Press Clip: "Natural products entrepreneurs offer free startup toolbox"
Updated: Aug 28, 2021
By Monica Watrous, Food Business News
SANTA MONICA, CALIF. — Two accomplished entrepreneurs have partnered to launch a free comprehensive resource for consumer products startups.
Fata & Fleishman Mentorship was created by Mike Fata and Greg Fleishman as a platform offering community and tools such as projection models, investor lists, pitch presentation examples and a co-packer directory at fatafleishman.com.
Mr. Fata co-founded and previously led Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, a producer of hemp products, including shelled hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and snacks. In 2019, Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis company Tilray acquired the business for $419 million. Mr. Fata is the chairman of Fata Family Ventures and Sol Cuisine. He serves as an investor and adviser to companies including Om Mushrooms, Mid Day Squares, Love Good Fats and Good Cap Pharma.
“Greg and I come from a place of service and giving back in a way that will help make the entrepreneurial journey easier, fulfilling and impactful,” Mr. Fata said.
Mr. Fleishman is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Foodstirs, a maker of baking mixes and packaged baked foods formulated with organic and biodynamic ingredients. He co-founded and leads Purely Righteous Brands, a venture studio supporting organic and natural consumer brands. He also is a co-founder and board director of multiple natural products businesses, including Union Whole Earth Snacks, Up To Good and Modern Alkeme. Previously he held senior marketing and leadership roles at Suja Juice, Sambazon, Coca-Cola Co. and Kashi Co. He is an operating partner at Whipstitch Capital and an investor with venture capital firm Cambridge Companies SPG. Additionally, he sits on the boards of Once Upon A Farm, Lily’s Sweets, Nuun Hydration, Fourth & Heart and Demeter USA.
“As founders and investors, we know firsthand what it’s like to start a business from scratch, scale, and ultimately get to amazing outcomes,” Mr. Fleishman said.
The pair developed the platform to address challenges each faced in the early days of launching a business. Users have access to a broad range of resources spanning the topics of innovation, operations and supply chain, sales planning, legal, marketing and brand, and raising capital.
“Our curated bank of resources makes it so you don’t have to spend countless hours Googling for a spreadsheet template or the right books to read,” Mr. Fleishman said.
Asked what resources and tools he wished he had early in his career, Mr. Fleishman said “knowing how to build, organize and activate a strong advisory team” is critical for providing support in decision making and “a shoulder to cry on.”
“Having the right one at the right time makes all of the positive difference,” he said.
His advice for aspiring food entrepreneurs?
“The grind of building a business causes significant stress,” Mr. Fleishman said. “Learn how to use this energy to fuel your stamina and leadership. And everyone is different in how to turn stress into constructive energy. Ask around how others do it and do your own trial and error until you nail it. Solving for this is a force multiplier.”