Mission-driven PR and Communications agency, Fresh Ideas Group, has served brands across the natural, organic and sustainable food industry for over 20 years. FIG shares the same purpose-filled vision as the startups pitching at FoodBytes! – to promote a healthier future for all. Join the FIG team at FoodBytes! NYC to celebrate the startups committed to making this vision a reality. 

FoodBytes!: Tell us a bit about your role at Fresh Ideas Group (FIG)?

Sylvia Tawse: For 20+ years FIG has unconventionally been a specialist PR and Communications agency focused on natural, organic and sustainable food brands, non-profits and issues, from farm to shelf. Based in Boulder, CO, FIG has been honored to provide strategic counsel, PR, branding and digital services to hundreds of pioneering and leading companies. Why? To promote a healthier future for all.  In my ‘off time’ I co-own an organic flower and vegetable farm – Pastures of Plenty—with my husband in Longmont, CO. We sell to four farmers markets and host authentic farm-to-table events on our 30-acre patch of ‘pain and glory’. Because the farm is a frequent gathering place for my team, at FIG we understand today’s issues and opportunities, quite literally, from the ground up.

FB: What do you look for when deciding which companies to work with?

ST: The truth. Without it, no good story can or should be told. Next, we look for what societal pain points are being solved by this idea. Lastly, does it taste good or feel good, and can the idea be significantly scaled up. We have a brand storytelling process based on Jonah Sach’s book “Winning The Story Wars” that we’ve tailored to entrepreneurs and their big idea. It allows us to get to the essence of the brand’s reason for being and to craft their brand story in a compelling way. 

FB: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the food and ag industry?

ST: There MUST be a complete paradigm shift in food production, from farm to manufacturing to retail commerce. We must be more transparent and innovative at each link of the food production chain. How can we pollute less? How can we restore and rebuild healthy soil? How can we feed more nourishing food? How can we waste less while providing good food to more people? The biggest challenge today is to democratize these proactive changes. I believe the solutions we witness in FoodBytes! can achieve a truly sustainable paradigm shift so the good food movement can benefit the many.

FB: Can you tell us more about your experience being a mentor at FoodBytes! SF and what you’re looking forward to about mentoring at FoodBytes! NYC?

ST: I was invigorated by the entrepreneurs and their commitment to solving societal and environmental pain points through their innovations.  Some of the start-up concepts were truly disruptive and it thrilled me to witness such entrepreneurial passion.  FoodBytes! NYC will surely be equally fascinating and inspiring.  I must admit I am hoping there is the high level of women-founded and led start-ups as we experienced in San Francisco.  

FB!: What makes NYC an ideal location for startup innovation?

ST: Big ideas are born in this city every second. There is an energy and muscle to New York City that is not replicated anywhere else in the world. My husband is a New Yorker so every visit for me feels a bit like returning home. I can’t wait to be in the Big Apple to take big ‘bytes’ out of it!

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