What is FI's History?
In the beginning there was Slow Food, founded in 1986 in Italy as a reaction against fast food and the fast lifestyle. Then, in 2008 Woody Tasch, a former chairman of...
Investors' Circle — a nonprofit network of over 200 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations, & family offices - founded Slow Money to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems.
The Slow Money movement believes we can build a more robust sustainable regional food system by investing in for-profit entrepreneurs creating "good", "clean", and "fair" products and services.
Slow Money's long-term objective is for one million investors to commit 1% of their assets to local food systems.
Slow Money Texas and STIC
Slow Money Texas was born in 2009 when five Austinites, Mason Arnold, Robby Larkin, Randy Jewart, Jake Stewart, and Andy Buckingham, attended the first ever Slow Money National Gathering in Santa Fe, NM. Eventually deciding to focus on the Austin area, the name was changed to Slow Money Austin.
Slow Money Austin held events in 2011, 2012, and 2013 where local firms "pitched" their companies and funding needs.
In 2011 Slow Money Austin spun out The Sustainable Texas Investment Club (STIC), which used the investment club structure to aggregate small amounts of cash with which to make loans to small food companies. That structure proved unwieldy, leading member Jarred Maxwell to search for another method to invest in good food companies.
Austin Foodshed Investors
Local Impact Investors LLC, d/b/a "Austin Foodshed Investors" (AFI) was founded in the summer of 2014 and incorporated in January 2015. AFI adopted the "angel network" investment model, adapting it to meet the specific needs of small food and ag companies, while focusing on Central Texas. AFI and Slow Money exist side-by-side, connected philosophically and by the many AFI members also active in Slow Money.
In 2018, after four successful years with AFI, the Partners decided to re-brand as "Foodshed Investors" and offer their process, methodology, templates, and deal management software platform to like-minded activists in other geographical regions.
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