We partner with a wide range of organizations and individuals to accomplish our mission. The FFI uses a collaborative business model to expand the reach of its consulting work. With the help of the business counseling staff at the statewide Small Business Development Centers and other consultants who have been trained and certified by Tera, FFI and its partners work directly with food clients throughout the state.
This scalable infrastructure enables FFI to provide it’s financial technical assistance to entrepreneurs in conjunction with the following collaborating organizations:
FFI works with trained food business consultants to provide high impact business model optimization and financial technical assistance to the clients they work with. The SBDC helps you access the power of your University with Wisconsin SBDC Network professional business consultants, free of charge. Get knowledge, tools and connections that work for you.
With FFI’s support, DATCP is launching a certified food business consultant program that will train existing technical service providers, both public and private, to provide high impact business model optimization and financial technical assistance to the clients they work with.
The Food and Beverage Association of Wisconsin has a comprehensive set of educational programming and initiatives designed to accelerate the growth the food industry sector in WI. FFI is partnering with FAB to deliver FABCap, a program that is based on FFI’s Food Finance Accelerator. This program targets growing food companies, and helps them bring in the financing and develop the resources and organizational skills they need to transition to growth.
The Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (CDR) is the premier dairy research center. Located within a licensed, operating dairy plant on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, CDR builds on Wisconsin’s tradition as the “Dairy State.” FFI provides capital source cultivation support for CDR.
More than 30 researchers and scientists are involved in conducting basic and applied dairy research that explores the functional, flavor and physical properties of cheese/cheese products and other milk components used as ingredients and as finished products. CDR researchers are here to assist the dairy industry in developing and testing dairy products that will exceed consumer expectations while providing customers with a safe, wholesome product.
A collaboration between the Williamson Street Cooperative Grocery, Forward Community Investments, and Slow Money WI, this fund provides loans of up to $50,000 to Willy Street vendors who are seeking to expand their businesses. FFI helps applicants prepare their loan submittal packages and provides on-going business counseling to the entrepreneurs for the life of their loans.
The first crowdfunding platform in WI, Craftfund is dedicated to the food and beverage sectors. Companies must be located in WI and be prepared to conduct a legally compliant equity raise. FFI helps applicants package their Craftfund raises and mentors entrepreneurs as they run the gauntlet required to meet this standard.
Every year, Slow Money WI holds its annual Investor Showcase where value added farm and food businesses pitch to socially oriented investors. FFI supports this event by participating in the applicant selection process, coaching presenters on their investor presentations, and by providing follow-on technical assistance to help entrepreneurs and investors after the event.
FFI and the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic are launching a collaborative training program designed to help food companies get ready to raise equity. This program includes one day of training and access to a follow-up consultation with FFI and with the Law Clinic.
Lenders, Investors, Accounting and Legal Firms
FFI’s work with clients always involves raising money from non-traditional and traditional sources of capital. It also involves lenders, investors, accounting and legal service providers. FFI makes cultivating this ecosystem a central part of its work.