Julie Borlaug is the granddaughter of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug and the Associate Director of External Relations at the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and also handles Strategic Initiatives for Corporate Relations within AgriLife Research at Texas A&M. Since the passing of her grandfather, Julie has worked to continue his legacy through developing agricultural partnerships between public, private and philanthropic groups to further the Borlaug legacy and agricultural research at Texas A&M and expand upon his mission to feed the world’s hungry.
Julie received her BA from Texas A&M in International Studies and Political Science in 1997 and her MBA in Nonprofit Management from the University of Dallas in 2004. Prior to joining the Borlaug Institute, Julie worked in the nonprofit sector and has worked for organizations such as the Salvation Army and the American Cancer Society as Development Director.
In her role, Julie works to champion her grandfather’s legacy and lend a voice to his desire to see more successful collaborative partnerships between the public and private partnerships in order to ensure the advancement of innovation and technology in agriculture. Julie hopes that through her efforts and in honor of her grandfather’s legacy, we will all recommit ourselves to educating, mentoring and training the next generation of “hunger fighters” who will continue Dr. Borlaug’s work to end hunger and eliminate poverty
Julie speaks often about the Borlaug Legacy, the need for research and technology in agriculture as well as youth and innovation. She serves on several boards and advisory councils including:
Thought For Food Challenge
Planet Forward- George Washington University
Community for Zero Hunger
Global Coalition for Attracting and Retaining Youth in Agriculture
The Agriculture and Food Security Center at the Earth Institute, Columbia University
Council for Agricultural Science & Technology
Dylan was born in Saranac Lake, New York, a few miles from where the Americans triumphed over the Russians in the “Miracle on Ice” during the 1980 Olympics. He’s now a nomadic road warrior constantly traveling around the country, primarily residing in New York City, Louisiana, California and Chicago.
Dylan is partner and co-founder of a Louisiana-based manufacturer that integrates systems to grow food, purify water, produce solar electricity, establish wireless connectivity, create jobs and provide essential community services. This venture was inspired by US combat veterans who described plug and play integration of housing, food, power and water systems as fundamental to global security.
Known by his strong voice for economic justice on Bloomberg and NBC, Dylan now serves as Chief Skeptic at Tastytrade and Advisor to CyndX. He speaks out daily for transparency, integrity, choice and aligned interests as a commentator, film producer, and author of New York Times Best-Seller “Greedy Bastards.”
Dylan advocates for student-debt reform, veteran employment, food and water security, drug decriminalization, fair economic opportunity and the recognition of money in politics as the root cause of our nation’s challenges. Despite these challenges, Dylan is an optimist who sees the current crisis as a potent opportunity to dramatically transform society for the benefit of all.
Dylan is a passionate fighter for the best in all of us, and an occasional paddle-boarder.
Dr. Robert Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto. He has been with the company for more than 30 years, and currently oversees the company’s global technology division which includes plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture and crop protection. Dr. Fraley is recognized as the father of agricultural biotechnology, and has been involved in ag research since the early 1980s. He has authored more than 100 publications and patent applications. Dr. Fraley’s discoveries and applications of science are also routinely recognized for the tremendous impact they’ve had in supporting farmers and the agriculture demands of our planet. Dr. Fraley’s honors include: a World Food Prize Laureate (2013), the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton (1998), the National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science for his work on crop improvement (2008), among other recognitions.
Often referred to as the “father of agricultural biotechnology”, Dr. Jerry Caulder has an unparalleled record of success in the life sciences industry. Dr. Caulder’s career began at Monsanto. During his fifteen years with the company, he held numerous management positions. Dr. Caulder was responsible for overseeing Monsanto’s early venture investments and also the launch of new agricultural products globally.
In 1984 Dr. Caulder moved to San Diego, California, and became The Chairman and CEO of Mycogen, Inc., a start-up plant sciences company. Under Dr. Caulder’s direction, Mycogen, Inc. had a successful IPO and was ultimately acquired by Dow Agro Sciences in 1998. At the time of acquisition, Mycogen’s market capitalization exceeded US$1.2 billion.
Since the acquisition success of Mycogen, Dr. Jerry Caulder has held leadership positions in a number of successful and highly profiled life science companies including: Myelos Pharmaceuticals, a therapeutic drug discovery company focusing on the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, and Advanced Stent Technologies, Inc., which focused on the development of a dedicated coronary bifurcation stent.
