Launched by FamilyFarmed in 2014, the Good Food Accelerator (GFA) is a fellowship program that prepares food entrepreneurs for prime time and gives them the skills and tools to launch or scale up their product or service. Our competitively selected Fellows are paired with industry-leading mentors and are connected to potential customers and investors. The GFA helps emerging food and farm entrepreneurs expand the production, marketing and distribution of locally and responsibly produced food in order to enhance the social, economic and environmental health of our communities. We provide Fellows with expert mentoring, strategic support and access to capital so they can thrive commercially and have a powerful ripple effect on the local economy and beyond.
Opportunity: We are seeking an independent contractor to provide consulting services specific to financing and innovation mentorship as well as business model optimization consulting to entrepreneurs participating in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator and GFA Expansion programs. This unique leadership-level opportunity offers the ideal consultant purpose-driven work supporting early-stage Good Food entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses while collaborating with leading investors, advisors and corporate innovators.
Role/Resource Description: The Financing & Innovation Strategic Consultant will work closely with the Entrepreneurial Programming Manager to deliver Good Food Accelerator curriculum during its annual six-month program session (November to April), and will provide year-round ongoing strategic support and mentorship to the Accelerator’s growing alumni cohort and participants in GFA Expansion Programs. Additionally, this role/resource will function as an extended FamilyFarmed teammate working to expand FamilyFarmed’s mentor and investor networks and facilitate financing relationships and deals for Fellow alumni and program participants.
Tasks and Deliverables:
With the Entrepreneurial Programming Manager, implement weekly Accelerator curriculum sessions that establish a successful cohort, and cultivate a dynamic of trust that fosters mutual support and sharing.
With program staff, engage in participant selection processes and conduct intake and needs assessments for GFA Fellows and Expansion Program participants; assist in identifying and paring Super Mentors with GFA Fellows; and assist in developing/optimizing templates for conducting ongoing assessments to gauge Fellows’/participants’ needs, set goals and measure progress against goals.
Provide technical assistance to GFA cohort members as well as other Good Food entrepreneurs in the region to support them to overcome obstacles and grow their business.
Work closely with program staff, Fellows, Mentors and Committee members to guide participants’ progress through the program(s); to support each participant’s development of a business plan, financing plan and investor pitch; to facilitate their development of financial and business skills and acumen; and to help facilitate introductions to, meetings with and referrals to banks, investors and public sources of funding.
Identify, seek, develop and maintain strong working relationships with network and program consultants, speakers, mentors and partners.
Work to grow the network of speakers, mentors and investors engaged in our Good Food community.
Formulate business relationships through our network, referrals, networking and company visits. This will include building new or stronger relationships with Chicago’s corporate food innovation community.
Identify new financing and funding resources for program participants and support entrepreneurs to develop deals of interest to the investor community and get funded.
Consult staff and events management team on events in Chicago’s Good Food cluster and Financing & Innovation Conference planning, dates TBD.
Represent the Good Food Accelerator and FamilyFarmed programs at related events, effectively communicating our mission and programming to existing and potential partners, stakeholders and funders.
Speak publicly about issues pertaining to Good Food Innovation and Financing.
Work with Accelerator team to innovate and take the program to a higher level based on current trends in food and financing.
This consultant will work directly with the Entrepreneurial Programming Manager.
a strong commitment to the Good Food movement
an established financial network
deep knowledge and demonstrated experience growing and exiting a CPG food company
experience in and passion for working with entrepreneurs
We strongly prefer a consultant with an MBA and leadership-level experience.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Business acumen specific to entrepreneurship
Exceptional interpersonal skills
High level of empathy
Highly effective communication skills
Business plan and financial modeling experience
The ideal consultant has an MBA; 25-plus years of experience in the areas of Good Food, financing and entrepreneurship; a proven history of successful business consulting, financing and innovation; and a demonstrated commitment to networking and relationship building. This role/resource desires to integrate their established network into FamilyFarmed’s network and the Good Food cluster and is enthusiastic about leveraging this network as a resource for Good Food entrepreneurs.
Additional Salary Information: Contractual, seasonal variation in hours, based in the River North neighborhood of downtown Chicago. Onsite availability required for eight hours on each Monday from November 2017 through April 2018, and as needed to represent the Accelerator program and FamilyFarmed at related events and meetings to be arranged. Total hours per week: up to 30 during the active curriculum period of November through April, and 10 to 15 hours during non-peak period.
Our Mission and Values
FamilyFarmed.org is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities.