MegaFood and Innate Response Receive Investment and Support from 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners

MegaFood and Innate Response Receive Investment and Support from 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners
Joins Majority Investor The Riverside Company in Backing Whole Food Nutritional Supplements Company

December 12, 2011 (Derry, NH and Chicago, IL) – The MegaFood and Innate Response brands of whole food nutritional supplements (owned by BioSan Laboratories, Inc.) have received an investment from 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners (“2x Partners”). Andrew S. Whitman, Managing Partner at 2x Partners, has joined the company’s board and will work closely with CEO Robert U. Craven and the management team to help build the business. 2x Partners joins majority investor The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm, and longtime owner and former CEO Carl Jackson, who retired in May but continues to be an active advisor and member of the Board of Directors.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Andy and his team joining us as we continue to outperform the rapidly growing nutritional supplements category,” said Craven. “Their significant industry and operational experience is already adding value.”

“Each year, we review more than 500 emerging branded consumer products businesses in search of highly differentiated businesses with significant growth potential,” said Whitman. “These two exciting brands have demonstrated their connections with consumers, retailers and health professionals alike. We are energized to work with Robert and the team to help the company in its continued growth while staying true to its heritage of delivering unique whole food supplements since 1973.”

“The 2x Partners team was invaluable to Riverside as we performed our diligence, and they introduced us to the company’s current CEO,” said Riverside Managing Partner Loren Schlachet. “We are very pleased to have them on board as valued industry partners to help maintain our growth momentum.”

Also joining the company’s Board is Bob Burke, the Founder and Principal at Natural Products Consulting Institute, and an Industry Venture Partner with 2x Partners. Burke is a sought-after advisor and consultant to high growth companies, leveraging his consulting experience since 1998 and, for the previous 11 years, leading sales and marketing at Stonyfield Farm to help it become the world’s leading organic yogurt company.

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

About MegaFood and Innate Response brands
Founded in 1973, BioSan Laboratories produces and distributes the premium supplement brands MegaFood and Innate Response for the retail and professional health industry respectively. The company purchases ingredients from a network of U.S. based Farm Fresh Partners, selling a wide variety of dietary supplements for various health needs. For more information, visit www.MegaFood.com or www.InnateResponse.com.

About 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners
2x Consumer Products Growth Partners joins with founders and management in emerging branded consumer products businesses capable of growing exponentially via an infusion of capital and industry expertise. The firm’s principals and industry venture partners have 375 years of combined experience, contacts and connections. Focus areas include food, beverage, personal care, home care and pet care – particularly in the organic/natural, specialty/gourmet and ethnic sectors. The firm or its principals have invested in such companies as gDiapers eco-friendly diapers, Orabrush bad breath eliminator, Tasty Bite Indian foods, Eagle snacks and Wellness & Old Mother Hubbard all-natural foods for pets. Additional information is available at www.2xPartners.com.

About The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing enterprises valued at up to $200 million (€200 million in Europe). The firm partners with strong management teams and enhances its investments through acquisitions and organic growth. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 250 transactions with a total enterprise value of more than $5.8 billion/€4.7 billion. The firm’s portfolio in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region includes more than 75 companies with roughly 13,000 employees. Riverside completes acquisitions smoothly thanks to $3.2 billion/€2.4 billion in assets under management, more than 200 professionals in 20 offices, and longstanding relationships with partner lenders. Additional information is available at www.RiversideCompany.com.

2x Partners shares Investors Comment on Founder Pitches!

Rarely do investors say how they feel about businesses presented to them for funding.  (It’s a little like dating or hiring – no one explains why “no” … so actually we did.  See “10 Reasons Investors Pass” in the Entrepreneur Resources section of 2xPartners.com site (www.2xPartners.com/resources).

Last evening a group in California shared their thoughts.   See their thoughts at www.businessinsider.com/five-vcs-explain-what-they-really-think-about-your-pitches-2011-6.

