LOCATION 225 Dyer Street, Providence, RI, 02903

DATE: October 17, 2019

TIME: 4:00 – 8:30 PM


Save the date for Venture Café Providence’s FoodBev Connect, happening October 17, 2019!

Venture Cafe Providence’s special food-focused mini-conference brings together the top minds in food to explore collaboration opportunities and discuss the future of food and beverage innovation in Providence, New England, and beyond. Calling all builders, funders, and innovators in agriculture technology, food and beverage, and food technology: this event is for you! Join us for an evening of locally-sourced networking, community-building, learning, and more.





4:00 – 5:00 PM  ::  Office Hours  (Café Lounge)

5:00 – 7:30 PM  ::  Food/Beverage Product Demos  (Café Lounge)

5:30 – 6:15 PM  ::  How I Built This: Product Development in the Food and Beverage Industry (Matunuck)

6:30 – 7:15 PM  ::  Food Trends and Funding: Ideas and Resources for the Future (Matunuck)

7:30 – 8:15 PM ::  Sustainable Fishing, Farming, and Food Production (Matunuck)





Food and Beverage Demo Tables (5:00 - 7:30 PM)

Venture Café demos are a great way to gain exposure through our online and offline channels. During FoodBev Connect, Venture Café will give a selection of the area’s best food product start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators an opportunity to showcase their food to the Providence community.

"How I Built This" Product Development in the Food and Beverage Industry (5:30 - 6:15 PM)

Food and beverage producers will share the triumphs and challenges they faced as they built their original food product from ideation to production. In this session, Lauren Abda, Founder and CEO of Branchfood, will introduce each food and beverage product developer who will have ten minutes to share a candid talk with the community. Following the presentations, Lauren will moderate a short question and answer session with the group.

Lauren Abda, Branchfood

Lauren Abda is the Founder and CEO of Branchfood, the largest community of food entrepreneurs and startups in New England, and Co-founder at Branch Venture Group, an angel network for investment in early-stage food startups. Prior to Branchfood, Lauren consulted for foodtech businesses in Boston and San Francisco, worked as an analyst for Salt Venture Partners LLC, a venture capital firm, focused on food startups, targeting content, commerce, and technology, and wrote reports on international food safety development initiatives on behalf of the Agriculture and Commodities division at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She has a Masters in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Vermont.






David Yusefzadeh, Cloud Creamery

Cloud Creamery began when Chef David Yusefzadeh realized he could combine decades of fine-dining experience with his passion for cannabis into America’s favorite dessert: ice-cream. The mission was simple. To offer a thoughtful and delicious alternative to opioids and steroids, while providing only the freshest and best ingredients. Every element of Cloud Creamery ice cream is 100% natural and sustainably sourced.

David Yusefzadeh is a chef and food designer based in Boston, Massachusetts. He spent majority of his career working in fine dining restaurants and hotels around the world. Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mario Batali and Richard Ekkebus are just a few of the chefs that David has spent time with professionally. He is currently CEO/Founder of Cloud Creamery, a cannabis edible company based in Boston. David was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 and has been using Cannabis to allow him to function in his every day life.





Melissa Martinelli, Superfrau

Fresh whey is the highly nutritious liquid co-product of yogurt and cheesemaking. For every 1lb of cheese made, there are 9lbs of fresh whey. Although fresh whey is enjoyed in many other countries, it is treated as a pesky byproduct in the U.S.– often thrown out or fed to livestock. Superfrau aims to make dairy more sustainable by offering this unique line of beverages in three refreshing flavors: lemon elderflower, cucumber lime, and peach mango.

Inspired by our Alpine roots & the desire for a more sustainable food system, Superfrau upcycles surplus fresh whey from local yogurt and cheesemakers into a refreshing, nutritious drink. Available in 12oz 100% recyclable bottles, and no added sugar.






Daniel Starr-Tambor, TapDrops

TapDrops reproduces contemporary and historic water profiles from around the world. Selected by the Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel as among the “Top Trends” of the 2019 Fancy Food Show. Patent pending. TapDrops combines traditional culinary culture with modern molecular gastronomy to reproduce the ionic profiles of regional waters around the world.   When added to purified water, TapDrops introduces a new level of flavor and authenticity to chefs; bakers; and brewers alike – bringing a ‘sense of place’ to your place.

Daniel Starr-Tambor is the founder of TapDrops; a composer of music; a dreamer; a tinkerer; a problem solver; and an endless asker of questions.  He lives in Providence with his love; their cat; and a baby very soon.




