Getting Capital to Sustainable Food Startups

Despite Slow Money and Slow Food being all the rage these days, startup entrepreneurs in sustainable food still face a daunting task in raising the capital they need to get their business up and running. Available capital is a critical element of our economic recovery, as food and energy not only play a significant role in the sustainable economy, but also will help create a good deal of the middle class jobs we’re looking for.

Crowdfunding is a tool many startups and their entrepreneurs are starting to use. I checked out In.gredients, the nation’s first grocer committed to zero waste, going completely package free. To raise some startup cash, In.gredients has posted a profile on one of the more popular crowdfunding sites.

As many startups are starting to do these days, In.gredients has posted a video to help market itself and explain its reason for asking for capital. According to the company, the U.S. sends 1.4 billion pounds of trash to landfills every day, 40% of which is one-time use packaging. Check out the video:

To date, the company has raised more than $10,000 in small contributions to help it start its first store in Austin, TX this year. There are 43 days left and the company’s startup needs are about $15K, so if you want to see this kind of thing happen, you might think about putting your money where your–ahem–mouth is: hopefully on sustainable food.

Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill), and teaches sustainable business web classes through, including an upcoming class in raising capital.

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Scott Cooney, Principal of and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.

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