2x Partners: Angel Investors 101

While attending the Stonyfield Institute, lawyer (and good friend of the firm anyway!) Steve Palmer provided some info on:

How the term angels came to be/what they are
How you find them
What they want

Steve was good enough to provide some notes below:

ANGEL INVESTORS

(Those of you who are Biblical scholars might like to think of angel investing in terms of “manna from heaven”)

Overview

I. What are angel investors?

II. How do you find them?

III. What do they want?

I. What are angel investors?

– One possible answer: Anyone who will give your venture some money!
– The term “angel investor” was first used to describe wealthy individuals who helped to fund Broadway productions.
– In 1978, William Wetzel of the Center for Venture Research of the University of New Hampshire started using the term the way we think of it today.
– Because each angel investor is different – and because angel investing in general has changed over the years as we will learn in a moment – what I am saying about angel investing are generalizations.
– Originally, angel investors were high net worth individuals who made investments with their own personal funds in early stage ventures – typically as a second stage investment after founder or friends and family rounds.
– Often they were entrepreneurs who “cashed out” and wanted to invest in new enterprises.
– In the late 1980s, angel groups or angel networks began to form where groups of high net worth individuals pooled their money to make investments. They have investment criteria, review committees and often professional staff. There are now at least 300 such angel groups in the U.S. – and probably more.
– One of the larger groups in this region is “Common Angels” in Boston, which was formed in 1998, and which generally has an IT investment focus.
– These angel groups and networks have moved angel investing along the spectrum to look more like traditional venture capital financing.
– But there are still plenty of traditional individual angel investors out there and actively investing. One estimate puts the number of active angel investors in the U.S. in 2007 at over 250,000.

II. How do you find them?

– Just like “real” angels, you often can’t see them.
– It is easier to find “angel groups” these days using search sites such as Google, Yahoo or Bing or by using resources such as the Angelsoft network. Angelsoft network, which you can find at angelsoft.net, was formed in 2004 and provides web-based deal flow management software to angel investors and provides a forum to introduce entrepreneurs to potential sources of angel funding.
– Identifying the traditional type of individual angel investor is a bit trickier.
– One way to find them is by attending events such as this and by networking. I have a feeling there may be an angel investor or two in this room right now. But be kind – lest they disappear!
– Ask other entrepreneurs.
– Ask your advisors.

III. What do they want?

– Remember, they may be angels, but they are also investors. Like any investor, they want a return.
– As early stage risk investors, they’d like a big return – something on the order of 10x, 20x or even more over a 5 year horizon. And like other investors, they certainly don’t always get it!
– They want you to succeed! Many angel investors, in addition to giving you money, want to be your mentor. They like to share the benefit of their experience and their contacts.
– Many develop a strong personal interest in and connection with your company – and you.
– They often have knowledge and interest in your industry and can be good sounding boards.
– In general they are more likely to be “hands on” than passive investors, but are less control oriented than VCs

IV. Closing

I started with a Biblical reference, so I’ll close with one from pop culture. If you are a fan of It’s a Wonderful Life, now you know that every time you hear a bell ring, not only has an angel gotten his or her wings, but has made an investment in a company like yours!

Provided courtesy of:

Stephen L. Palmer | K&L Gates

State Street Financial Center, One Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111

(617) 951-9211 direct | e-mail: stephen.palmer@klgates.com

2x Partners: Most Amazing Takeaway from FINANCING FARM-TO-FORK workshop today

Our Andy Whitman had the privilege of hosting a panel with Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farm), Irv Cernauskas (Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks) and Michael Bashaw (Whole Foods). Plus he co-hosted the afternoon “Skill Building” session with fellow Kraft Foods alumnus turned local food guru-in-the-making Kathy Nyquist.

A highlight though was meeting and listening to Will Allen, former American Basketball Association star, former sales executive and currently Founder & CEO of Growing Power (a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, WI).  Will is widely considered the leading authority in the rapidly expanding world of urban agriculture.

2x Partners: Coming to Stonyfield Entrepreneurship Institute in NH on March 24/25?

Hope we’ll see you at this “boot camp” for community-minded entrepreneurs.  Our Andy Whitman has had the pleasure of helping to host with Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farm) and Michael Swack (Univ. of NH) for several years now.  GREAT event.  Worth coming just to meet Gary and hear the “tales from the trenches” … some stories feel more like a stand-up comedy routine … if they weren’t true about all the things that can & do happen to entrepreneurs.

Must attend!!  Learn more at: www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/SEI.html.