On October 19, 2015, Goodwin Procter attorneys participated as coaches in the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching at the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston. The event was hosted by Samuel Adams and Accion, the largest network of non-profit lenders in the U.S., and Goodwin pro bono client. The event was organized to assist in the success of small food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality businesses in the Boston area with coaching available in sales and distribution, packaging, marketing, social media, finance, legal and more.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs were able to address their businesses’ unique questions through private conversations with coaches from Boston Beer Company, Accion, Goodwin Procter, the city of Boston and other volunteers. Joel Lehrer, a partner in Goodwin’s Technology Companies Group, with a specialty in Intellectual Property, was impressed with the event and noted, “it was encouraging to hear from Jim Koch of Sam Adams and representatives from Mayor Marty Walsh’s office and their enthusiasm for supporting and growing small businesses in the Boston neighborhoods.”
Participating culinary entrepreneurs raised questions ranging from choice of entity and leasing to intellectual property and patents. Each Goodwin coach was called on to draw on his experience and expertise. Adam Aramati, an associate in Goodwin’s Financial Institutions Group and first time coach, left with a feeling that “not only did [he] meet a number of great people with an impressive vision for the future of their business, but had a feeling that [he] had assisted them in shaping that vision.”
Many members of the Boston Neighborhood Business Initiative were in attendance including: William Collins, a senior associate in the Life Sciences Group and a long-time leader of the Boston Neighborhood Business Initiative; and Michael Bruno, a case assistant in the Financial Institutions Group and one of Boston NBI’s project managers.
Lehrer described the evening, “We met with numerous aspiring businesses, including an ‘energy beer,’ a new nut brand, and a husband and wife with a successful juice company looking to expand into other areas. Many of the questions centered around branding and labeling, and how to protect ingredient lists and recipes. We were able to provide assistance with regard to trademark strategy and how best to protect ‘secret’ ingredient lists. We also recommended our upcoming food labeling workshop this December.”
Goodwin’s Boston and New York Neighborhood Business Initiatives will return to the Sam Adams Brewery on December 1, partnering with Boston Beer Company to present a workshop titled “Food Labeling and Packaging.” Nilda Isidro, a partner and member of Goodwin’s Food Industry Incubator, will join Joel Lehrer on the program’s faculty along with members of the Sam Adams team.