Many thanks to everyone who attended our 2019 event in Boulder! Stay tuned for more information about the Boulder HEI in 2020.

About the Event

The Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute is a high impact 2-day boot camp conceived by Gary Hirshberg in 1998 based on his experience leading Stonyfield Farm from its start as a 7-cow operation in 1983 to its current nearly $400MM annual sales level. 18 Institutes have served hundreds of entrepreneurs across numerous business sectors in CA, CO, MA, NH, NY and abroad in Toronto, Vancouver, and Auckland, NZ under various names including the Stonyfield Entrepreneurship Institute and the Social Venture Institute.

By offering a highly interactive, intimate venue for networking, storytelling, and problem solving, the Institute offers a safe, stimulating environment for hundreds of for-profit and not-for-profit entrepreneurs to learn about financing, marketing, organizational challenges, finding personal balance, managing change, and the many other areas that are fundamental to growing an enterprise. The “case” method approach ensures a practical and grounded “real world” experience. Participants take home a wealth of pragmatic and useful ideas and strategies that can be immediately put to work in a growing enterprise.

98% of participants have rated the Institute as either excellent or very good in terms of:

  • Applicability of sessions to their work
  • Overall knowledge and experience of panelists
  • Fulfillment of learning expectations
  • Introduction of innovative business strategies
  • Interaction and learning from participants
  • Access to new contacts and networks

Case Studies

The Institute is built around cases submitted by attendees. Cases are real problems or challenges that you would like our panelists to address. Panelists will ask you clarifying questions and then provide feedback, and as time allows, audience members are invited to contribute as well.

The Four Case Topics are:

  • Financing Your Business
  • Positioning Your Brand Story
  • eCommerce
  • Overcoming Organizational Challenges

If you’re interested in learning more or if you are unsure of where a Case fits, just submit it and we will figure that out for you! We are no longer accepting cases for this event.

Fundraising Pitches to Investors

Pre-screened entrepreneurs will make their cases for investments to an extraordinary group of angel, institutional, and venture investors who collectively represent several billion dollars of active natural product and CPG investment, and look at a wide range of deal sizes and structures. Successful candidates will secure investors’ commitments to host a second and more in-depth meeting. Institute attendees will have the opportunity to watch and learn actual pitches and responses with real investments on the line.

Please note, we have been overwhelmed with over 60 submissions from entrepreneurs wanting to pitch investors for financing. As a result, we are retooling the schedule to make Friday an all-day “pitch-a-thon” with 20 companies making 5-minute pitches to up to 18 investors throughout the day.

So whether or not you are chosen to pitch, you don’t want to miss one minute of this fascinating, fast-paced program, and superb opportunity for all HEI participants to learn what it takes to get investors’ interest.

During Friday’s lunch, all speakers, panelists, and investors will be positioned at all tables for you to be able to get help with particular questions or concerns about financing, marketing, e-commerce, or other topics.

Pitch submissions for the 2019 Boulder conference are now closed but if you’d like to submit a pitch for consideration in 2020, please submit an HEI Pitch Application.



Early Bird Registration: (Funds received by April 30): $425

Regular Registration: (Funds received by May 31): $475

Last Minute Registration: (Funds received in June): $500


Thursday, June 6th

Friday, June 7th


Boulder JCC
6007 Oreg Avenue
Boulder, CO 80303

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