The ReFED Food Waste Funders Circle Member Spotlights
Our Member Spotlight Series features a different Food Waste Funder Circle (FWFC) member organization for each installment – including any asks or offers that they have for the Network. The goal of the Member Spotlight Series is to give FWFC members a peek into the amazing work that others in our community are doing and to connect members who could potentially benefit from a collaboration.
Align Impact is an RIA (registered investment advisor) focused on connecting our clients with investment opportunities across social and environmental impact categories like sustainable food and agriculture, clean energy and resource efficiency, financial inclusion, affordable housing, and racial and gender equity. We work across asset classes and geographies, seeking to help our clients construct diversified portfolios with impact at their core.
Arabella Advisors is a philanthropic advisory firm and certified B Corporation that supports its clients—foundations, families, corporations, nonprofits, and other changemakers—to go from idea to impact. They are dedicated to making philanthropy more efficient, effective, and equitable. This work takes many forms: they design strategies, launch and manage grantmaking programs, help clients learn from their giving, provide back-office support to several fiscal sponsorship organizations that host charitable projects, develop impact investing programs, and more.
Branch Venture Group
Branch Venture Group (BVG) is a Boston-based angel investment network that provides funding and connections to early-stage food-related companies. We work with our angel investor members to identify, diligence, and invest in pre-seed and seed stage startups launching new products, technologies, and services for the food industry. Our primary focus is investing in entrepreneurs raising under $3M with the capacity to syndicate larger opportunities through other networks and venture firms. We currently have 15 portfolio companies, participated in 26 financing rounds, and were the second most active investment network nationwide focused on funding food-related startups in 2021.
Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is comprised of three key business segments dedicated to accelerating the transition to the circular economy: 1. We own and operate the largest privately held recycling company in North America. 2. We innovate through our Center for the Circular Economy, which unites competitors and partners to tackle complex material challenges, advance research, and implement systemic change to advance circularity. 3. We invest through early-stage venture capital, private equity buyout, and catalytic capital. Through investment, we enable systems change by moving away from the linear economy (take, make, waste model) towards a circular economy. We focus on reducing waste in supply chains, innovating new materials that can be reused or recycled back to their original state, and capturing current waste streams to make new recyclable products.
Connecticut Innovations is the state of Connecticut’s strategic venture capital arm. They invest in early-stage technology companies (primarily Seed and Series A) across sectors and have around $500M AUM. One of their newest funds is the $100M Climate Tech Fund. They have a triple bottom line: financial returns, emissions reduction, and job creation for Connecticut. They have already made several investments across major GHG-emitting sectors, including energy, circular economy, mobility, and the built environment. They plan to build a portfolio of 25-30 companies.
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
DRK Foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm working across multiple sectors and geographies. We find, fund, and support social impact entrepreneurs who are solving some of the world’s most pressing inequities and changing the status quo for those who are most vulnerable. Collectively, 300 million lives have been impacted by our portfolio organizations.
We are an early stage fund that aspires to be the partner of choice for entrepreneurs that are tackling pertinent socieconomic problems. We enjoy working with purpose-driven entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to address key challenges in foundational areas of financial/economic resilience and also in the health and wellness sector.
Food System 6
Food System 6 is working to accelerate the transition to a more just and regenerative food system. Learn more!
FTW is an early-stage venture capital fund founded by entrepreneurs, technologists, and scientists backing disruptive science and technology startups that will transform the worldwide food system.
Post corporate life, I began on my entrepreneurial journey of angel investing, for-profit and nonprofit Board leadership, and co-founding Tech Up for Women. As I enjoyed working with others on initiatives, one of my first projects in the angel world was founding the Executive Forum Angels (EFA), a sub-group of the Executive Forum, which is comprised of current and prior C-suite individuals. Our members represent a wide range of industries. We explore potential investments together. We invest individually. A later project became Tech Up for Women, a platform for women to explore tech in order to advance their careers. We offer a series of conferences (hopefully back to IRL this year), as well as Tech Up Talks and resources for education and tech-related roles.
Next Gen Nutrition Investment Partners
Next Gen Nutrition Investment Partners is an emerging venture fund focused on early-stage disruptive food and food-tech companies. The general partners are not career finance or VC people but rather former senior executives at larger consumer product companies, primarily in the food industry. We worked for global businesses for companies like P&G, Heinz, Cadbury, Mondelez, and Kellogg’s to benefit our founders and LPs through our personal experiences, connections to functional expertise, and industry network. We are fortunate to have a board of strategy advisors/investors whose expertise in R&D, Supply Chain, M&A, etc., complements our own commercial and general management experiences.
At Redstick Ventures, we are creating a more efficient food ecosystem. Our portfolio companies drive innovation through advancements in technology utilizing software and automation. Together, we combat waste and transform food production, distribution, and consumption.
Rethink Food is working to reimagine the global food system. Learn more!
SAGANA is the next generation of investors, thinkers, and doers focused on unleashing the potential of business, capital, and people to improve human and planetary health. Our Capital business connects forward-thinking investors with game-changing investment opportunities that significantly improve human and planetary health. We partner with individuals, families, and foundations to co-create impact that will last for generations and inspire more investors to unleash the potential of their capital. SAGANA means abundance in Tagalog, which is core to who we are. Drawn from nature, the principal of abundance means we operate from a place of creativity, openheartedness, and collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships. We look for longer-term win-win-win solutions – those that are a win for our clients, a win for us, and a win for people and planet. We believe a shift in global systems beyond profit alone is needed, by investing in and growing businesses that are a “win” for everyone.
Supply Change Capital
Supply Change Capital invests in the future of food. With a lens for culture and climate, investments focus on early-stage technology companies that are responding to the seismic shift that is occurring in the $6 trillion food industry. Out of a target $40M Fund I, to date 75% of the portfolio is led by women and founders of color. The fund is women-founded and led by General Partners Shayna Harris and Noramay Cadena. The partners bring decades of operating experience in foodtech, supply chain, manufacturing, and investing. We look for early-stage investment opportunities (Pre-Seed and Seed) across the supply chain of food systems, from AgTech to end product and everything in between.
The Builders Fund
The Builders Fund is a growth-stage private equity fund investing to build a better world. We partner with growth-stage companies whose business models address environmental and social challenges and where purpose can be harnessed for competitive advantage. Core themes of focus include sustainable systems and human elevation. Thirty of Builders' founding Limited Partners are former operators and entrepreneurs: “Builders,” committed to serving as operating partners to the fund and to supporting the entrepreneurs and leaders who are building businesses that improve our world.
Trailhead Capital is a mission-driven investment firm that seeks to create financial, societal, and ecological returns by backing entrepreneurs who are building the regenerative future of food and agriculture. The firm's flagship Regeneration Fund invests in regenerative agriculture companies at the Seed and Series A stages using Ag/FoodTech and business model innovation to accomplish this mission. Trailhead believes that deploying this vital capital represents the single greatest opportunity to improve human, soil, and planetary health today.