What does it take to attract investors to scale a food or beverage company? The second event in our Access to Financing series will address considerations for those looking to work with investors. Join us for a panel discussion covering the range of financing options – family office, VC, angels, and crowdsourcing. Ashley Hartman of Bluestein & Associates and Michael Schopin of Zenfinity Capital will discuss outside financing, and Hatchery members Josh Katt (Founder, Kitchfix) and Megan Klein (President & Co-Founder, Here) will share their experienced entrepreneurial perspectives! This event is a must for any entrepreneurs interested in working with investors!
About the panelists:
Josh Katt is the head chef and founder of Kitchfix, a Chicago meal delivery service and national grocery company that focuses on locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients and gluten-, dairy- free options. While working as a personal chef for cancer survivors, Josh realized the incredible power of food as medicine. At Kitchfix, Josh aims to make this healthy, delicious food convenient and available to everyone by using whole, functional ingredients and leaving out unnecessary fillers. Kitchfix’s fully-prepared meals are filled with nutrient-dense ingredients, and sourced from local farms and purveyors. They sell Grain-Free Granola and Granola Bars nation-wide as well as a Grain-Free Frozen Waffle.
Megan Klein is the President & Co-Founder of Here. Born and raised in the Midwest, Klein received her bachelors degree in English from Boston College in 2001 and a juris doctorate degree from Fordham University School of Law in 2006. Klein has worked as an energy attorney at Chadbourne & Park, LLP, an environmental associate at Earthjustice, and most recently as the President of FarmedHere, formerly the largest vertical farm in the United States. Committed to growing the local food movement and promoting women within the food industry, Megan serves on the Steering Committee of the Network of Executive Women Chicago Chapter and the Associate Board of Family Farmed.
Ashley Hartman is a Principal at Bluestein & Associates, a family office investing in early-stage businesses in food and retail ventures. Bluestein & Associates has a dedicated venture capital fund, and actively invest financial and human capital to help build scalable businesses. Our focus is Seed and Series A startups in food and retail. We invest across the value chain, including goods, services, e-commerce, distribution, and technology.
B&A takes an active role in our investments and enjoys working closely with our management teams to support them in their journey. We are hands-on partners, proactively helping our portfolio companies craft and hone their go-to-market strategy, as well as connect them with execution resources and key network partnerships.
Since B&A was founded in 2014, we have invested in 17 companies, both B2C and B2B. Notable investments in B2C include: Vive Organic, Bizzy, Base Culture, Factor 75, and Rethink Water. To learn more about B&A’s investment approach, team and portfolio, please visit http://www.bluesteinassociates.com/.
Ashley is involved in all areas at B&A, including screening, due diligence, portfolio company support, and portfolio strategy.
Prior to B&A, Ashley was Vice President of Strategy & Operations at Hartman Windows & Doors, where she was responsible for growth strategy, leading expansion across the United States as well as establishing the scalable infrastructure on which to grow. Ashley has also worked for Coinstar in Business Development, where she focused on launching their new ventures. After college, Ashley worked for NERA Economic Consulting. Ashley has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Political Economy from Williams College.
Ashley is active in the Chicago community. She serves on the Selection Committee of the Good Food Accelerator, as well as the Associate’s Board. She is also a Member of the Board of the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago, where she co-leads the HBS New Venture Competition in Chicago; and is on the National Leadership Council of United States Artists.
Michael Schopin, Partner, Zenfinity Capital LLC. Michael Schopin has been a principal investor for more than 15 years. During the last 13 years of his career, Michael has been leading private investment transactions on behalf of ultra-high net worth individuals and families where he has been instrumental in founding and growing three separate private investment efforts. Zenfinity Capital was founded by Kevin Easler, the co-founder of Sprouts Farmers Market, to identify, finance, and develop the growth of promising better for your businesses in retail, food and beverage. Michael has completed more than 40 private transactions during his career across a variety of industries.