Get a Panel of Advisors

The Naturally Bay Area Advisory Program is a six-month-long program for a select group of brands, to gain top-tier insight and guidance on e-commerce, branding, finance & accounting, P & L, legal help, & market strategy. Advisors are signed and committed to keeping availability for the betterment of the company/brand(s).

How it Works

Participating brands will be given access to streamlined workshops, one-on-one meetings with advisors, full contact to their advisors via email, and benefit from Naturally Bay Area’s far-reaching connections and resources.

APPLY NOW

Read more in our FAQs about the program below.

Meet the Advisors for our Fall/Winter Cohort

Elliot Begoun

Founder, The Intertwine Group & Board Member, Naturally Bay Area
Advisory Area: Growth, Capital, Strategy

Elliot Begoun is a 30-year industry veteran, author, podcast host, founder of TIG Brands, and a champion of Tardigrades. TIG Brands supports a community of entrepreneurs interested in building nimble, capital-efficient, resilient brands that become Tardigrades, not Unicorns. Learn more about TIG Brands’ programs here and catch Elliot at FoodBytes, the Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute, and the Natural Products Business School. Tune into the TIG Talks podcast and find Elliot’s articles in publications such as The Huffington PostSmartBrief, and New Hope.

Kevin Cleary

Principal of Big Rock Growth Advisors and former CEO of Clif Bar and Company
Advisory Area: Strategic Planning & Execution

Kevin Cleary is a results-driven, people leader with a successful track record at private and public companies. His focus on vision and strategy is brought to life by successfully aligning all executional elements throughout an organization. He’s an effective team builder and inspirational leader who believes strong culture is the key ingredient to long-term success.

Currently, as Principal at Big Rock Growth Advisors LLC, he helps CEOs and companies drive and manage growth, while developing healthy cultures to ensure long-term success. Much of his advisory work is in leading organizations through the strategic planning process while also helping them create highly effective C-Suite teams.

Previously, as CEO at Clif Bar & Company, Kevin was instrumental in building Clif from a small company to the leader in the healthy snack food category. With a relentless focus on strategy, execution and culture, he built a multiple bottom line organization that won awards for green business, “Great Places to Work” and sustainable agriculture.

Manuel Gonzalez

General Partner, AgFunder
Advisory Area: Strategic Planning & Finance

Manuel Gonzalez is a partner at AgFunder and brings with him 25 years of experience in the global food and agriculture sector as a finance professional, innovator and entrepreneur. He has been recognized as a food and ag tech finance and innovation expert and has been invited to speak around the world in Spain, Netherlands, US, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. He has also been interviewed by publications such as Forbes and podcasts such as Wolf it Down by Tyler Florence.

Previously, Manuel led, as global head, Rabobank’s food & agriculture startup innovation group. While there, he created and launched Rabobank’s foodtech innovation platforms: the pitch competition and startup discovery platform FoodBytes! and the accelerator TERRA. Prior to that, Manuel was Managing Director and GM of Rabobank West Coast in the US, leading corporate finance, investment banking and managing $3bln in assets, and Managing Director and GM of Rabobank Mexico, where he led a 100% growth in assets to $1bln in only 3 years and led the acquisition of Banco Finterra, where he served on the Board of Directors.

Before joining Rabobank, Manuel was the founder of Gonzalez Guzman Alimentos, a yogurt and dairy company that he sold to a group of private investors in his home town of Guadalajara, Mexico. Manuel has an MBA from Georgetown University.

Dan Harris

Partner and Head of Corporate Practice, BraunHagey & Borden LLP
Advisory Area: Legal

Dan Harris is a partner and head of the Corporate Practice Group at BraunHagey & Borden. Dan works closely with a wide range of innovative food system technology, CPG, software, hardware, and marketplace-based companies throughout their life cycles, advising on general corporate and commercial matters, equity and debt financings and mergers and acquisitions. Dan’s core practice also involves representing a number of leading investors in the CPG and technology sectors.

Dan focuses on providing his clients commercially-grounded advice geared towards achieving their ultimate business goals and has represented companies and institutional investors in transactions totaling more than $1 billion during the course of his practice.

Betsy McGinn

Founder of McGinn eComm and former eComm channel director of Seventh Generation
Advisory Area: eCommerce

As Seventh Generation’s first eCommerce channel director, Betsy McGinn pioneered the company’s innovative eComm strategy and created a thriving multimillion-dollar partnership with Amazon and other key online retailers.

She founded McGinn eComm in 2014, and has since worked with hundreds of natural and specialty brands to establish and strengthen their strategic direction, on both Amazon and their own Direct-to-Consumer eCommerce. From product development and profitability analysis to guiding organizational change, McGinn eComm leads clients through every step of this complex channel, helping to ensure successful and profitable online business.

Betsy is also co-author of The Amazon Roadmap: How Innovative Brands are Reinventing the Path to Market, the quintessential start-to-finish guide for brands who want to launch, recalibrate, or optimize their Amazon business and ensure continued growth on this powerful platform.


Applications Are Closed

Applications for our Fall/Winter Cohort are now closed. We’ll put out a call for new applications in early 2022. Make sure to subscribe to our email list for the announcement

 


Advisory Program FAQ’s

  • How will my brand benefit from the Advisory Program? The Naturally Bay Area Advisory Program offers a group of select brands the special opportunity to benefit from real-time advising and mentoring, at no expense at all. During the six-month program, advisors will implement streamlined bootcamps, 1 on 1 meetings, as well as respond to any and all emails pertaining to the brands. 
  • What kind of expertise is being provided through the advisors? Our advisors will offer expertise in P & L, marketing, branding, e-commerce, legal, innovation, finance & growth. 
  • How many advisors will there be? There will be a team of at least four highly experienced advisors.
  • Do I have to be a member of Naturally Bay Area to apply? Yes, you need to be a member of Naturally Bay Area and must be a Nor Cal-based company to participate.
    Sign up for membership here.
  • What are the expectations for my company?,The participating brands are not expected to provide anything besides the challenges they are facing and an openness to receiving advice. 
  • Do the advisors get a stake in my company? No, the advisors are volunteers, selflessly sharing their time to help your company grow through its growing pains. 
  • What is the advisors’ commitment level? Advisors are signed and committed to dedicating their time whenever necessary for the participating brands. 
  • Why is the application asking for my company’s revenue? In our review process, it is important to understand the stage of growth and size of your company.
  • How much does my company have to pay for Naturally Bay Area’s Advisory Program? Nothing! This unique opportunity is absolutely free. 
  • Can I list these advisors as part of my company? Yes. For the duration of the program, you can list your advisors in your pitch deck, noting that you are part of the Naturally Bay Area Advisory Program.
  • When will the Advisory Program begin? Applications will close on Wednesday, September 15. The reviewing committee will then take a few days to decide which brands will be selected for the program.
  • Are you interested in being an advisor? If you are interested in participating as a professional advisor in this program, please email advisory-program@naturallybayarea.org
  • Don’t see your question?  Ask us anything at advisory-program@naturallybayarea.org

 

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