Portland Action

Wow. I should not be surprised that there is a lot of investment energy going on in Portland, one of the food capitals of the country. Still: the last two weeks have been an exciting ride as SMNW organizes it’s first April 11th Portland event.

Various efforts to grow the regional food and farm economy are already under way and involve city/county/state governments, banks and credit unions, foundations, non-profits, equity capital firms, individual investors, as well as farmers, ranchers, fishers, processors, distributors, wholesalers, and retail outlets. SMNW has been in conversations with all of them.

The most pressing question has become: so what value can we add to the emerging and present opportunities? We do not (yet) have the bandwidth to maintain different work in Portland, so we are hoping to compliment and catalyze what is already moving.

There are two exciting community investment related innovations already under way that are focused on how individual investors can safely invest in regional businesses.

Springboard Innovations holds a quarterly forum to launch action and the ecosystem for social innovation. A Portland local investment network, LION:PDX, is having it’s first informational meeting today, March 22nd. Modeled on other LIONS network including Pt Townsend and the Whatcom Investing Network, this effort creates a pathway for individuals to find out more about specific investment opportunities. So, accred and non-accred network? Check.

Along with this work are various private, foundation, and government efforts all moving in to this food and farm investment space right now. SMNW has been in touch with a handful of these professional networks all seeking to find out more about what we and others are doing, what best practices are emerging, and connect with current offerings. This sounds like what we have been doing in Seattle area the last two years. So: accredited investor education and presentations? Bingo!

The downside is that we are not going to connect with all of Portland on this first outing, however we will have a Slow Money colleague discussing our work at Springboard Innovations forum the next day, so please sign up for that event to find out more about how you can engage.

The upside is that that is a good first step since, in the end, we want to work with what is already housed within Portland and help make those efforts grow, while focusing on a niche that we are doing and is needed to support those various efforts.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these events feel free to contact us.

Slow Money Portland: Save the Date April 11th

Slow Money NW is lining up a day of meetings to connect the best people and opportunities for action in one of the foodie capitals of the country. We already have Portland community banks, equity capital firms, foundations, businesses and individuals wanting to connect. We have secured the Food Innovation Center for an evening event that will include an overview of Slow Money, a few business pitches, networking time, and of course food. More details coming very soon.

SMNW Hiring a Project Manager (Application period now closed)

Application period is now closed.
Thanks to all who have submitted applications. There is a great talent pool out there interested in helping us grow this enterprise.

Slow Money Northwest seeks a qualified individual with well-rounded skills to join the team and play a core management role. The position covers a broad range of functions including: organization development, fundraising, operations and project management. The ideal candidate will have experience with all skills, has worked with startup organizations moving into a growth stage, is self-motivated, and can handle diverse tasks associated with small but growing organizations.

The position will coordinate a variety of efforts to help Northwest food and agriculture businesses access capital and business development assistance. Some of these projects include:

•    A multi-state effort to develop Individual Development Accounts for farmers.
•    A beginning farmer loan program with a partner credit union
•    A network of accredited angel investors
•    Investigation into a possible equity/management fund
•    Connecting technical assistance to interested businesses
•    Coordination of regional events and meetings for stakeholders
•    Ongoing communications and fundraising

For complete information download SMNW Project Manager.pdf