Monday, January 4, 2016

Why Edible-Alpha?

When I first launched teraswhey®, the back label of our whey protein included a personal note from me that said I started teraswhey® to cause extraordinary change.   At the time I wrote that, I really had no idea just how many dimensions there would be to that change.  The process of taking an idea, to a plan, to a $14M capital raise, to building a green plant, to a national product launch, and the successful transition of the company to a public company, is quite a journey.  It took every once of my intelligence, strength, determination and humility to make it through it.

It also enabled me to create a product that naturally feeds the human body’s ability to heal itself.  It’s gotten to the point where many of the people I meet already know teraswhey® and use it in their daily lives. Last week, when I picked 60 lbs of aronia berries from the bushes in my yard, I googled, “smoothie recipes with aronia” and the first one that came up called for aronia berries, a banana, and vanilla teraswhey®.  I couldn’t make that up even if I wanted to.  People randomly tell me an astonishing array of personal stories of healing, of recovery from surgery or chemotherapy, of neurological improvements, of weight loss and gaining strength.  I’m humbled by their gratitude, and all of this makes me want to see more companies like mine get started.

I got to cause extraordinary change because my business grew to become financially sustainable.  No money, no mission - it’s simple and very complicated.  And, I’ve discovered, very few people really understand how to make money in a food business.  It’s not rocket science, but it also isn’t easy and it’s getting harder every day.  And it’s getting harder at the same time that a huge consumer push for more healthy, local foods is causing an explosion in entrepreneurial food companies.  Communities are starting incubator kitchens, farmers are starting food hubs, and it’s happening all across the country.  Unfortunately, survival of the fittest capitalism in the digital age also means that business models that can never make money are going viral and are getting replicated across the country.   They’re doing this in Michigan, so let’s do it in Oklahoma, except it wasn’t sustainable in Michigan and it won’t be in Oklahoma either.

So I asked myself what I could do to cause extraordinary change once again, this time by helping thousands of food entrepreneurs and stakeholders around the country learn how to make money in food.  My answer is Edible-Alpha.

Edible-Alpha is a curated content service for food entrepreneurs, investors, consultants and other stakeholders.   In its first iteration, it’s my own blog about making money in food and value-added farm businesses.  Over time, it will evolve to being anchored on one side by my blog, and on the other a pro section of technical business model reports and financial benchmarking tools designed to help advisors, investors, and underwriters guide food entrepreneurs toward financially viable business models.  It will also include resources for entrepreneurs to learn the dimensions of corporate finance that are most relevant to food businesses without having to take an MBA.  Over time, our content will grow to include a curated collection of resources, developed by other contributors, that goes beyond summarizing what people are doing to what is working, and by working I mean making enough money that they can sustainably cause extraordinary change.

No comments:

Post a Comment