Food Sol Fellow
Having grown up in a family business that manufactures award-winning premium Swiss chocolate, Damian Felchlin has had the opportunity to learn first-hand how equitable and sustainable business practices can also create a better product and yield financial returns. After graduating from Babson's MBA program with a focus in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, he recently joined the founding team of a plant-based meat alternative startup. The startup was founded by Babson alum, Aakash Shah, whose vision is to disrupt the foodservice market by adding a wider variety of delicious plant-based meat alternatives to restaurant menus. During his time at Babson, Damian gained experience in venture capital and impact investing, which seeks not only financial but also social and environmental returns. Additionally, he had the opportunity to develop and teach a “How to Export Food” case study for graduate students.
Prior to completing his MBA in 2021, Damian worked as a Trade Commissioner for the Consulate General of Switzerland based in New York and San Francisco, where he advised Swiss companies entering the U.S. market. Damian also served as the subject matter expert for food and beverages for the official Swiss export promotion agency, Switzerland Global Enterprise, which has over 20 hubs worldwide.
Before joining the Swiss government, Damian was a product manager responsible for over 15 million USD in sales annually at the largest private U.S. food importer. He was responsible for sourcing specialty food items from all over the world and worked closely with international suppliers to optimize the supply chain and push sales in the foodservice and retail channels.
In his free time, Damian has been advising startups for the last 8 years and has provided market entry consulting services to over 20 food companies by helping them determine their pricing, sales channels, branding, and supply chain strategies. He has been an official mentor of food startup accelerator programs including Food-X and Big Idea Ventures.
Damian loves to explore nature. In the summer you can find him climbing the Swiss alps with his partner or going for a ride on his mountain bike. During the winter he enjoys skiing black-diamond slopes and going for backcountry ski adventures. At home, Damian loves exploring new food ingredients and products. You can usually find him in his kitchen fermenting things like kombucha, beer, kimchi, or sourdough bread.
You can learn more about Damian and his work on his website, www.felchlin.co, or by connecting with him on LinkedIn.