Slow Money Minnesota Inaugural Gathering

Slow Money Minnesota is an emerging network that connects people interested in building a better local food system. Together, we intend to increase the flow of knowledge and capital in support of local food makers and farming.

The inaugural June 17th, 2015 gathering featured presentations by innovators in local investing and will showcase a handful of exciting food and farm businesses. There was a lively dialogue about Slow Money in Minnesota, a networking hour and great local food and drink. 



5:00  Registration 
  Sign in, enjoy delicious food, visit creative financing kiosks
5:15  Setting the Table: 
  Understanding Slow Money and the needs and opportunities for financing within the local food system. 
Moderator: Jan Joannides, Renewing the Countryside; Panelists: Pam Bishop, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; Julie Ristau, On the Commons and Regeneration Partnership; Marian Moore, Convener Play BIG, Sr. Advisor, RSF Social Finance 
5:40  Investment Models
Investment Clubs: Joe Riemann, Cooperative Principal
Investment clubs provide an opportunity for people to invest locally. Joe will explain how they work and tell about the innovative model he and friends are developing. He'll debunk the myth that you have to be rich to invest.
Equity Investing: Keith Adams and Michael Nolan, Alemar Cheese
Keith wanted to be a cheesemaker, but couldn't get traditional financing. Mike and other friends believed in Keith, so they jumped through the necessary hoops to invest in his company.
Crowdsourcing: Ryan Schildkraut and Ben Klassen, MNVest
You've heard of kickstarter, but did you know that there soon could be an online tool that lets you invest in local companies (rather than donate and receive a "reward." Ryan and Ben will talk about why they are spearheading this effort and what it will mean for Minnesota companies and people who want to support local businesses.
6:20  Break
  Visit creative financing kiosks, enjoy more food
6:45  Entrepreneur Showcase
Emcee: Brett Olson, Renewing the Countryside
6:55  What’s Next - Today & Beyond - Jan Joannides
7:05  Networking, Food & Engagement
Entrepreneurs and investment model presenters will be at "stations" to discuss their work and answer questions. Several  "next step" tables will be set up to talk about growing Slow Money Minnesota, starting an investment club, and using MNVest to support food and farming.
8:00  Adjourn

Slow Money Minnesota Host Committee: 

Martha Archer, Pam Bishop, Beth Dooley, Christina Jennings, Jan Joannides, Brenda Langton, Jeanette Leehr, Erin Meier, Noah Miwa, Marian Moore, Helene Murray, Megan O’Hara, Brett Olson, Mary Quinn McCallum, Kelsi Rahm, Julie Ristau, Tracy Singleton, Gary Surber, Christine Weeks, Libby Wyrum, and Lee Zukor.

Slow Minnesota is being organized through a task force convened by Renewing the Countryside in cooperation with Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Sustainable Farming Association, Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, the FEAST Local Food Network, and is supported through a grant from North Central SARE.  

What is Slow Money?

The concept of Slow Money is about investing in the sort of future we want and doing so closer to home, with a focus on food systems. The term Slow Money was coined by Woody Tasch, who wrote a book about his vision, and a movement, of sorts, has developed around the concept. Slow Money networks have formed across the country where they are convening gatherings, connecting entrepreneurs, farmers, investors, philanthropists and other stakeholders, catalyzing the flow of funds to a wide array of food businesses, while promoting public awareness of the importance of local sustainable food systems.

To learn more about Slow Money, visit:

Slow Money Vision:

Slow Money Principles:

Summaries of what other Slow Money Networks are doing:

Why Now? Why Here?

The concepts behind Slow Money are not new here in Minnesota. There have been people and organizations making "slow money" style investments for a long time. And there have also been convenings to learn about Slow Money, including a keynote by Woody Tasch, the founder of Slow Money, at the Sustainable Farming Association's 2011 Annual Conference and a visit last year by Bonnie Rukin, of Slow Money Maine, at the FEAST Finance Forum in Red Wing.

It is because of the growing interest in sustainable food systems, and the growing desire among people to help grow this type of food system, that we are launching a Slow Money Minnesota Network. It won't replace what is already happening, but rather help leverage current efforts and grow further opportunities for businesses and investors alike.

On the fence about coming?

Here are 5 reasons you'll want to be there!

  1. If you are passionate about local foods and farmers, this event will lay the groundwork for opening up new channels for supporting these businesses.
  2. This will not be boring. We promise! Those who come will learn things, and will have fun doing it.
  3. This will be a who's who of local foods. See old friends and make new.
  4. Como Dockside has been remodeled and their chef is Ella Wesenberg, formerly of the Modern Cafe, so the food will be great!
  5. After the event, you can head downstairs where there is a free concert by the Big Band Zuhrah Flames.


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