Edible Austin's annual Chef Auction is coming up! The event gives you the chance to bid on a fabulous custom dinner prepared by one of (or a team of) Austin's hottest chefs, and benefits two non-profits doing great work in the sustainable food scene in Austin - Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots. Click here for more information.
KUT recently aired an interesting segment about the state of composting in Austin, at both the private and public levels. The federal government has set a goal of a 50 percent reduction in food waste by 2030, and Austin appears poised to meet the challenge (in the last 2 1/2 years, the City's pilot composting pickup program has picked up the equivalent of 1,500 killer whales - about 9,000 tons - in rotting food!). The local company Compost Pedallers - a compost pickup and delivery team, done all with bicycles - has collected roughly 400,000 pounds of compost since 2012. With the City of Austin soon rolling out a mandatory program, requiring all businesses with a food permit to have a food waste plan - whether composting or donating - in place by October 2018, this is a big issue for Austin's food scene. Click here to read or listen to KUT's story.
Early bird tickets are still available for the 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference: Innovation and the Rise of Local Food at UC San Diego. The conference will "explore solutions and methodologies that small farmers and entrepreneurs are embracing to grow more sustainably, improve access to fresh and healthy local food and manage resources more efficiently against the dueling backdrop of a lingering drought and burgeoning local food marketplace."
Great news for culinary entrepreneurs in Austin! The non-profit Austin Food & Wine Alliance will award $40,000 "to selected organizations/individuals for the purpose of culinary innovation that contributes to the Austin and/or Central Texas community." Grant applications will be reviewed and considered by the AFWA 2015 Grant Selection Committee, a panel composed of community members and culinary professionals. The application deadline is Friday, Oct. 2. Click here for more details.
It's no secret that the unique style and swagger of Austin's restaurant scene has been gaining the attention of foodies on the national level. And now, the venerable Travel + Leisure has has declared ATX as "America's Next Great Food Town." Click here to read more.
Click here for an interesting video interview with molecular biologist and organic farmer Alan Kapuler, as he discusses his views on GMOs - genetically modified organisms. "Not only as a qualified scientific expert on the technology of genetic engineering, his unique perspective as a organic farmer and one who (literally) owes his life to genetic engineering goes beyond the talking points that are often presented by both sides of this ongoing debate," states the post's writer Fred Gerendasy.
Food Navigator reported that even the "big guns" that release new packaged foods don't often have a winning formula for long-term success. It seems the secret lies in starting small and tapping into new consumer trends.
AFI is combining our "Intro to Fundraising" and "Intake Meeting" for companies interested in potential pursuing fundraising through AFI into one combined meeting on Sept 14, 2015, at the Sustainable Food Center in East Austin, from 9am - Noon. The event is free, but does require an RSVP.
Intake Meeting / Intro to Fundraising Update
From the Blog...
Out and About with AFI
Deal Flow to Date
Join the Austin Rice Alliance, Food+City at the University of Texas at Austin, The Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Austin andBoston University's Alumni Network for an in-depth discussion of Austin's food startup environment, innovation and culture. AFI's Curt Nelson will be one of the panelists. This event is open to the general public, for a $30 registration fee.
Economist Michael Shuman's third book on local economies focuses on "polinators": organizations such as AFI that pursue regional economic development functions. Kirkus reviews the book, which starts with a critique of mainstream economic development.
Click the image to order from BookPeople.
A "unicorn" is venture capital slang for a company with a valuation of at least $1B. Conventional wisdom says that one "unicorn" can "make" a fund, or a VC's reputation. One can argue that the majority of the VC industry is built around searching for, and swinging for the fences in hope of, that unicorn.
But, Christopher Calnan writes in the Austin Business Journal, they're tough to find, and for the moment at least, don't bother looking in Central Texas.
News from AFI; Links to stories on business-for-good, private-company investing, fundraising, & sustainable food.