Dr. Caulder’s most recent success was as the Chairman of Athenix, Inc., a venture backed plant sciences company located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Athenix’s acquisition by Bayer Crop Science in November 2009, for $400 million delivered a substantial return on investment to its shareholders.
Dr. Caulder has been involved in the formation of many local, state, and national biotech industry groups and initiatives; he was also the Chairman of what is now “BIO” (the major Biotechnology trade association). Dr. Caulder is internationally recognized and a frequent speaker at industry forums.
Patrick Brown is Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis and an internationally renown researcher in the area of plant nutrient function and fertilizer management in agricultural systems. Dr. Brown served from 2004-2009 as the President of the International Plant Nutrition Council and has been honored with many awards for his contributions to both basic biological principles and applied nutrient and fertilizer management.
Dr. Brown’s research and teaching activities are directed toward the management of nitrogen in agriculture to achieve optimal productivity while minimizing nitrogen loss to the environment, the development of precision agriculture technologies for horticultural crops and the utilization of remote sensing and functional plant models to predict yield and manage production inputs. Dr. Brown serves as a technical advisor for the Californian Department of Agriculture Fertilizer Research and Education Program, the Californian Water Coalitions and Regional Water Boards in the implementation of new guidelines for nitrogen management in Californian Agriculture.
Dr. Brown received his a B. Ag. Sc (Hons) from the University of Adelaide, Australia and PhD from Cornell University (1989) and has been a full professor at the University of California since 1999.
As Managing Director of Verdex Capital Inc., Mark is responsible for all aspects of investment operations. Mark has directed VC and investment financing for a broad range of early-stage technology companies for the past 15 years. His sectors of investment expertise span the agriculture value chain, complemented by internet-powered and related software businesses, manufacturing, and life science which are all synergistic to Ag Tech investing. Furthermore, Mark’s comprehensive, hands-on knowledge of irrigated crop and cow-calf production gleaned from his farm up-bringing and ranching experience augments Verdex’s agricultural technology investment strategy and investment decision. Mark has a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA.
J. Powell Carman, co-leader of Bryan Cave’s Agribusiness and Food Practice, counsels both private and publicly held clients on general corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital investments, strategic alliances, licenses, commercial agreements and other business issues. His practice focuses largely on clients in the life sciences, agribusiness, ag biotech and food industries. Mr. Carman’s transactional experience includes substantial acquisitions and divestitures for national and international biotech and agribusiness companies. He is also outside general counsel for a number of privately-held companies and nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Carman, who previously led the Firm’s technology transactions practice, has been named a Best Lawyer in America for corporate law since 2013. Prior to law school and through today, he remains active in farming and in agribusiness industry affairs.
Mr. Chen is the Co-Founder/CEO of ZeaKal and brings over 11 years of management and venture experience. He has started and successfully raised over fifteen million in research and venture financing in the agricultural biotechnology space across three companies.
Mr. Chen is also the co-founder and Managing Director of Kapyon Ventures, a biotechnology incubation firm that fostered the pre-venture development of ZeaKal. He has been a pioneer in changing how agricultural biotechnology is commercialized, focusing on innovative public-private partnerships. Prior to founding ZeaKal and Kapyon, Mr. Chen was the Investment Manager for Finistere Partners, a San Diego based life science venture capital firm. He was responsible for seeding the deal flow of a nine million dollar strategic investment fund.
Mr. Chen graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and has a master’s degree in international business from the University of California, San Diego. He is also a CFA Charterholder.
Pat Christie founded Conservis to unify the fabric of everything that touches the farm. He has 20 years of personal executive technical experience and a deeply experienced management team. Based in Minneapolis, MN and surrounded by some of the most productive farmland in the US, Conservis aims to be the single window into the world’s farm operations.
