‘Boot camp’ to explore ‘Finance 101′

The agenda for the two-day 2011 Stonyfield Entrepreneurial Institute, which gets under way March 24 and 25 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, includes a networking session, two keynote speakers, and panels on finance, marketing and work/life balance.

The institute will kick off on Thursday with lunch and a welcome by Michael Swack, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and founding president and current board member of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. Swack is also a faculty member of the Carsey Institute and the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, which are presenting the event in partnership with Stonyfield Farm Inc.

Following lunch is an introduction by Stonyfield founder and chief executive Gary Hirshberg, who will discuss “Finance 101 – Projecting Your Cash Needs.”

Hirshberg, whose Londonderry-based company is the largest producer of organic yogurt in the world, is also the founder of the Stonyfield Entrepreneurial Institute.

Finance remains the subject of the subsequent panel, to be moderated by Hirshberg, entitled “Raising Early- and Second-Stage Capital,” focusing on how to raise capital and examples of first- and second-stage raises.

Panelists include Michael Burgmaier, managing director of Silverwood Partners; Bob Burke, principal of Natural Products Consulting; Steve Palmer, attorney at K&L Gates; Alan Reische, attorney at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green; and Andy Whitman, managing partner at 2X Consumer Products Growth Partners.

After the panel is an hour-long cocktail reception and networking event, followed by dinner.

Evening keynote speakers Hirshberg and Bert Jacobs will tell “Tales from the Trenches” – firsthand accounts of what it took to grow their successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Jacobs is chief executive of Boston-based Life is good, a $100 million apparel and accessories company that sells its products in 4,500 retail stores nationwide and in 30 countries around the world.

Friday will kick off with a continental breakfast and a session on finance to be moderated by Swack. Panelists include Lori Chandonnais, senior vice president of commercial banking at Citizens Bank; John Hamilton, managing director of Vested for Growth, the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund; as well as Whitman and Burgmaier.

The second session of the day will focus on marketing. Panels include Howard Brodsky, chairperson and chief executive of CCA Global Partners; Katie Paine, of KDPaine & Partners LLC; Erik Drake, vice president of sales and marketing at Stonyfield; Steve McDonnell, chief executive of Applegate Farms; and Burke.

Following lunch, a third session will be held on work/life balance, also to be moderated by Hirshberg. Panelists include Meg Cadoux Hirshberg, columnist at Inc. magazine, which is also a media sponsor of the event, Nicole Bernard Dawes of Late July Organics, and McDonnell.

At the institute’s final panel, to be facilitated by Hirshberg and Swack, Whitman and Burke will present the six selected case studies submitted prior to the event by program participants and give feedback and advice on each.

NHBR is media sponsor for the event. Additional sponsors include Citizens Bank, K&L Gates, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, ADP, Checkmate Payroll Services, the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, Devine Millimet, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP and Preti Flaherty.

For more information, visit carseyinstitute.unh.edu/ SEI.html, or contact Susan Colucci at susan.colucci@ unh.edu or 603-862-2821. – KATHLEEN CALLAHAN