Incredible journeys that shape the present & future of food & beverage industry

Written by Hema Reddy / February 18th, 2016



Cultivate Ventures is changing the Washington DC food scene. They invest time, money, and expertise into promising startups in the DMV.

A few years ago, Caesar Layton, the founder, was commuting to South East Asia as an agricultural economist. After poor customer service from an online grocery, he sent an email to them and was called back by the founder. A few months later, Caesar invested in the company and took over as the CEO.

Today, his firm is investing and advising. Wheeling and dealing. They are betting everything on the under-appreciated DC food scene. Caesar shares his story:

  • The survivalist skill set (developing skills on the fly)
  • The value-chain appoarch
  • time = relevance | relevance = access | access = opportunity
  • “Capital is never enough”
  • What they look for when evaluating a food startup
  • “Your idea is not that great and you’re not that smart” 
  • Focusing on the non-sexy
  • Learning from failure