LIVEKINDLY is proud to announce the launch of a fundraising class for vegan entrepreneurs with Lululemon’s new Soho community space and Class Rebel, a New York-based company that offers education on topics including investing and raising funds.
The idea for the course was born when former lawyer, Lululemon Athletica executive, and Class Rebel founder Brooke Harley was deploying capital from her first $32 million venture capital fund. She noticed that it was mostly graduates of Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, or exclusive tech accelerators who were able to raise most of the capital for their ideas.
Harley found that tech accelerators had a similar exclusivity to them, making it largely inaccessible to those without the privilege of an Ivy League education. She believes that the playing field can be leveled for those who have the courage and ambition to start a company, but not access to the same educational resources. It’s what led to the creation of the Fundraising 101 class for vegan entrepreneurs.
“Fundraising can be challenging, ” says Jodi Monelle, CEO and founder of LIVEKINDLY. “Especially if you are a woman – only 3% of all venture capital is given to female-led companies. We want to empower future vegan business owners who are fighting against the odds. Fundraising 101 will help entrepreneurs feel confident in successfully raising money from investors looking to place it in emerging plant-based brands.”
Why Vegan Entrepreneurs?
Now, more than ever, VCs are looking to invest in brands in the plant-based space as more consumers turn to products that have a positive impact on the planet, animals, and personal wellness. Innovative brands and entrepreneurs also seek to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, like climate change and leading a more compassionate lifestyle.
“As an investor, board member, and advisor to consumer and media companies that are promoting veganism and making a positive impact in the world, I was thrilled when Jodi suggested that my course, Fundraising 101, could make a meaningful difference to vegan entrepreneurs out there trying to raise venture capital,” says Harley.
“What I know from my time as a VC fund manager, is that the education on how to navigate raising money has mostly been restricted today to elite colleges and exclusive tech accelerators. But this education should be for anyone who wants to learn. And the good news for the global vegan community is, there is a lot of venture capital money looking for plant-based solutions, and with a little education, it’s going to be so much easier to access for vegan entrepreneurs,” she continues.
This rising interest in plant-based innovation has led to the establishment of several vegan-focused funds including the Glass Wall Syndicate, sometimes known as the “Vegan Mafia,” a nickname inspired by Silicon Valley’s “PayPal Mafia.” The group includes PowerPlant Ventures co-founder Kevin Boylan; Stray Dog Capital CEO Lisa Feria; and Fifty Years founding partner Seth Bannon, among others, which have invested in startups including Beyond Meat, Ocean Hugger Foods, Sunfed Meats, and LIVEKINDLY.
The class will “hack” some emails from the general partners of the funds as well as other social impact investors. Harley will also highlight companies with major VC backing.
The Fundraising 101 – Vegan Style class will take place on May 18-19 at the Lululemon Soho studio, located on Broadway above the three-floor store. The class is open to anyone who is currently building a plant-based business or is even thinking about it. And you do not have to be in New York to attend the class–there is a call-in option as well.
Classes will also come to Los Angeles and the EU in 2019.
For more information, visit the sign-up page.
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