Three is a Magic Number

(Photo: Shumilov Ludmila)
(Photo: Shumilov Ludmila)

By Rob Trice January 10, 2017

The Mixing Bowl was started three years ago this time of year, and, as I have done for our last two birthdays, I wanted to offer some thoughts.

Many have bemoaned 2016 as an awful year, but from The Mixing Bowl’s perspective, our third year was magical.  In many different respects, we feel we have hit our stride.

By far, the biggest reason that three is magical is that we made three fantastic new additions to The Mixing Bowl team this fall:

  • Seana Day, Partner, comes from a fourth-generation Ag family in the Central Valley of California and has over 12 years of investment, M&A and technology experience.  She recently worked at AgTech Insight, is an Associate for Fish 2.0, and authors the AgTech Market Map.
  • Brita Rosenheim, Partner, our latest team addition and based in New York, brings fifteen years of investment, M&A and strategy experience within food and food tech.  An established thought leader in the space, she is possibly best known for her monthly analysis and Food Tech & Food Media Map.
  • An Wang, Associate, who grew up on a farm in China, brings experience in M&A, corporate development and operations in the consumer, food & beverage, technology and healthcare sectors. She is passionate about health and sustainable agriculture, and holds a Level 3 Award in Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). 

Underpinning all of The Mixing Bowl’s work – in our three areas of information – sharing, funding and advisory services – is a common commitment to be results-oriented, open-minded, technology-focused, business-grounded, authentic, and global in our outlook and actions.

On the information-sharing front, we want to curate accessible forums for innovative thought leaders to engage in meaningful discussion that will maximize uncommon collaboration. To that end, we are pleased to have become contributors to Forbes.com, to have aligned the dates of our FOOD IT event with the Forbes Agtech Summit, and to be teaming with Forbes for a New York event in March.  We will share more on some “deeper dive” events soon. 

On the funding side, through our association with Better Food Ventures, we have now invested in 11 different seed-stage startups harnessing IT to meet food and agriculture sector challenges.  All the companies we have funded in the last three years are still active, and eight of the 11 companies we have seeded with convertible debt notes have already successfully completed priced equity rounds. Both of the companies we funded this year, Byte & Vinsight, happen to have CEOs with the same first name – Megan.  

With our advisory services work, we are receiving positive feedback that the services that we are offering food/ag and technology companies and other institutions is differentiated by our experienced understanding of corporate innovation, venture, technology and the food/ag sectors.

As we have written, food tech and agtech fell prey to hype this year, and things might get worse before they get better. Regardless, I’d like to leave you with something I wrote on our first birthday, recycled on our second birthday, and don’t see why I shouldn’t do so again given its timeliness:

“For those of us leading the charge in this space, it behooves us to avoid the fate of past tech fads and not lose sight of the bigger goal of responsibly raising and sustaining awareness of the real needs and real opportunities for tech innovation in the food and agriculture space.”

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