Business Bites: Perfecting Your Pitch

The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Food Business Fundamentals program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.


How To Leave Your Investors Hungry For More

Thursday, August 1st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater

One of the biggest challenges for restaurants and food business owners seeking growth is securing investors. So, how do you convince a total stranger to believe that your idea will sell? Well, it all starts with a great pitch and a solid business plan to back it up! From coffee shops to elevators, networking events and more, entrepreneurs must be ready to share their pitch at a moment’s notice. That means delivering your unique sales proposition and brand story in a short amount of time that gets them hooked.

But, where do you start when your pitch has to be succinct and well-delivered to make a lasting impact?

Join us for an informative discussion with experts who have experience as small business owners, investors, business coaches and more to learn the secrets to crafting a great pitch for your restaurant or food business! Whether you’re in the start-up phase, or looking to grow your existing business, you’ll learn what every good pitch should include, how to avoid common mistakes when pitching and what to do to make your pitch stand out. Our panel will share their experiences on where to find investors and insider tips on what they really want to hear. Plus, learn the 5 major stages of start-up funding to develop your financial acumen and get you on the road to success. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Food Business Fundamentals program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks this September!


Alek Marfisi
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Food Business Fundamentals Instructor

Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.


paul daitz
Paul Daitz, Executive Chairman of BCMS

A veteran of the global M&A market, Paul joined BCMS as its Executive Chairman in 2013. Paul spent seventeen years at Goldman, Sachs & Co., most recently as a senior member of the Global M&A Group. Based at the London office, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Investment Banking Division in Europe and as a senior member of the M&A team. After Goldman Sachs, Paul was Senior Managing Director at Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc., and the Head of the Telecommunications, Media, Entertainment & Technology Group for North America. He was responsible for the firm’s mergers & acquisitions, financial advisory and principal investing activities across these industries.

April Wachtel – Founder/CEO, Swig + Swallow

April Wachtel is a passionate educator, an experienced mixologist, a cocktail and spirits instructor, and founder of Swig + Swallow, the cocktail mixer company. She is a 22 year veteran in the beverage and hospitality industry, working in every role from busser to bartender to beverage director, to brand ambassador to beverage consultant. April has appeared on The Today Show, and Fox & Friends, as well as The Pitch Podcast, The Travel Bite, Tech Bites, The Main Course, Sharp & Hot, and more.

Evan Madden-Peister
Evan Madden-Peister, Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc.

Evan is a strategy designer and provacateur, with an entrepreneurial spirit and analytical impulses. He draws stories from different business contexts, and from the world/life at large, to shift perspectives and draw creative parallels for the participants. A career grounded in entrepreneurship as a member of the founding teams at Birch Coffee and Delhicioso, as well as consulting for multiple startups and coaching at the Starta Accelerator, has given Evan a bias towards creation. That foundation has also driven home the reality that change can happen fast, and that in order for large organizations to thrive they need to stay adaptive to the needs of their customers. This means embracing and putting into action a more agile method of thinking and doing—as a Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc. he helps his clients do exactly that.