How do you grow and innovate a food & beverage business in Chicago? With the resources available here, it might be easier here than anywhere else in the US.
Join us for an in-depth look at how the incredibly deep resources available in Chicago for food & beverage companies and start ups help ensure their success. You’ll hear from start-up Founders how starting their business in Chicago has made a big difference in their growth trajectory and ability to scale. You’ll also hear (from representatives of the eco-system itself) how Chicago is truly unique in the depth and breadth of resources available for companies large, small, and in-between.
Alan Reed, Executive Director, Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
Alan is the Executive Director of the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, a 5-year old industry organization that brings industry together, provides a forum for collaboration, and connects the industry across Chicagoland to drive innovation and growth in the region.
Jeremy Anderson, Founder, Fifty Gazelles
Jeremy is business development professional with a passion for getting new ideas into market. Fifty Gazelles' practice focuses on building long-term contract manufacturing and adding capacity and external expertise to to commercialization teams.
Andy Dratt, EVP& Chief Commercial Officer, Imbibe
I have over 20 years of experience in the flavor and ingredient industry, working with and developing products for some of the largest companies in the food industry. I joined Imbibe eight years ago and have led the company to become one of the leading beverage development resources for CPG, QSR and private label brand owners.
Michelle McBride, Founder and CEO, GoodSport Nutrition
GoodSport® founder, Michelle McBride didn’t want her son drinking sports drinks filled with artificial ingredients at his baseball games. She wanted a natural option that was proven to provide effective hydration. Reading about athletes who drink chocolate milk for recovery after sports sparked the idea to look at milk as a natural source of hydration. So, she gathered a team of the world’s top sports nutrition and dairy food scientists to unlock the hydrating power of milk. The result is the patent-pending formula for GoodSport®, the first natural source of truly superior hydration.
Nikkita Randle, Founder, Twisted Eggroll
Nikkita is a Chicago native, is a charismatic spirit that loves to travel, cook, eat, dance, sing, and experience new things. A graduate of both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Keller Graduate School of Management. Desires of entrepreneurship, cooking, and leaving an incredible legacy fuel her. After losing her father to ALS in 2010, it was time to establish her own business. Favor has followed Twisted Eggroll since its establishment. A recipient of the Red Eye Big Idea Award Food & Drink 2015, a partnership with 1871 establishing the ChiBuys program, and a vendor of the inaugural Chicago Riverwalk Community Marketplace. Now her eyes are set on retail and e-commerce. Intertwine your palate with Twisted Eggroll.
Natalie Shmulik, CEO, The Hatchery Chicago
Natalie Shmulik is The Hatchery’s CEO, and go-to resource for launching a successful food and beverage business. Along with an M.L.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University, she has a wide range of experience working with supermarkets, culinary publications, consumer packaged goods companies, and food service establishments. After successfully operating her own restaurant, Natalie was hired as a specialty consultant for one of Ontario’s largest supermarket chains where she enhanced consumer experiences through educational initiatives.
*This event is a World Business Chicago event. Please email Justin Chang or Julie Schuster to register.