The year 2015 marked the inauguration of the Natural Products Business School Investment Learning Summit. Ten brands pitched to a room full of investors and an expert panel of judges. If you missed the summit, here's a quick introduction to each of the companies and entrepreneurs that presented and inspired the crowd with their forward-thinking ideas and products.
Pitch slam judges.jpg
The following evening, four of those entrepreneurs pitched to a panel of judges as part of the Pitch Slam Competition. Here, the judges deliberate.
Loliware pitch slam from clementine art.jpg
Loliware, which developed a cup so biodegradable that it's actually edible, was the winner
Look at that enthusiasm! Team members from Chapul spent Thursday constructing their booth from cardboard (and showing off their 2014 NEXTY Editors' Choice Award
If you’re wondering how Chapul’s booth turned out, here’s the finished product in all of its recycled glory.
The Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace and brand new Hilton Hot Products Pavillion were the places to be on Thursday afternoon.
Lazy Acres market.JPG
Meanwhile, three busloads of Expo attendees traveled to three natural food stores in the Southern California region: Mother's Market, Hanson's Market and Lazy Acres.
Vitamin Angels via Facebook.jpg
As the sun set on Thursday evening, Vitamin Angels held an opening night reception at Angel Stadium.
[Image credit: Vitamin Angels on Facebook]
David Perlmutter Twitter.jpg
Dr. David Perlmutter educated attendees about the link between gut health and the brain in his Friday keynote address.
[Image credit: David Perlmutter on Twitter]
Outside, food trucks and exhibitors lined the plaza during the day.
[Image credit: Chobani on Twitter]
Evening Plaza Saturday.jpg
In the evening, the plaza transformed into an outdoor concert venue for three nights of live music.
Bob Moore Patricia Bragg from Bobs Red Mill Facebook.jpg
Friendly pedicab drivers helped transport weary show-goers to and from their hotels.
Walter Robb panel.jpg
On Friday afternoon, Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb led a powerful discussion on food access with James Duke of the Liberation Christian Center, Robin Emmons of Sow Much Good Inc., Will Allen of Growing Power Inc. and Oscar Gonzales of Northgate Gonzalez Market, with special virtual appearances by educator/poet Clint Smith and singer Sheryl Crow.
Mark Bittman by Annies twitter.jpg
At his keynote on Saturday, Mark Bittman advocated for cooking more at home.
[Image credit: Annie's on Twitter]
Women in naturals.jpg
Naomi Whittel, founder and CEO of Reserveage Nutrition, led the annual Women in Naturals networking event on Saturday evening.
The show floor was packed and an exciting place to be. Live booth events and music kept things lively and fun Friday through Sunday.
Beyond Meat was the talk of Hall E with its mock McDonald's booth, where it served up healthy, plant-based burgers.
New Hope editors made the last of their NEXTY nominee choices Sunday. Watch for a list of all the nominees, and a chance to vote on your favorite, coming soon.