In addition to having launched his own thriving specialty food company, Douglas Raggio is experienced in every aspect of the $150 billion specialty food industry. As the founder of a private equity group focused on healthy food and beverage branded companies, he's been part of three dozen transactions totaling more than $150M. He's also been an advisor to more than 100 startups, and is a regular speaker at North America's largest specialty food trade shows, often sought out for his wariness of venture capital funding. Earlier this year, Natural Products West attracted 86,000 visitors and 3,600 exhibitors. Douglas's unorthodox prescription for building a specialty food company with permanence, based on decades of experience helping entrepreneurs build successful startups, comes from a lifetime of contrarian thinking. Douglas was one of the first artificially inseminated children in the United States. To small-minded people in the 1970s, that meant he wasn't a creation of God, but of man, and he consequently was bullied at school and excluded from recess and after-school programs. Douglas believes he emerged from these early experiences with an anti-establishment mindset, comfortable with playing by his own rules. In fact, underneath his email signature, he quotes General George Patton- "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."