August 11, 2014

An Interview with Edible Startup Summit Founder, Philip Crawford

As if the name wasn't already tempting you, we sat down with Edible Startup Summit founder Philip Crawford to discuss the ingredients that he hopes will make the first ever ESS a recipe for success.

Q: When did you first get involved in the food business?
A: My first foray into food startups was as an e-commerce and marketing manager for Oskri Organics in 2000. Since then I've organized several Bar Camps, founded Food Camp, serve on the board of Slow Food Madison and help lead the Sweet Potato Project, to name a few.

Q: Why did you create the Edible Startup Summit?
A: The ESS was founded in an effort to broaden the software and biotech focus of the Forward Technology Festival. And since the Madison region is so well known for its food culture it was a natural fit.

Q: Who should attend the Summit?
A: All food lovers are encouraged to attend, but those interested in food startups or currently working with or in a food startup will benefit the most.

Q: What's the format of the ESS?
A: It's modeled after the Badger Startup Summit: part experiential, part inspirational and full of quality speakers.

Q: Speaking of speakers, who are you most excited to hear?
A: Adrian Reif of Yumbutter has a good story to tell. His company is seeing a lot of growth and has a unique story. You'll hear about their successful Kickstarter campaign that led to a new product launch and how their decision to obtain Certified B Corporation status has truly transformed Yumbutter's mission.

Q: You had to know this was coming...What's your favorite food?
A: I'm all about what's in season and do most of my shopping at the farmer's market. Tomatoes and peppers are my current favorite items to plan a meal around.

Q: What else should we know about food, startups and the Edible Startup Summit?
A: One of the lesser known aspects of food business is the government interest. Food startups are creating middle class jobs that are very different from the job creation you get from a software company. These jobs are in very short supply and the skills needed are minimal. Someone with little to no experience can receive training at a technical college and be a crucial part of the workforce in no time.

Hungry for more? Meet Philip, Adrian and dozens of other foodie entrepreneurs at the Summit. Register before August 15th and save!