Selecting three winners from our amaZing pool of our second annual Zing Nutrition Grant submissions was no easy task, believe us! We were truly blown away by the caliber of ideas that each applicant shared with us.
When it came down to it, the finalists all embodied an entrepreneurial drive that was larger than their specific project. All three winners are passionate about nutrition and they are clearly committed to seeing their vision come to fruition. In addition, you’ll notice our RDN winners this year each have an initiative that supports other RDNs – bringing to life the collaborative, supportive, professional spirit that we so admire and hope to continue to foster among dietitians.
And without further ado, the winners of the Zing Nutrition Grants are…
Megan Boitano, MS, RDN, LDN, CSNC, owner of Megan Boitano Nutrition, is filling a nutrition gap for entrepreneurial dietitians who wish to sell their digital content online. Megan is awarded $1,000 for her creation, RD2RD, the first online marketplace designed exclusively for dietitians to share, sell and buy original content via digital downloads. Dietitians spend a great deal of time either creating or searching for clinical tools and researching validity of available resources. They may sell their own content on listservs, individual websites, blogs and Facebook groups – sometimes inefficiently and without success. Other professions such as teachers have come together to create multivendor marketplaces allowing teachers to buy, sell and share digital resources. “There’s was no central way for us as RDNs to share, to sell our tools, leverage our collective wisdom, while helping one another build our businesses,” Megan said.
RD2RD solves this issue and will prove to be a powerful platform for nutrition entrepreneurs! Megan is a seasoned project manager and is currently beta-testing her site and plans to launch this January. RDNs can request to join her RD2RD Facebook group here.
If you’re in Chicago for FNCE, join us to congratulate Megan on her accomplishment this evening at a reception today, Mon. Oct. 23rd – email firstname.lastname@example.org for an invite!
Erica Julson, MS, RDN, CLT, founder of The Functional Nutrition Library, is awarded a $500 grant to make functional nutrition information more accessible to RDNs at a reasonable price point. “Embracing functional nutrition was a game changer in my practice and professional life, and I would love to help spread it as far and wide as possible!” Erica notes.
Her library began when she honed her private practice niche in adverse food reactions. She found the various functional nutrition courses to be cost-prohibitive and instead started taking copious amounts of notes on functional nutrition practices that she researched on her own time. She learned that other dietetic colleagues and friends were impressed with her content and even said they would pay her for this information. Thus, Erica’s library was born! Erica diligently adds to her library weekly and has been excited by the amount of interest in her subscription-based content to date. She plans to use the grant to migrate her current library pages from her website to its own standalone site. We’re eager to watch your growth, Erica!
Heather Neal, MS, RD, LDN, CLT is the mastermind behind the RD Entrepreneur Symposium and winner of a $500 grant. Heather’s idea for a business-focused symposium for RDNs was born from her experience setting up her own private practice and spending countless hours learning how to file her taxes, market her business, etc. Heather notes, “As dietitians, it’s in our nature to be go-getters – to dive right into making a difference through private practice or another nutrition business. Only it’s not so easy. We’ve spent years studying and learning and becoming experts in nutrition, but most of us have no idea how to get clients! We don’t know how to market, how to take insurance or file taxes, or how to legally register our business or set up the systems that allow us to run a thriving business.”
Heather’s RD Entrepreneur Symposium puts an end to that frustration and uncertainty that entrepreneurial dietitians face. Heather brings together expert RDNs to present sessions on the topics of branding, finding one’s niche, sourcing legal counsel and more. She has successfully hosted two symposia to date and has two planned for 2018. Sign-ups for her sessions have exceeded her expectations – just proving how valuable her “big idea” truly is!
We are excited to add some Zing to Megan’s, Erica’s and Heather’s businesses. Each winner received applause today during our Zing Nutrition Grant Reception in Chicago, timed with the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Congratulations!
We aim to continue the grant opportunity in 2018 and look forward to reading your entries!