Natural Foods Merchandiser

Forum aims to pair investors, growth-stage companies

Health Business Partners and Natural Products Consulting are teaming up to connect young companies with investors in an online investment forum.

The first Healthy Products Capital Forum is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. EST.

A select group of companies will present to a group of qualified venture capital firms. Each company will have 15 minutes to present its business plan and 10 minutes to answer questions.

"We're thinking it's a nice response to a huge market void that we see," said Mike Chase of Warwick, R.I.-based Health Business Partners.

Chase said that Health Business Partners, which is an investment bank focused on five health industry segments, has seen an increase in calls from both sides: small companies looking for capital, and venture firms wanting to invest in naturals but lacking industry expertise.

"These are firms that have said, 'We're going to go after health and wellness, or natural and organic,' as one of three or four verticals that they've identified," Chase said. "These funds are $20 million up to $100 million. They want to write $2 million to $3 million checks."

Instead of telling everyone no, Chase said, the partners decided to set up a freestanding business to make potential connections. Natural Products Consulting's founder, Bob Burke, is a partner.

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.

Product categories include 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 naturals trade.

Companies interested in participating must submit their PowerPoint presentations by Jan. 12. For more information, visit

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