MWAF is partnering with the Small Scale Food Processors Association (SSFPA) in offering a free, online training program called Venture-Capital Ready that is offered to women food entrepreneurs looking to scale up their business and needing investment capital.
We are pleased to introduce a member of the VC Ready’s first cohort, Miki Talebi, founder of oome based in Richmond, British Columbia.
A self-described “baby” in the Canadian food world, Vancouver’s Miki Talebi has nonetheless already blazed a vibrant trail with oomé, her line of premium smoked tofu products.
Her plastic-negative, family-focused, sustainable tofu recently won Best in Brand at BC Food & Beverage Association’s 2023 awards ceremony — and her trio of products now graces the shelves of nearly 200 stores across Canada.
Through the VC Ready program, Miki aims to address her greatest “pain points, which are the financial aspects of her business.
“I find the money aspects of this work to be both exciting and terrifying,” she says. “I tell people I’m getting comfortable with constantly being uncomfortable.”
And while coming to grips with expansion and the essential financial risks that come with it are a significant leap in oomé’s evolution, Miki notes that VC Ready is already helping her bridge that gap.
“Along with the other female founders in my cohort, I’m now a month into VC Ready, and we’ve already been assigned our mentors. I’m working my way through Investoready©, and really appreciating our weekly meetings, where we build our relationships, bolster our confidence and challenge the status-quo of the VC world being largely male-dominated,” she says. “I especially appreciate Investoready©’s console feature, which prompts you to practice your pitch and answer questions about your business in a confident way. In fact, these days, when I wake up, I do my workout and then sit down to practice my pitch. It’s all getting somewhat easier, knowing how to pivot answers to investor questions, and essentially to spin the discussion from negative to positive.”
With a five-year goal of expanding her 1.5-year-old business to become a recognized and well understood brand across Canada, this former academic (PhD, Social Psychology) advises food newbies to stop dreaming about launching their products, ‘and take the plunge’.
“I launched oomé to honour my late father, and to pay tribute to his passion for delicious smoked food,” she says. “Pivoting from my academic background to the completely different world of business hasn’t been easy, but it’s all been so very worthwhile.”
You can follow Miki and oomé on Instagram @thisisoome (check out her amazing tofu recipes!) and on her website at www.thisisoome.com.
For more information about, or to be referred to the VC Ready program, contact us or visit the VC Ready website.