June 2013 ALAP Recap

The ALAP investing crew met for another superb potluck and to hear from two intriguing local businesses.  Up first was a follow-up visit from Ellen Fred and Melissa Whitman of Elf Cafe.  Ellen and Melissa updated us on their successful introduction event held in May where they were able to network with potential investors and gather valuable feedback on their play cafe venture.  The duo has made significant progress since joining us just a month ago and has a refined set of pro forma financials and extensive business plan materials for those who wish to learn more.  They can be reached at mwhitman@elfcafe.net and efred@elfcafe.net.

Our second speaker was Mark Thompson of DragonFly Sail Transport Co.  Dragonfly  is a social enterprise created to demonstrate the viability of transporting products by sail right here in Northern Michigan.  Mark and his DragonFly co-conspirator Jan Barlow aim to purchase a vintage sail boat to launch a pilot project this summer from Northport.  Local merchants are being lined up for deliveries to coastal towns like Traverse City and Charlevoix and the pair is also exploring various eco-tourism opportunities.  DragonFly is currently running a campaign on Startsomegood.com to raise funds for their pilot project this summer, so check them out!  They can also be contacted at DragonflySailTransportCo@gmail.com.

During the last hour of our meeting we discussed the presentations and also heard about The Farm and Food 20/20 Fund from Susan Cocciarelli.  The initiative is bringing a mix of local lenders together to better facilitate financing for small and mid-size farm and food enterprises. 

ALAP will take a breather during July and August (a party is being planned, so stay tuned…), and we look forward to seeing you on the second Thursday of each month beginning again in September!