Chris Cantino of Color, Jaime Schmidt of Schmidt’s Naturals and Color, and Keeley Tillotson of Wild Friends Foods look at the road from entrepreneur to investor and maneuvering those financial relationships along the way.

Christine Kapperman, Senior Content Director

March 23, 2019

1 Min Read

"We’ve continued to raise small checks from people who really believe in the brand rather than getting those one big checks from a VC. … It’s becoming more mainstream … and you are learning that there are opportunities that look a little different than the classic path.”

—Keeley Tillotson, Wild Friends Foods


  • How Schmidt’s funded itself before the Unilever acquisition and then the founder became an investor, too.

  • Tillotson’s investor relationship advice: Trust your gut and overcommunicate.

  • Chris Cantino of Color adds his thoughts on how the investor, too, needs to trust the founder’s gut. 

  • A slower, more responsible approach to capital is growing.

This Nutrition Capital Network (NCN) Funding Forum session—Breakout Funds: Operator to Investor—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019.

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What's happening with NCN now:

 Looking to invest in nutrition? Investors can still register for the NCN Spring Investor Meeting on April 23-24. 

 Want to pitch your brand? The deadline for NCN Europe VI at VitaFoods Europe is April 4.     

About the Author(s)

Christine Kapperman

Senior Content Director, New Hope Network

As the senior content director at New Hope Network, Christine Kapperman combines her 20-year journalism background with her passion for business to cover the natural products industry for and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine. She also led content at She loves tracking (and tasting) trends as she shares what’s next to show up in cups, plates and in pantries across the United States.

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