Announcing: "Ask Me Anything" on Food Lab News

Need help with your Food Startup? Ask Me Anything!


One of the most exciting parts about running our Startup Accelerator at Local Food Lab has been the opportunity to bring early-stage food entrepreneurs face to face with food system experts. Our alumni food and farm startups have had the chance to ask questions and get answers from business leaders, experienced entrepreneurs, policy experts, researchers, investors, journalists and more.

Everyone starting a new business has questions and sometimes no amount of research can compare to simply asking your burning question to someone who has been in your shoes before.

We created our guest lecture and panel series to help food startups get their questions answered. The events proved so successful we even began hosting them in a larger space and invited the general public to attend, so that more food startups could benefit from the discussion. Yet I still received countless emails asking if it was possible to share what we learning with folks who couldn’t make it to our Accelerator Program, and so the Food Lab News “Ask Me Anything” was born.

What is Food Lab News?


For the past few months we have been quietly testing and tweaking Food Lab News, a social news website dedicated to the food startup community.  Food Lab News works like Reddit or Hacker News, aggregating and ranking links and discussion based on their popularity among a community. So far a small group of us have been using Food Lab News to keep up-to-date on news the world of food and entrepreneurship. 

Learn more about Food Lab News and why we created it.

What does this have to do with my Food Startup?


Just like Reddit, our social news site has the ability to host discussions and Q&A’s. So we decided to borrow another concept from Reddit, the “Ask Me Anything” interview, yet repurpose it for our very own food startup community.

Ever wanted to ask a Food Tech investor what s/he looks for in a new investment? Ever wished you could ask your favorite food product founder when you should quit your day job and focus exclusively on your food startup? Curious about how to get stocked on the shelves at Whole Foods? Wondering which laws you need to follow to keep your product safe?

We’ve assembled a team of Local Food Lab mentors and experts from the industry to answer your questions—any of your questions—online via Food Lab News, so you can benefit from the same discussions that our alumni startups participated in during our in-person programming.

What is an AMA exactly?

Ryan Holiday wrote a great post for Mashable explaining AMAs and what makes them great. He writes that an AMA is “a thread of questions within [a community] hosted by an interesting person who declares "I Am [Person X], Ask Me Anything." The [community] responds with the type of honest, earnest and provoking questions that would rarely show up in your typical media interview. Anyone can participate, from the host to the casual user to the fans who simply upvote questions.”


Our first AMA will be with Niko Hrdy

Niko Hrdy

Niko Hrdy

Niko is the President of Valley Oak Investments and an experienced food and ag tech investor. Niko grew up on Citrona Farms  -- a commercial walnut farm in Winters, CA --and continues to manage the farm alongside his father. After graduating from Harvard University, Niko worked as an investment banker before moving to the world of startups. He has worked at several early-stage companies, and now spends his time focusing on early-stage investments in the Food & Agricultural industry.

Some of his portfolio companies include: Marrone Bio InnovationsmOasisFarmeron, and AgLocal. Niko will be attending Harvard Business School in the Fall of 2013. 

Follow Niko on Twitter.  


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