Food Finance Institute Boot Camp – Online!

Looking to Bring Your Food Business to the Next Level?

The Food Finance Institute has developed a boot camp program to help food-based businesses succeed. Boot Camp helps you avoid distractions when starting or growing your food business. This intense training is meant to keep you prepared through your journey in an ever-changing food and beverage business landscape.

If your food business has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, it may be time to revisit your business model and decide where you can improve your practices. This boot camp will help you explore your options.

Why Should I Participate in Boot Camp?

Unprecedented change in the food industry is rapidly raising the bar for all food and value-added farm enterprises. Old or young, big or small, these businesses are scrambling to become more financially resilient and capable of adapting quickly.

Our Financial Management Boot Camp combines training, one-on-one consulting, and networking, taking entrepreneurs like you out of your day-to-day environment and giving you the tools you need to build a more resilient food business.

A variety of food and beverage businesses can be a strong fit for boot camp. In the past, we have worked with: diverse CSA farm participants, caterers, agritourism ventures, restaurants, breweries, fermented foods/consumer packaged products, herbs/teas, cheese companies, chocolate, coffee companies, etc.

Boot Camp is right for you if:

  • You have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and are looking to regroup.
  • Your business is profitable and you want to take its performance to the next level.
  • Your business’s market position and profitability are eroding and you know you need to adapt.
  • You’re a young company that has never reached profitability and you know things need to change.
  • You need to raise money and know you need to get prepared to be successful.
  • You have been in business long enough to have financial statements (ideally a minimum of 6 months).
Supercharge Your Food Business’ Path to Financial Success

Boot Camp arms you with everything you need to profitably grow your food business and raise money, including:

  • A realistic and clear business model path that you can articulate to anyone who asks
  • Financial systems and reports that will stand up to scrutiny by banks and investors
  • A credible business plan with realistic assumptions about future growth
  • A digital financial package to share with your stakeholders and support your fundraising
Time is money, which is why Boot Camp is quick and intense

You have so many things going on in your business. Distractions are everywhere. You know you need to focus on the more strategic and detailed financial sides of your business, but it’s difficult to carve out the time. We help you focus on only the most important things in your business, identify the most pressing issues you need to address and help you work through them with individual consulting and coaching. And the best part: you show up with your financial statements and we take it from there. No other pre-prep needed.

What can I expect from Boot Camp?

Four intense, focused days to learn and work on your business.

  • Day 1: Optimizing Your Business Model: It’s a business model, not a product, that determines whether or not your company makes money. We help you clarify your business model and set you on a realistic path to meet your goals.
  • Day 2: Fixing Your Financial Infrastructure: Your financial statements help you and your stakeholders fully understand your business. We help you understand your statements and fix financial systems problems.
  • Day 3: Developing Your Financial Plan: You are moving forward, so you need to look forward. We help you develop realistic assumptions for forecasts of sales, marketing and operations and the capital structure you need to get there.
  • Day 4: Getting Ready to Raise Money: You will need to raise money to grow your food business. We help you learn how to do a great pitch and properly document your business so you can successfully raise money.

During this boot camp, we will also share high-quality information and best practices on how to help your business survive the circumstances brought on by the coronavirus

Course Information

Location: Online. Participants will be sent links to the online location shortly before the course begins.

Dates: TBD

Schedule: Each date of boot camp will run from approximately 8:00 a. m. – 4:30 p.m. Participants are required to attend all four dates. The program will run in a live, instructor-led virtual format.

Fee & Registration: This course is being generously paid for by a Small Business Administration Food Portability grant and is available at no cost to the participants. The typical cost for attendees of this multi-day course is $500 per business to attend.


Tera Johnson is a serial entrepreneur whose mission is to create the next generation of environmentally and economically resilient food and farming businesses. The founder of teraswhey® and host of the Edible-Alpha® podcast, Tera has personal experience in being an entrepreneur, raising money, launching a national brand and selling a company. Now the founder of the Food Finance Institute (FFI) and winner of the UW-Extension Chancellor’s 2017 Wisconsin Idea Award, Tera is a frequent speaker, teacher and financial consultant to sustainable food and farming businesses, communities and economic development organizations, as well as social venture funds and investors.

Some of Tera’s areas of expertise include business model optimization, financial management, financial packaging, raising capital, food and farm sector economic development, meeting facilitation and strategic planning.

Tera asks the hard questions and provides the reality check necessary to help create and grow a profitable business that matches an entrepreneur’s passions and lifestyle. She has advised many companies on the need to pivot their brand or business model to succeed. In those tough situations in which a pivot is not enough, she has advised businesses on how to best sell or disband their companies. She works with you like a trusted friend, wanting you to learn from her experiences so you can operate more efficiently and profitably.

FFI has found a niche in providing sophisticated financial technical assistance. Tera loves creating a financial package for a business, establishing the cash needs number. From there, she works with you to find the right sources of money and the right partners for the business to grow. Additionally, with the launch of the Edible-Alpha® brand, she gets to bring conversations with industry experts to the community; every time she hosts a podcast, she gets to connect with another great human doing good work and share those insights with the world.

  • MS in Applied Economics: UW-Madison