Food Trends and Funding: Ideas and Resources for the Future (6:30 - 7:15 PM)

Join food and beverage funders and futurists to learn about emerging markets and funding models in the food and beverage industry. Joanna Ray of Hope & Main will lead a discussion with Frohman Anderson of EverHope Capital and Marcia Hooper of Branch Venture Group as they discuss the future of the food and beverage industry and the resources that will get us there.


Joanna Ray, Hope & Main

Joanna Ray is the Entrepreneurship Program Manager at Hope & Main, Rhode Island’s first culinary incubator and a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  Hope & Main works to help local entrepreneurs jump-start early-stage food companies and food related businesses by providing low cost, low risk access to shared-use commercial kitchens and other industry-specific technical resources.  Since its launch in 2014, Hope & Main has licensed over 200 food businesses and has assisted 40 businesses in graduating into their own facilities in Rhode Island and beyond, which in turn has created over 351 jobs.

Prior to Hope & Main, Joanna worked for 10 years in Risk Management at Accion, a microfinance organization empowering small business owners through access to capital and education.  In addition, she has spent years in the hospitality industry in Boston and Cambridge and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Roger Williams University.





Frohman Anderson III, EverHope Capital

In 2009 Frohman co-founded Ava Anderson Non Toxic, now Pure Haven Essentials, a brand of non-toxic and organic personal care and home cleaning products. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2014 with a degree in Environmental Studies, Frohman assisted AANT until its acquisition in 2016. Frohman then established EverHope Capital, a private venture capital fund, to invest in innovative and scalable alternatives to animal-based products. In addition to managing EverHope Capital’s portfolio, Frohman is Venture Partner at New Crop Capital, focusing on deal flow, analyses, fundraising and new ventures. Frohman is also co-chair of the NEXUS working group on animal welfare and biodiversity conservation.






Marcia Hooper, Branch Venture Group

Marcia Hooper currently serves as a Partner of Branch Venture Group, LLC, an angel investing group, focused on food startups, targeting food products, food technology, business services for food-related companies, ag-tech, and sustainability. She has over 29 years of venture investing experience having been a partner at Advent International and Ampersand Ventures Ventures. She also serves as a Senior Advisor to Bowside Capital, a private equity firm focusing in the small capitalization market. She has served as a Director of over 30 private and publicly listed companies. She began her career at IBM in marketing. Hooper received her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Brown University. She also earned a Master of Arts degree in chemistry from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

Sustainable Fishing, Farming, and Food Production (7:30 - 8:15 PM)

Sustainable food production can restore degraded lands, maintain fiscally important fisheries around the world, and turn byproducts into food product. Hear speakers from the fishing, cattle, and consumer package good industry will discuss the sustainable models they use to limit food waste and operate sustainably in today’s market.

Martin Beck, New England Grass Fed LLC

Since 2011, New England Grass Fed, a local grass-fed beef company, has grown, processed, marketed & sold locally produced healthy meat raised to highest humane and sustainability standards. At Cloverbud Ranch in Portsmouth, RI, Martin and his team grow grass-fed beef cattle LOCALLY, NATURALLY & HUMANELY – rotationally grazing on 100 acres of lush coastal RI pasture. Their free-ranged animals enjoy a long happy life with no hormones or antibiotics before they take their gift in gratitude. New England Grass Fed delivers premium nutrient-dense beef with healthy fats and powerful flavor to people who share their values – improving the land, promoting community wellness and increasing the abundance of joyful living.







Lily Scott, Lily’s Ladle

Lily Scott is the founder/operator of Lily’s Ladle, a Rhode Island based Bone Broth company dedicated to diverting animal bones from the landfill and making a nutrient dense superfood. Americans throw out an average of 1lb of food per day, and 8% of Americans are food insecure. By diverting good food from the landfill and changing the way we think about nutrition, we can sustain our population with nutritious foods.

As a former hospitality professional, olympic distance triathlete and mother of 2, Lily Scott founded Lily’s Ladle in 2016 in her home kitchen. Now 3 year later, Lily’s Ladle crafts frozen bone broths with ingredients sourced from Southern New England. We simmer 100% grass fed beef bones, hormone free, antibiotic free, vegetarian raised chickens, and veggies from farms employing sustainable farming practices. We are a fresh frozen product. No chemicals, stabilizers or preservatives added ever.





Frank Salustri, Fishmonger LLC

Fishmonger LLC is a startup purveyor and educator of fresh, sustainably sourced local seafood, based off the “community-supported fishery” model. At Fishmonger we provide full transparency regarding where and how your fish was sourced and its short journey to you. We provide well known local species that every home is familiar with, while proliferating underutilized and abundant species that live right off our shores and are equally as delicious and never make it to our plates.









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