Matt is an accomplished executive focused on catalyzing a new era of innovation to advance agriculture. Matt has a strong background in the rapid growth and early commercialization phases of technology companies. Prior to co-founding Benson Hill Biosystems, he was the Founding President of the Agricultural Biotechnology Division at Intrexon Corporation, a leading synthetic biology company, where he served in multiple executive roles and on its Board of Directors. Prior to joining Intrexon, Matt was a Managing Director at the venture capital firm Third Security, LLC, where he worked closely with numerous life science and technology companies and led the firm’s west coast operations. He is also a founder and the chairman of Edison Agrosciences, an early-stage agricultural biotechnology company. Matt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Radford University, where he currently serves on its Foundation Board of Directors as its President.
Mr. Cunningham is President of Touchstone Group, LLC a firm that raises institutional capital for illiquid alternative investment manager clients including venture capital, buyout, growth, mezzanine and illiquid specialty credit. The firm raises institutional capital for both funds and fund co-investments. Mr Cunningham co-founded Touchstone in 2002. Previously, Mr. Cunningham co-founded the first life-cycle mutual funds, and advised pension fund trustees on asset-liability and governance issues. He has served as an investment consultant to major institutional investors on private equity manager selection and portfolio management and co-founded and managed a group of venture capital funds headquartered in Philadelphia. Following graduate school, he spent seven years working for Bucyrus International (now owned by Caterpillar) ultimately as General Manager of their Santiago, Chile subsidiary. He has co-authored two books on investing. Mr. Cunningham holds a Masters of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA from Williams College.
Sarah Day Levesque is Senior Director of Content for HighQuest Group and the Editor of GAI News and the GAI Gazette. She is responsible for agenda development and speaker recruitment for the company’s Oilseed & Grain Trade and Women in Agribusiness events, as well as managing the company’s online news and Global AgInvesting research products. Ms. Day Levesque also oversees content marketing for the company’s event, news, and research products.
From 2007 to 2012, Ms. Day Levesque worked for HighQuest Partners as a research analyst and content manager. After a brief hiatus, serving as a commodity and food analyst for Mintel, a global market research company, she returned to HighQuest Partners in 2014 to serve in her current role.
Ms. Day Levesque’s background in agricultural research is diverse. Prior to joining HighQuest Partners, she used GIS software to analyze the effects of pesticide use on orchard crops in California’s Central Valley and, through her work at the International Livestock Research Institute, examined milk processing and merchandising in Kenya’s informal dairy industry. The latter resulted in her developing relevant policy objectives for informal milk safety and market development. Areas of expertise include vegetable protein and soyfood markets and she has extensive experience evaluating the implications of consumer food trends on food and agricultural markets. She has also served as the lead author on HighQuest Partners’ Soyfoods Reports, Soy Protein Reports and Women in Agribusiness Study.
Ms. Day Levesque received a Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics and a Master of Science in International Agricultural Development from University of California, Davis. She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development from the same university.
Philippe de Lapérouse has more than 30 years of senior level experience working with leading global companies in the agro-industrial and value-added food chain, including Ralston Purina and Bunge, as well as working as an investment banker at the beginning of his career. As Managing Director of HighQuest Partners, he has led over 50 engagements advising executive teams of major strategic and financial investors operating and investing globally across the food, biotech and bioenergy value chains to on making informed decisions regarding resource allocation, new business opportunities and developing investment strategies to address the challenges facing global agriculture. Prior to joining HighQuest, Mr. de Lapérouse was Director of Business Development for Bunge North America, Inc., where he was responsible for the company’s efforts to expand its oilseed processing operations into Mexico and the Caribbean Basin, as well as developing export markets for oilseed products and feed grains into the Caribbean, North Africa and eastern Mediterranean. Previously, Mr. de Lapérouse held senior line management positions with Ralston Purina International where he managed operations and was responsible for functions including marketing, sales and developing dealer distribution networks targeting the industrial livestock and poultry sectors in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. Mr. de Lapérouse served as director of Sodrugestvo Management Company, Ltd., the leading importer, crusher and distributor of soybeans and feed ingredients in Russia from 2009 to 2012 and was instrumental in making the introduction which resulted in Mitsui acquiring a 10% shareholding in the company. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the Ag Innovation Showcase at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO, and is the author of the report, Private Financial Sector Investment in Farmland and Agricultural Infrastructure (2010) which was commissioned by OECD in 2010 to provide insights on this emerging asset class and the impact that private sector investment is having on the regions in which they are investing. He received his B.A. degree from Trinity College and an M.B.A. degree from The Darden School of Business at The University of Virginia.
