Feeding Innovation feeds dreams | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | January 5, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: January 3, 2018 at 10:12 am
Photo by GEORGE SALSBERRY
THE BIG CHECK. Greening the South operator John Loyd of Berkeley County received the ceremonial check from the South Carolina Community Loan Fund at the close of the Feeding Innovations Pitch Night at the Colleton Museum. Loyd, left, is shown with Community Loan Fund Chief Operating Officer Anna Hamilton Lewin, center, and Community Loan Fund Lending Director James Chatfield.
John Loyd walked out of the Dec. 12 Feeding Innovation Pitch Night with a check for $12,500, several other of the food entrepreneurs in the competition left with Walterboro Assistant City Manager Hank Amundson’s business card.
Loyd of Berkeley County had swayed the judges during the event which had six entrepreneurs detailing their business plan and how it would meet the goals established by the South Carolina Community Loan Fund.
The contestants went through an eight week entrepreneurial training program facilitated by Clemson Extension.
The goal was to complete a business plan that would allow the participant to establish a viable business that would provide healthy foods in areas of the state and residents who did not have easy access to it.
The judges, Amundson and Brendan Buttimer, the Community Loan Fund’s Community Development Loan Officer-Upstate, listened to the presentations and then questioned the participants.
Three of the participants are Colleton County residents.
Cathy Nelson was first to the podium to explain her Steam Works Farm, later in the presentation Ian Dillinger detailed how his Instinct Earth would work and Scott Steedly outlined his International Center for Sustainability Inc.
After hearing the presentations, the judges determined that Loyd’s Greening the South best met the goals of the program and Community Loan Fund’s Chief Operating Officer Anna Hamilton Lewin and Lending Director James Chatfield presented Loyd with the ceremonial check that represented the seed money to grow his business.
Lewin told the audience at the Colleton Museum and Farmers Market “this is the seventh Feeding Innovation that I have witnessed and I have to say this was probably the strongest group I’ve seen.”
She told the participants that although they were not leaving Pitch Night with a check, the Community Loan Fund’s staff had worked with healthy food entrepenuers to help them put their business plan into action and was ready to do the same for them.
Amundson, who oversees the city’s economic development work, had also been impressed with the quality of the business plans.
He explained that he distributed his business cards to let the local participants know he was willing to assist them to seek the funding that could turn their business plans into a reality.