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In Session

Fostering trust between entrepreneurs and investors

In this Natural Products Expo East 2018 discussion moderated by Jane Miller, hear how Spiral Sun Ventures’ Mark Thomann took a risk on burgeoning TeaSquares founder Jordan Buckner, building an early stage partnership centered on authenticity and support.

“One thing I was interested in is finding what I call ‘smart money,’ so investors that not only provide cash, but also can provide strategic expertise, as opposed to ‘dumb money,’ someone looking to put in an investment for a pure return.”

— Jordan Buckner, TeaSquares

Part 1: Creating the right relationship


  • TeaSquares puts a heavy emphasis on its social mission to hire young adults from underserved neighborhoods.
  • Funding goes beyond just looking at the financials: you’re investing in the person.
  • Discover the characteristics of a good entrepreneur.
  • Spiral Sun Ventures offered introductions to retailers, distributors and a network of other entrepreneurs to learn from.
  • An honest chat about awkward moments.


Part 2: Q&A


  • One vs. several funds in the mix: which do you prefer?
  • What was the equity ownership percentage agreed to early on?
  • Geographical investing restrictions, and ratchets tied to performance.

This session—The Funding Forum: Growing a Healthy Brand - Selling Your Vision and Team to Investors—was recorded at Natural Products Expo East 2018.

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