2018 - The most successful year to date for New England food startups!

Entrepreneurs in the greater Boston area are accomplishing incredible things, like mapping the global food supply chain, landing major funding for robot restaurants in partnership with culinary celebrities, leading positive food system change through new food recovery initiatives, creating novel biofilms, and a whole host of others are inspiring massive food industry evolution. Branchfood isn’t the only one to notice either! This past year, we launched Branch Venture Group - a network of angel investors seeking to fund food startups and made four investments to date! Branch Venture Group’s portfolio currently includes Open City, Willie’s Superbrew, Waku, and Ocean Approved.

We thrilled with the achievements in our community, and while we anticipate an even more impactful 2019, we wanted to highlight some of our events from the past year and reflect on the successes of the local food community.

Throughout the year, Branchfood hosted a panel series on the Future Of Food that dove into various aspects of the food system including: food allergies, agriculture, nutrition, food products, food retail, and brewing. On January 24th of 2019 we will continue this series with the Future of Cannabis.

In May, Branchfood teamed up with the Boston Globe and Hill Holiday to host Food Edge, a two-day summit in May that explored the future of food and guided brands that wanted to be leaders in the industries of the future on finding their innovative edge. Food Edge is a first-of-its-kind summit that brings together the food industry’s largest brands, alongside dynamic startups and disruptive leaders, to help you find your brand’s edge. It was a packed two days of inspiring speakers, innovation workshops, and fireside chats, that explored the trends, strategies, and capabilities of what could become a brand’s edge in the marketplace.

Food Edge Summit May 2018

Food Edge Summit May 2018

In June Branchfood hosted a discussion on angel investment for high-growth food startups. Attendees heard from investors on what financing food is all about what they look for in investments. They also shared the terminology used by angel investors and venture capitalists, reviewed the process for raising funding including timeline expectations, and answered general questions about the fundraising process.

Angel Investment Panel

Angel Investment Panel

December Community Table

December Community Table

On the first Thursday of every month Branchfood held Community Table. - a free event where everyone in the community is welcome to come and share ideas, network, and engage in conversation. We are looking forward to many more Tables to come, and our first one of 2019 will be on Thursday, January 3rd.

In December, we hosted the Branchfood Annual Holiday Bash at Clover Food Lab in the Financial District. It was a wonderful evening celebration sponsored by our partners Wolf & Company and Brex, including delicious food from Clover, drinks from Nightshift, and samples from the hottest food startups around! It was the perfect way to end the year and celebrate everything that the Boston food scene accomplished in 2018.

We are very excited to continue developing resources and supporting the community of startups and innovators in the coming year and cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store for Boston food industry. Happy New Year!

Know Your Food Entrepreneurs #4: Danilo Leao of BovControl

Know Your Food Entrepreneurs #4: Danilo Leao of BovControl

BovControl, the fast-growing mobile livestock analytics platform, was founded in 2013. But, as co-founder Danilo Leao informed me, its roots go way back. When Danilo was a child on his father’s farm in Brazil, he was already experimenting with the way that data could be used to affect livestock productivity. At 12, he had taken on the duties of “tracking and tracing animals, understanding their activity, and understanding nature.”

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