30I Inc’s Newest Partner: GoodBelly Probiotics

301 Inc. is proud to welcome their newest partner, GoodBelly Probiotics. Colorado-based NextFoods is the parent company.

GoodBelly is known for its probiotic juices and shots but has been looking to expand into new products, such as bars and General Mills can offer the experience and know-how of managing brands such as Nature Valley bars and Annie’s Homegrown snacks.

“This is a significant area we believe is going to grow rapidly,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301.

Bars might just be the first of new products to come as hinted by Alan Murray, GoodBelly CEO, saying, “”We have a whole wave of innovation in the pipeline.”

You can read the entire article here.

30I Inc’s Newest Partner: Urban Remedy

Urban Remedy announced it had closed a $17 million round of capital, with General Mills’ venture arm, 301 INC, leading the round. While the road ahead may be more complicated for a fresh focused business, CEO Paul Coletta says the company is ready to grow.

“Having a partner that’s aligned with us not just on the values of the company but also in the vision of how we want to grow it, [was] huge for us,” said Urban Remedy’s CEO, Paul Coletta.

Urban Remedy has 13 freestanding stores in the Bay Area as well as kiosks in 30 California Whole Foods locations. They also offer direct delivery to your door through their website.

“This [investment] is a continuation of a strategy that we’ve been on for a long time, and that is consumers are looking for fresh, closer to source, closer to whole foods. They are continually redefining health and healthful eating experiences,” says John Haugen, VP and General Manager of 301.

The new capital will go towards expanding Urban Remedy’s staff and investing in new equipment as well as supporting their plans to open 60 new kiosks in Whole Foods and expanding into a new market in 2018.

Read the entire story here.

General Mills Invests $3 million in Organic Granola Company



The venture capital arm of General Mills is investing in Purely Elizabeth, a Boulder, Colo.-based maker of granola, oatmeal, muesli and cereal that uses more nutrient-rich ingredients than a typical bowl of grains.

Granola is a popular product in the U.S. food start-up scene, but 301 Inc. believes Purely Elizabeth offers unique ingredients, taste and leadership under chief executive and founder Elizabeth Stein.

“We are thrilled to partner with 301 INC to help foster and grow the vision of the brand, and we look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together,” said Elizabeth Stein, founder and chief executive officer of Purely Elizabeth. “This investment is a great validation that Purely Elizabeth has become a brand to watch in the natural foods industry. Our strategic partnership allows us to utilize the resources and support of General Mills to boost our new product development, furthering our mission to redefine the standards of packaged foods.”

301 INC’s investment is the only outside funding Purely Elizabeth has accepted to date, the company said, and will allow the brand to launch new product lines at a faster pace.

“She was early to use chia seed and millet and some of these other novel grains as a part of her formulation, so she’s always been on the leading edge,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 Inc. “It’s nutrient-dense, but the reason people keep buying it is because it’s delicious.”

Read more about it here and here.



Farmhouse Culture raises $6.5m in financing round led by Gen Mills 301 INC


A $6.5m funding round led by General Mills’ 301 INC arm will help Farmhouse Culture – which specializes in fresh organic sauerkraut, sauerkraut chips and fermented ‘gut shots’ – expand its distribution and support new launches, including a new sparkling probiotic beverage.

“We’ve been watching the functional foods space grow exponentially over the past few years, with Farmhouse Culture emerging as a leader. The recipe for success is there: probiotic-rich products that taste great, led by a team with strong experience in the natural foods industry,” says John Haugen, general manager, 301 INC.

Read the entire press release here.

General Mills’ Venture Fund Invests in 20-Year-Old’s Startup


D's Naturals logo

On Tuesday, the healthy snacking startup D’s Naturals will announce it has received a “significant” investment from private-equity firm 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners and 301 Inc., which is the venture capital arm of cereal maker General Mills GIS 0.85% . Terms of the investment, which was led by 2x Partners, weren’t disclosed.

“This is the first investment I’ve taken outside of my family,” Katz told Fortune in an interview. “For the last two years, I’ve been essentially running this [alone] and it was getting to the point where I realized I couldn’t maintain it on my own.”

