In this episode, we’re joined by Zoe Feldman, the director of Chobani Incubator. Launched in 2014, the unit invests in and supports purpose-driven, early-stage companies that share Chobani’s philosophy of creating “Delicious, Nutritious, Natural, and Accessible” food.
Since joining the company in 2018, Feldman has emphasized the incubator’s focus on diversity as part of its selection criteria and “to give folks a seat at the table.”
“I view my role now as a person who’s part of a marginalized community, as an LGBT person, to say ‘I understand how it feels to be viewed as the other,’” she said. “And I also understand how it feels to be a woman in a room full of men, which was certainly the majority of my career in [venture capital], and have people make assumptions about you before they even talk to you.”
As part of our conversation, Feldman spoke about how prior experiences as an executive at PepsiCo and in venture capital shaped her perspective on the importance of diversity in business and why “representation is hugely critical” to the future of the industry.
In this Episode
|0:34: The Brew, The Crew and The Dough — The episode’s hosts convened at NOSH Live Winter 2019 in Santa Monica and reflected on highlights from day one of the conference and those of the concurrent Brewbound Live Winter 2019 show, including the thrilling Brewbound Pitch Slam competition and NOSH’s Sampling Experience and Expo.
|8:05: Interview: Zoe Feldman, Director, Chobani Incubator — Feldman sat down with NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg and spoke about cutting her teeth in the food and beverage industry as part of PepsiCo’s emerging brands unit, why she regrets attending graduate business school and reflected on her four years as a venture capitalist. She also explained why the Chobani Incubator was the right fit for the next stage of her career and how she’s using her voice and platform to support marginalized communities. Later, she explained why the incubator’s goal is to “over-index on diversity” and support the development of micro-business communities across the U.S., and she also shared the advice she has for brand owners and executives that might be afraid to have “the diversity conversation.”