F&B Showcase and Pitch Program FAQ

Why should I participate in the F&B Showcase on October 2?

  • You’ll have the chance to meet investors, distributors, service providers, industry experts, and other up-and-coming F&B entrepreneurs with awesome products. What more could you ask?
  • You’ll gain tremendous exposure for your products and will have a chance to win some awesome prizes.
  • Did we mention the F&B Showcase on Oct 2 is OEN’s first, statewide event connecting and celebrating the food and beverage cluster?
  • You’ll get a sneak peek of up-and-coming companies, as well as an opportunity to learn from more experienced and successful F&B founders. It will be a day of connecting and learning about the amazing things happening statewide in the food and beverage industry.
  • Among other things, applicants gain access to 6 months of Palo Alto Software’s LivePlan platform, which they can use to create an awesome pitch-page that could go in the F&B Showcase Program Booklet.


Ack!  I just heard about the F&B Showcase and missed the Learn to Pitch workshop.  Am I too late?

  • Nope!  We recorded the session (in English and Spanish) and can send you the link to view it once you apply.  We will accept applications to pitch until September 12.  
  • Note that Learn to Pitch covers the basics of pitching/presenting, and also includes an intro to Palo Alto Software’s LivePlan platform.  While not required, we do encourage you to watch it–at least the section on how to use Palo Alto Software’s LivePlan–so that you can create an awesome pitch-page.


What other dates should be on my radar?

  • For those of you in Portland, please save the dates on September 17 and 18 from 3:30-7:30 for the Hone Your Pitch interactive sessions, which will take place at PSBA.
  • For those of you not in Portland, we are working to schedule live Hone Your Pitch sessions in regions throughout the state, or can offer zoom sessions.  (You are, of course, welcome to come to Portland, too!)


What happens at Hone Your Pitch?

  • Hone Your Pitch is an awesome platform for you to meet investors and industry experts.  You will have an opportunity to give your pitch/presentation to several investors and get feedback from them on the spot.  Use this feedback to update your LivePlan page and your presentation for the Showcase.
  • You will make fantastic connections with industry experts and investors who guide you on your journey.
  • The industry experts and investors at the Hone Your Pitch events will select the top companies to present at the Showcase–so mark your calendars–attendance is required!


Is this the right program for my F&B company?

  • Participating in the Showcase is a great opportunity for companies of all sizes–from companies just getting into farmers markets to large companies pitching bigger and bigger deals across the country.
  • In addition to pitch/presentation coaching and mentorship, participants will also get Live Plan software for free for 6 months (that alone is worth more than your application fee).  Other benefits include:
    • A table to taste your food at the Food Fair portion of the Showcase on Oct. 2, so an opportunity to gain new customers in new markets
    • A chance to win awesome (and useful) prizes, like legal fees, marketing/package design help, FSMA help, distribution help, and more
    • A  ticket to the Showcase on Oct. 2
    • Networking with industry experts statewide
    • Learn from experienced F&B entrepreneurs at our “Candid Conversations” panel discussion
    • Learn about food justice


What if I live outside of Portland?

  • No problem! The Learn to Pitch workshop will be webcasted so that entrepreneurs outside of Portland may still participate.
  • In addition, the Hone Your Pitch workshop will not only occur in Portland, but it will also be held in other regions throughout the state or by zoom. If you are interested in attending Hone Your Pitch outside of Portland, contact Marissa at marissa@oen.org.


What if I can’t attend Hone Your Pitch?  Does that mean I can’t participate in the Showcase?

  • If you can’t attend any of the live Hone Your Pitch sessions, we can try to connect you with feedback via zoom, but you’ll need to notify us by Sept. 12. We strongly encourage participants to come to a live Hone Your Pitch session.
  • Also, if you are not interested in presenting at the Showcase but still want to have a table and promote your food/beverage product, you can still apply and even though you won’t have a chance at presenting, you can still exhibit your food at the Food Fair portion of the Showcase and all other benefits are still available to you (ticket to the event, Live Plan access, etc.).
  • Finally, even if you can’t/aren’t ready to participate in the presentation or the Food Fair, come to the Showcase on Oct. 2 to watch!  We expect this event will include members of the F&B industry from across the state–distributors, service providers, other entrepreneurs, etc.  If you want to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and service providers who understand your industry, buy a ticket now!  


What if I can’t make it to one of the events?

  • Learn to Pitch is optional if you would like to present in the F&B Showcase, but Hone Your Pitch is required (therefore it is alright if you miss Learn to Pitch but not Hone Your Pitch if you would like to present in the F&B Showcase). Both events will help prepare up-and-coming companies for the big stage, and allow you a chance to win some pretty cool prizes. However, If you can’t make it to Learn to Pitch or Hone Your Pitch, you should still plan to attend the Showcase on October 2 as an attendee


Will there be an option to receive any investment at this event?

  • No – But, we will have a tremendous list of prizes that entrepreneurs will be able to win! Some of these include:
    • shelf space at Green Zebra Grocery
    • legal services from Tonkon Torp
    • financial forecasting consulting from Palo Alto Software
    • Branding and packaging consulting from The Radical Brand Lab
  • And much more!  Though there will be investors in the audience, there will be no financial investments made directly through this program.


Am I guaranteed an opportunity to pitch at the October 2 Showcase when I sign up?

  • No. Experienced investors and industry experts will be selecting top presenters during the Hone Your Pitch interactive sessions.
  • That said, you will be guaranteed the opportunity to pitch to over a dozen investors and industry experts and receive critical feedback at one of the live Hone your Pitch Events.
  • You will also be guaranteed a table to sample your products at the October 2 Food Fair when you sign up (IF you are one of the first 50 companies to register).


I am not an entrepreneur, but I still want to attend!

  • Great! Instead of applying to pitch, you can buy a ticket now for the Oct. 2 Showcase.  


How can I get more involved with the statewide F&B Cluster?

  • If you want to do more to get involved in this event or in OEN’s F&B Cluster, please email Marissa at marissa@oen.org.


I don’t really want to get on stage, but I do want to have a table. Is that an option?

  • Yes!  While we think all entrepreneurs can benefit by participating, if you are not interested in presenting at the Showcase but still want to have a table and promote your food/beverage product, you can.  Just apply here and skip the training along the way–you’ll be guaranteed to have a table to taste your food at the Food Fair portion of the Showcase.


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