LICA cooks up tasty Food & Beverage investor forum

Cold cash: The makers of Mud, a non-dairy frozen dessert, hope to scoop up investments at LICA's Dec. 1 Food & Beverage Capital Forum.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Bring your appetite to the Long Island Capital Alliance’s next Capital Forum.

After three quarterly innovator-meets-investor events with a decidedly high-tech flavor – early-stage technology in March, cybersecurity in June, healthcare in September – LICA will wrap up its 2017 series with a Food & Beverage Capital Forum, spotlighting “premier growth companies” in the gastronomical realm.

As always, the event will feature a handful of what LICA calls “dynamic, emerging companies” – including some from Long Island – making short presentations to a panel of industry professionals, before an audience packed with potential investors.

Although it has yet to name the panelists for the Food & Beverage Capital Forum, LICA has cooked up an intriguing menu of presenting companies. Scheduled pitchers include Keith’s Nervous Breakdown, a Southampton-based producer of premium cocktail mixers, and Mud, a line of dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, no-sugar-added frozen desserts already featured in more than 50 New York City and Long Island stores.

Also making her case will be Tinia Pina, founder of Re-Nuble, a Brooklyn-based “waste-to-value” biotech with Long Island roots. Focused on converting leftover foodstuffs into fertilizers and growth accelerants that can support renewable-agriculture efforts in urban settings, Pina’s 2015 startup is a “virtual tenant” of Stony Brook University’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program.

Waste not: Re-Nuble founder Tinia Pina is scheduled to present at LICA’s Dec. 1 Food & Beverage Capital Forum.

Re-Nuble is not the only presenter combining food and technology. Other scheduled pitchers include MunchMoney, a NYC-based software firm peddling a mobile loyalty and marketing app that connects users to an array of fast-casual dining options; Ortex Organics, an emerging NYC environmental tech consultancy offering on-site organic-waste solutions; and 2015 Dix Hills startup Hungry For More LLC, purveyor of FoodFaves, a mobile app that helps users identify (and satisfy) immediate food cravings.

The alliance has also recruited an appetizing keynote speaker for 2017’s final Capital Forum: Jeff Lichenstein, founder and CEO of uber-successful Bronx-based manufacturer/importer/distributor Gourmet Guru.

Lichtenstein, who launched Gourmet Guru in 1996 with a $10,000 personal investment and grew the company to over $50 million in annual sales before selling to Connecticut-based United Natural Foods in 2016, is also the founder of Organic Opportunities, a 2017 startup focused on developing organic food and beverage technologies.

To date, LICA Capital Forums have helped early-stage companies raise over $150 million in business-building capital.

The Food & Beverage Capital Forum is scheduled to run 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Dec. 1 at RXR Plaza in Melville. More information on event sponsors and registration is available here.