When evaluating funding pitches, Touch Capital founder and CEO Anna-Lena Kamenetzky doesn’t pull any punches.
Her straightforward style is shaped by over two decades of global experience as a brand operator and board director at multinational companies, including Keurig Dr. Pepper and JAB Holding Company. She’s helped incubate and build billion-dollar brands, and understands what it takes to succeed in the highly competitive food and beverage industries.
That perspective guides the vision and funding strategy for Touch Capital, a recently launched venture capital firm led by Kamenetzky that invests in consumer brands across food, beverage, pet and personal care. Touch Capital was founded on the thesis that CPG conglomerates “will continue to need to ‘buy-in’ innovation through strategic acquisitions.” By leveraging their collective operational experience, Kamenetzky and her team support portfolio company founders, including those of fast-growing brands Super Coffee, Lesser Evil and Catalina Crunch, by bringing “buyers’-side experience to the builders.”
We spoke with Kamenetzky during Taste Radio’s live podcast and meetup event in Austin, where she discussed the formation of Touch Capital, how global trends help inform the firm’s investments, how she evaluates innovative brands and their scaling potential, and the impact of a talent shift towards entrepreneurship. She also explained why investor feedback and input only works “if it’s a pull and not a push,” how founders can mitigate risks for investors and offered a candid perspective on trendy concepts, ingredients and food and beverage categories.
In this Episode
|0:45: Interview: Anna-Lena Kamenetzky, Founder & CEO, Touch Capital – Kamenetzky and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif chatted about Miami’s entrepreneurial food and beverage community before discussing how her experience as a beverage operator and an observer of global trends has impacted her perspective as an investor. She also discussed the value of entrepreneurs with prior industry experience, why an “‘A” idea doesn’t work with a “C” team, how she identifies potential for mainstream appeal in early-stage brands, and why “can they pull it off?” is a key question in how she evaluated founders and their plans. Later, she shared her take on notable trends, ingredients and emerging categories, including keto, gut health, cannabis and RTD cocktails.