The second meeting of Slow Money Pioneer Valley Chapter was held on 7/24/12 at the Smith College Conference Center.
The purpose of a Slow Money Chapter in the Pioneer Valley is to fill gaps in the local food economy capital structure. As many of you know, PVGrows has several working groups and many members who are already deeply engaged in this work. The Slow Money chapter structure will allow us to expand the PVGrows experience by reaching out to a new cohort of investors and entrepreneurs. Together we can build a chapter that meets a real and growing need.
At the first meeting, chapter participants heard from Michael Bartner of Slow Money National, Eric Becker and Julia Shanks from Slow Money Boston, and the two of us from PVGrows. We had a lively discussion to gauge attendees’ interests in working on a specific niche in local food investing, and came away from the room confident that we could convene a committed, activist group to work on specific aspects of local food investing in our region.
At the second meeting, we offered a focused agenda, highlighted by a real world case study demonstrating the need for Slow Money. Dan Rosenberg and Addie Holland, the owners of Real Pickles shared their evolving plan to finance a 2013 transition of Real Pickles to a cooperative ownership structure. Their fascinating story provided this emerging chapter with a way to define our own objectives, via a real, in-time initiative. We can continue to provide Real Pickles with some meaningful support as it continues on its path as an anchor business in our local food economy.
Dan Rosenberg, Real Pickles, Co-owner
Addie Holland, Real Pickles, Co-owner
Tom Willits, Trustee, Lydia B. Stokes Foundation
Jeff Rosen, Director of Finance, Solidago Foundation
Agenda for the meeting (2 hrs):
3:00 – 3:15 Welcome, Mingling, & Introductions
3:15- 3:30 Review of the Slow Money Chapter Organization
3:30 – 4:00 Current Food Financing Landscape in the PV
- Overview of the spectrum of capital — from Equity to Debt, and everything in between
- The PVGrows Loan Fund
- The (proposed) Community Capital Fund
- Existing Capital Gaps for the Chapter to Focus Upon:
- Equity Capital – matching entrepreneurs and investors directly
- Crowd Funding – the group could also work on coordinating this space and linking it to existing capital layers
4:00 -4:45 Real Pickles: A Real World Example of What a Slow Money Chapter Could Provide
4:45 – 5:00 Next Steps