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

Our training programs help you take the food businesses you work with to the next level.

After attending our training sessions, you will be able to help your food company clients:

•  Optimize their business model for profitability
•  Develop a realistic financial plan and capital structure to support their growth
•  Navigate the process of raising appropriate debt, strategic investments and equity
•  Leverage their network and build their team to support the fundraising process

Tera Johnson Food Finance Institute Consultant Training

How Do I know This Training Is For Me?

People Listening During Training

You’re working with multiple food businesses that need help getting profitable and raising money

Maybe you have a background in food but need help understanding the financial requirements of these businesses. Or you feel comfortable in the world of finance but need to better understand the different realistic business model paths available to food entrepreneurs. Whatever your situation, we can help you provide your clients high quality financial technical assistance.

Time is money, and you need to quickly get up to speed

Our two-day training sessions are based on our experience working with real food companies and helping them raise money. We walk through the cold, hard numbers of different types of food businesses to help you understand what works and what doesn’t in the current marketplace. We give you actionable resources and train you on how to use them so that you can work quickly and independently with a diverse range of food businesses.

You want to distinguish yourself and get more clients

Very few consultants signal that they focus on finance and raising money. And even less combine that focus with a focus on food. Attending our training sessions or becoming an FFI Premier Consultant allows you to stand out from the pack.

“The Food Finance Institute training with Tera was extremely valuable. Her passion for, knowledge of, and experience about the food industry is incredible. I learned how important it is for financial success that the entrepreneur chose early on whether they want to be local, regional, or national in scale. Additionally, understanding the unique capital needs for food businesses, like working capital for store placements, marketing budgets and inventory building is critical as I help clients create pro forma (future) financial statements to gain financing for their business.”

Brock Waterman, Consultant With Wisconsin’s Small Business Development Center and FFI Premier Consultant

Brock Waterman

What Can I Expect From The Training?

Food Business Model Optimization

Level 1 – Business Model Optimization

Our Level 1 training provides an in-depth look what food, beverage and value-added farm businesses need to do to optimize their business model and capital structure for profitability. This includes a discussion of current market trends in the sector, the basics of conducting market research, various business models in food (and their accompanying metrics/capital structure) as well as in-depth case studies of business model optimization with one or more of the business models presented. View a sample agenda here.

Level 2 – Financial Packaging

Our Level 2 training builds on Level 1 by helping participants navigate the process of raising appropriate debt, strategic investments, and equity investments in food, beverage and value-added farm businesses. This includes a discussion of the legal, financial and governance prerequisites to and implications of raising equity. Level 2 also outlines a process of putting financial packages together to raise money, including case studies relating to specific funding requests for specific business models. We also help participants act as a “coach” that leverages the strengths of the entrepreneurs they work with, their network and other resources in their community to support the fundraising process. View a sample agenda here.

Both our Level 1 and Level 2 training sessions run two full days. The case studies of business model optimization or financial packaging explored during the training can be tailored to the participants’ unique needs and goals.

All participants who successfully complete a training session will receive a certificate of participation from FFI and UW-Extension for each training completed. In addition, they will be recognized and honored by being listed on our website, newsletters and other publications.

Trainings involve learning the content and skills necessary to successfully consult with food, beverage and value-added agriculture businesses. While we offer a certificate of participation for attending a training session, we encourage consultants to apply what they have learned by becoming an FFI Premier Consultant by working with FFI director Tera Johnson to successfully complete a project, like a successful fundraising request, for a food, beverage or value-added agriculture business.

Success Stories

Sari Kimbell – Encouraging Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Better Tasting Food

Sari Kimbell started her food consulting business in 2016 after seven years of working with restaurants and CPG products. Located in Fort Collins, Colo., Sari Kimbell Consulting is helping local entrepreneurs start and grow their packaged food businesses. When Kimbell began consulting, she had a grasp on some of the financial dynamics of growing food businesses, but she didn’t have all the tools or the bigger picture yet. In 2018, the Extension office at Colorado State University extended an offer to attend the Food Finance Institute’s Consultant Training. FFI’s training helped Kimbell add that bigger piece to complete her financial toolkit with templates, spreadsheets and examples to assist with pricing, projections, forecasting and financing.

View the list of our trainees and Premier Consultants here.

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