432 N. Lake Street Madison, WI 53706  608-890-0780

Our mission at the Food Finance Institute is to make sophisticated financial technical assistance available to every growing food, beverage and value-added agriculture enterprise.

Like 2017, 2018 was a busy year in achieving that mission, and here is what we are proud to have accomplished this year:

Our Network Of Trained Consultants Keeps Getting Bigger

Wallace Center Consultant Training
In 2018, 51 consultants and financial professionals completed either our Level 1 Training (Business Model Optimization) or Level 2 Training (Financial Packaging) or both (43 individuals), with an additional 65 people attending at least one custom consultant training with FFI during 2018. These 116 individuals bring our cumulative trained consultant count to 197 individuals since we began training people in late 2015.

The Year Of Financial Management Boot Camps

In 2018, 80 food and farm entrepreneurs attended at least one session of our Financial Management Boot Camp, which combines training, one-on-one consulting, and networking, taking entrepreneurs out of their day-to-day environment and giving them the tools they need to build a more resilient food business.

Attendees worked on their business model path, improved their financial systems and started creating their financial package so that they are more ready to approach potential lenders and investors.

California Food Hub Network Mixer
FFI Director Tera Johnson and members of the California Food Hub Network after attending a Boot Camp with FFI

Ongoing Partnerships To Reach More Food and Farm Entrepreneurs


We would like to thank the USDA for helping to make our trainings and boot camps available to many of the individuals mentioned above via an LFPP grant. Their support is having a huge effect on the viability of many farm businesses. You can view our other partners on our site.

FAB of WI is a partner of FFI

FFI is also a proud collaborator with FaB Wisconsin, supporting their FaBCap Accelerator and participant companies with financial coaching, mentorship and technical assistance including the 10 companies in the 2018-2019 cohort.

Producing and Curating Quality Financial Resources

Edible-Alpha Horizontal Logo - Registered Trademark

There are, unfortunately, many bad business ideas being circulated on the internet and right now there is a huge gap online in reliable, actionable resources around food and beverage profitability. That is why we are building Edible-Alpha®, a digital resource hub providing people with actionable insights, training, resources and tools so they can build and fund the next generation of profitable food, beverage and value-added farm businesses. We plan to launch Edible-Alpha® in earnest in early 2019, but until then, there is great Edible-Alpha® content already out there that you can tap into:

The Edible-Alpha® Podcast

The Edible-Alpha® podcast captures great conversations with consultants, entrepreneurs, bankers and investors about building and funding profitable food and beverage businesses, released twice-monthly on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. In 2018 we surpassed 20,000 cumulative downloads! You can subscribe or listen to some of our favorite episodes from 2018 below:

The Edible-Alpha® Insights Newsletter

The Edible-Alpha® Insights Newsletter is a roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events, and resources from Edible-Alpha® and across the web, released twice-monthly right to your inbox. We have over 360 happy subscribers! You can subscribe and see some of our favorite articles from 2018 below:

Speaking and Thought Leadership

We believe that thought leadership is a powerful way to positively impact the success of food and agriculture innovators around the country. Here are a few examples of our work this year:

NCN Square Logo

Nutrition Capital Network

FFI Director Tera Johnson currently serves on the Nutrition Capital Network Selection Committee that helps to qualify dealflow and mentor presenting companies in the natural products industry. Learn more about the Nutrition Capital Network

Brand Camp With New Hope Media

New Hope Media’s Brand Camp

Tera talked about the strategies necessary to finance growing food businesses in the “Must-have resources for scaling your omnichannel strategy” webinar with New Hope Media’s Brand Camp. View the webinar (Purchase Required)

Wallace Center

Wallace Center Fellowship

Tera is part of the first cohort of the Wallace Center’s Regional Food Economies Fellowship Program to help provide models for successful engagement between regional food systems and community and economic development stakeholders.

The Cap Times

Tera Johnson and FFI Profiled In The Capital Times

Tera talks asks aspiring food entrepreneurs “How are you going to be defensibly unique? How are you going to get a consumer to try your stuff?” People underestimate how much money they need and how big they need to be to break even.
Read more

Agricultural Utilization Research Institute

Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI)

In an interview with AURI, Tera emphasizes that target marketing is a huge piece of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) process that can be particularly difficult for those in the value-added food industry and rural entrepreneurs looking to scale.
Read more

How Did You Do That? Podcast

Tera tells the TerasWhey® story on Milwaukee Public Radio

On the “How Did You Do That?” podcast, Tera talks about how it’s easy to start a company and it’s hard to scale one without a compelling business model that’s rigorously documented financially and legally, the right team and the right financing. Listen to the podcast

Categories: FFI News and Events