D’s Naturals makes plant-based No Cow Bars that are packed with protein and low in sugar, as well as a line of nut butters. All the items in the portfolio are free of dairy. “We think the combination of a bar that offers a plant-based source of protein along with low sugar is a great combination and very on trend with what consumers are looking for today,” says John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 Inc.

Read the full Fortune.com article here.

Also read more at the PR Wire Newswire report here.

2016 MN Cup Finalists Announced


MN Cup is thrilled to announce that 26 teams of Minnesota based entrepreneurs have advanced into the finalist round of the 2016 competition. These finalists were selected from 80 semifinalists across eight divisions, out of a pool of nearly 1500 original participants.

The finalists in the food division, which 301 Inc proudly supports, are:

Bolton Bees, 7 County Metro Region, Woman-led

Far North Spirits, Kittson County, Woman-led

SelfEco Garden, 7 County Metro Region

Finalist teams were selected based on their detailed business plans, investor presentations, and videos, created through the summer and evaluated using the MN Cup judging criteria. Since the semifinalist announcement in June, entrepreneurs received access to weekly exclusive events hosted by our sponsors and partners and coaching from their personal MN Cup mentor.

During the month of August, finalists will receive presentation training from Spoken Impact and be narrowed down to division winners who will each receive $30,000, and one runner up who will receive $5,000. Teams will present in front of the MN Cup Review Board on August 30 and 31 to determine who will win the division award – and a share of the record $402,000 in prize money.

Division winners will move on to compete for the grand prize award on September 22. The 2016 MN Cup grand prize recipient will be announced that evening at a gala at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center. The event will feature live company pitches, updates from last years MN Cup winner, Astropad, and the announcement of the grand prize winner.

See the complete list of candidates here.

Forward Food Competition & 301 INC


Net Impact announces the Forward Food Competition, an opportunity to pitch a sustainable food idea to a panel of industry experts.  Applicants can submit their ideas through the Net Impact website until May 15, 2016. The Competition is supported by lead sponsor, Campbell Soup Company, and General Mills.

“Not only is the Forward Food Competition a natural extension of our strong partnership with Net Impact, but it also reflects our commitment to innovation in food,” said John Haugen, Vice President and General Manager of 301 INC, the new business development and venturing unit within General Mills. “We recognize that the vision and passion of today’s entrepreneurs can meet consumer needs in meaningful ways. That’s why we invest time and money to help them develop, grow and expand their businesses.”

Forward Food invites participants to submit an original business idea for the food and beverage space. Applicants should present ideas that meet a consumer need as well as create economic, social and environmental value. Ideas focusing on creating new and sustainable products, solving food waste or improving food systems are encouraged. An in-house team of Net Impact judges will review and provide feedback to each submission. Ten finalists will be asked to submit a one-minute pitch video to be sent to an expert judging panel.

Read the entire press release here.

301 INC + Tio Gazpacho


Innovative bottled soup brand Tio Gazpacho has completed a $1.25 million Series A funding round led by 301 INC, General Mills’ business development and venturing unit. Proceeds from the round, which was raised on equity crowdfunding platform CircleUp, will go toward new sales and marketing initiatives designed to expand placement and awareness of Tio Gazpacho’s high pressure processed, ready-to-drink soups. The company will also use some of the investment for the development of a new sub-line designed for conventional grocery and foodservice channels.

Launched in 2014, Tio Gazpacho markets a four-SKU line of super-premium, organic fruit and vegetable-based gazpacho drinks. Leading with the tagline “no bowl required,” the products won acclaim for their ultra high level of freshness and flavor and as conveniently packaged and healthy soups that span a range of use occasions.

Read all the details here.

EPIC Joins the Family


With the help of 301 INC., General Mills has acquired EPIC Provisions. The Austin, Texas company is the creator of the first-of-its-kind meat, fruit, and nut bar and is credited with creating a whole new snacking category.

“We’re proud of the rapid growth EPIC Provisions has achieved during the past three years,” said Collins and Forrest. “Our decision to join General Mills provides EPIC with the scale to bring our products to even more consumers, and to significantly increase the positive impact of our business on grassland regeneration and proper livestock management practices. We look forward to working with Annie’s and General Mills to continue this momentum and to build upon the authenticity of the brand we created.”

Read all the details here.