. As a founder, surrounding your project with the people who are best able to help you accelerate it is a fundamental part of your job.
Effectively plugging into this ecosystem requires you to get involved in events and activities. It puts before its members a plethora of opportunities to connect, give and receive. It is up to you to seize them and this summer offers plenty of choices.
NCN Spring Investor Meeting – April 23rd & 24th in NYC
Although this article is coming out just days before this event, it is one that you should know about. This is a 2-day event that curates a roomful of founders and investors. It provides an opportunity for both to learn together. It also provides founders a chance to present their brand without the usual “contest” format that surrounds a pitch event. It also affords time for all to network and to make connections.
Hirshberg Entrepreneurial Institute – June 6th & 7th in Boulder
The HEI is a 2-day interactive boot camp. Focused on networking, storytelling, and problem-solving, HEI is a great way for entrepreneurs to learn about financing, marketing, dealing with challenges, finding personal balance, managing change, and more. It is built around case studies that are submitted by the attendees. It features a fantastic group of panelists and I am honored to be included. You’ll be surrounded by peers, industry veterans, investors, potential advisors and more.
Natchcom – June 17th & 18th in San Francisco
Designed to help both emerging and established brands succeed online, Natchcom connects “the power players in today's digital world with the fast-growing $200 billion natural products industry.” It is a 2-day event that is very interactive and hands-on. Its objective is to help companies take their digital and e-commerce business to new heights. It is the coming together of the best innovators in the natural products industry and those in tech. It’s a good source of knowledge for me, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Food Funded – June 6th in San Francisco
Presented by Slow Money of Northern California, and in partnership with New Hope, this event brings together entrepreneurs and investors for a day of educational workshops followed by live pitches. It has a different vibe than others because of the influence and mission of Slow Money. Sadly, this year it conflicts with HEI. Otherwise, it is an event that is always on my calendar.
These are two separate events that are back to back, and both present a fantastic opportunity to learn and network. Unlike other trade events, this one is focused more on the exchange of knowledge and connection than the transaction of business. Every year they pull together great speakers and panelists. You can count on the fact that the who’s who of the industry will be in attendance.
The above is just a sampling of the many opportunities. There are others and of course, if you’re lucky enough to be in Boulder, the Bay Area, the North Bay, Chicago, or Austin, make sure to join the Naturally Network. Lastly, FMI Emerge is another excellent resource that I highly recommend.
I understand you can’t make them all. But, try to make some because leaning into this ecosystem is going to propel you further. Hope to see you soon at one of these events.