In this episode I interview Liz Dee, co-owner and executive vice-president of her family’s business Smarties Candy Company in the US and CEO of impact investment firm Baleine & Bjorn Capital.
Liz has worked with the Smarties Candy Company – which is a completely separate entity to Smarties in the UK, Australia and elsewhere – for many years.
In 2011, while doing research on veganism for the business (the American company’s products are vegan), Liz became aware of the cruelty and environmental devastation involved in animal agriculture and the fashion industry and became an ethical vegan.
Through her extensive experience as a food company executive and recent venture capitalist, Liz is changing the conversation about food production and sustainable business.
Based in New York, she’s been featured in The New York Times, CNN Money, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, among many other publications.
Liz is also a popular public speaker on the topics of the future of food, impact investing, and the move toward conscious business models.
She set up Baleine & Bjorn Capital with her husband Nick Garin earlier this year. So far they have invested in vegan fashion brand Vaute Couture, plant-based meal delivery service Purple Carrot, food education tool Lighter and lab meat company Memphis Meats.
In this interview Liz talks about:
• How a negative mindset around money can hinder animal advocacy
• The kinds of businesses she is looking to invest in
• What she wants to see in a company that will convince her to invest
• How to know if you’re ready to receive investment
• Key things to include in your pitch deck to investors
• The one thing you must do, when pitching an investor, above all else
• And much more
Brands mentioned in vegan business news roundup: