Natural Foods Merchandiser

Forum Matches Investors with Growing Companies

Natural products companies seeking financing for their growth stage will be able to get a hand up on April 27. Health Business Partners and Natural Products Consulting will present their second Healthy Products Capital Forum, which matches natural products companies seeking capital with venture capital firms interested in investing.

"We established the HPCF to fill a void we saw in the natural products financing market," said Mike Chase, managing director of Health Business Partners, an investment bank serving the natural products industry. "We have been approached by a growing number of natural products companies with $2 million or more in sales [that are] in need of $1 million to $3 million of capital, but are not sure where to find it." Chase added, "At the same time, there are more and more venture capital firms with smaller funds, willing to write checks for $500,000 to $5 million, also knocking on our door because of our industry focus. These funds ask us to help them identify investment candidates. The HPCF was an easy way for us to make this two-way connection and make this segment of the financing market more efficient."

Chase said the HPCF is for companies with products in the following categories: healthy, natural, organic and functional food and beverages; vitamins, minerals and supplements; natural over-the-counter remedies; personal care; household and clothing; and ingredient suppliers to the natural products industry.

Forum organizers are looking for companies seeking to raise $500,000 to $5 million. Rather than startups, the forum will highlight growth-stage, revenue-producing companies that are looking for their first institutional financing.

The first HPCF, conducted online in January, was highly successful according to at least one participant. Richard Sorenson, chief operating officer of BevSpec (maker of Syzmo energy drink) said, "The Healthy Products Capital Forum enabled BevSpec to present to seven venture capital firms that have expressed a real interest in healthy and natural products, all at one time. We received immediate responses from some of the firms and have begun discussions with them regarding a potential investment into our company."

The next online forum will take place Thursday, April 27 at 1 p.m. EST. Companies interested in participating must submit their PowerPoint presentations by April 20. For more information, visit or e-mail [email protected].

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