The first Food | Ag | Ideas Week (FAI) in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota featured 5 days of individually ticketed panel and speaker sessions, structured networking and meet + eat networking lunches, and signature events led by Grow North and its partners to drive visibility, connectivity, and engagement in Minnesota’s entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem.

FAI events were attended by well over 1000 participants and designed to make connections: they featured over 100 entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 business leaders, growers, innovators, investors, nonprofit and for-profit thought-leaders from across food and agriculture to discuss leading topics across sustainable agriculture, food innovation and tech, and food and society.

Catch up on the conversations from FAI

Here are a few of the important conversations happening at FAI. Discover more by clicking here.

Dramatic changes continue to impact the traditional retail model including the changing attitudes of consumers, the accelerated rise of e-commerce, industry consolidation, new technology and entrants. Join us for this conversation as leaders discuss these factors and more as well as where they see the industry going.


The pace of new product and brand introductions continues to increase as more and more innovative entrepreneurs enter the world of consumer packaged goods. As these brands scale, they are disrupting established categories and influencing the future strategy of major food companies. With more and diverse sources of capital flowing into the sector, both the opportunities and challenges evolve. Hear from brand, investor and business leaders discuss the current and future marketplace and the implications for small (and large) companies as it continues to evolve.



The competitiveness of the consumer packaged goods space is at an all time high, and with it the bar continues to be raised on quality products, breakthrough design and a clear value proposition. Hear from Eric Ryan, the revolutionary founder of method Cleaning products and OLLY, the brand disrupting vitamins that has gone from $10 to $50M in two years, as he shares the growth story of these two brands, the role of design as differentiator and disruptor and the decisions that made all the difference.


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