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An Insider’s Guide to Co-manufacturing

May 17 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm CDT


Co-manufacturing is a common next step for businesses looking to reduce labor, increase volume, and accelerate time to market. In this session, experts demystify the co-manufacturing process, including what a good contract looks like, deciding when it’s the right move for a company, and how to evaluate prospective co-manufacturers for long-lasting partnerships.

About the Speakers:
Will Madden Ph.D., is a Senior Partner at Whole Brain Consulting. Will has worked in the food industry for the past 20 years. He specializes in big-picture operations and supply chain management and contract negotiation between food companies and contract manufacturers. Will has helped everything from start-ups to multimillion-dollar businesses find perfect-match contract manufacturers, setting them up for long-term success. He is also the author of “Separating the Con Man From the Co Man – A Guide to Contract Manufacturing” (Train of Thought Press, available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon).

Leslee Cohen is the founder and Managing Partner of AllRise Legal Counsel. AllRise concentrates its transactional practice in securities and startup law, corporate finance, technology law, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law. It represents clients across many industries from consumer products to technology companies to healthcare businesses to real estate firms. AllRise was founded on Leslee’s desire to work with earlier stage and smaller businesses. Leslee has been named by Illinois Super Lawyers as a Top 100 Lawyers in the State of Illinois and Top 50 Women Lawyers in the State of Illinois, corporate finance and securities, every year since 2010, a Leading Lawyer in mergers & acquisitions, securities and venture finance every year since 2007, the Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Advocacy Council in 2019 and, most recently, an Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine in 2023. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Small Business Advocacy Council, the co-chair of the Advisory Committee of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law (of which she is also a co-founder), a speaker and mentor for the Good Food Accelerator, ICNC |The Hatchery, LegalPad, the Wisconsin Technology Council/the Founders Institute and Workbox, and involved with the Chicago Job Creators Grant organization and GirlCon, which supports high school girls interested in careers in technology.

Stacy Overby is Of Counsel at AllRise Legal Counsel. Stacy has worked as in-house counsel and outside legal counsel for over thirty years, representing global Fortune 100 and 250 corporations, privately held companies and start-up companies engaged in industries that include manufacturing, telecommunications, global consumer personal products and specialty foods. Stacy’s approach to representing clients is to provide efficient legal services while helping them achieve their business goals in a way that minimizes risk. She is committed to serving the community and is a member of the Ravinia Festival Associates Board and of the Midwest Young Artist Conservatory Board.



May 17
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm CDT
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The Hatchery Chicago
(312) 283-5723
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The Hatchery
135 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60612 United States
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