John Denniston is Chairman of the Board of Shared-X. Shared-X is an agriculture impact company aiming to generate strong investor returns, while at the same time lift thousands of smallholder farmers out of poverty, by collapsing the dramatic yield gap separating developed and emerging country crop production through the deployment of advanced, sustainable farming techniques.
John was previously a Senior Partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he co-founded and co-ran the firm’s $1 billion Green Growth Fund. KPCB’s Green Growth Fund invests in sustainability companies in their growth stage.
Prior to Kleiner Perkins, John was a Managing Director and Head of Technology Investment Banking for the Western United States at Salomon Smith Barney. He also served on the Investment Committees for Salomon’s venture capital/private equity direct investment fund, as well as CitiGroup’s venture capital fund-of-funds. Earlier in his career, John was a Partner with a large law firm, where he was Head of the firm’s Venture Capital practice, and Co-Head of its Information Technology practice group.
Scott Dockum is the Program Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. Scott brings his biology and environmental sciences knowledge as well as his expertise in program management, program development, policy development/implementation, government business processes and peer review practices to SBIR. Scott is responsible for the day to day operations of the SBIR program including program development, policy development and implementation, understanding and developing SBIR government business processes, outreach activities and working directly with SBIR applicants, grantees and the investment community. On a personal note, Scott is an avid Corvette enthusiast and owns a Jet Black 1996 Corvette coupe that he races on the weekends at autocross events in the DC area. Scott is located 800 9th Street, SW, Suite 3210 Washington, DC 20024 and can be reached at 202-720-6346.
Mr. Duerksen is Chairman & CEO of Kincannon & Reed, the world’s leading retained executive search firm in the agriculture and food value chain, and a top 25 firm globally amongst all industries. The firm counts among its clients many of the world’s most important companies and non-profit institutions, and has placed senior executives in all functions in all corners of the globe. Kincannon & Reed’s motto is, “We recruit leaders for organizations that feed the world and keep it healthy.”
Before entering executive search, Mr. Duerksen was a senior international executive. As CEO, he led the successful turnarounds of a Pepsi-Cola® bottling company in Mexico and of Latin America’s largest fertilizer producer and exporter. Prior to these posts, he was Vice President, Marketing & Development for a Fortune 500 crop input company. As chairman of the Food Safety Committee of the Chemical Producers & Distributors Association, he twice testified in Congress on food safety issues. In his early career he was a consultant for McKinsey & Company and as an Associates Fellow wrote case studies for Harvard Business School’s acclaimed Agribusiness program. He received a B.A. from Augustana College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a native of South Dakota, where he grew up on a mixed grain and livestock farm and experienced early career failure as a classical musician.
Mr. Freeman has been with Paine & Partners since inception and previously was with the Predecessor Firm. Prior to joining the Predecessor Firm, Mr. Freeman worked for the private equity firm Fremont Partners, where he assisted with the investment of approximately $1.7 billion of funds under management. At Fremont, Mr. Freeman evaluated, structured, negotiated, monitored and harvested investments in the food and consumer products, building products, and business services industries. Mr. Freeman began his career at Westbrook Partners, a real estate focused firm with approximately $10 billion of assets under management. Mr. Freeman serves on the boards of directors of Scanbio Marine Group Holdings (Norway) AS, Capital Z
Asset Management, LLC, Cevian Capital, Specialty Waste Partners, Inc. (formerly known as R360 Environmental Solutions, Inc.) and WireCo WorldGroup (Cayman) Inc. He is a graduate of Duke University (Bachelor of Arts in history and economics, cum laude) and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and was raised in Miami, Florida.
Dave Gebhardt holds the position of Global Director, Strategic Partnerships for GEOSYS. Dave grew up on a family farm in southeastern Minnesota where his three brothers are still currently farming. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Minnesota. Dave has spent more than 25 years in the agriculture industry in various plant genetics, agronomy, and technology roles with companies such as Coors Brewing Company, DuPont Pioneer, GreenLeaf Genetics, WinField and FarmLink. Dave is responsible for growing the GEOSYS business by establishing new technical and commercial strategic partnerships and collaborations. He also provides market intelligence on product design for the product teams. Dave is a member of the GEOSYS Strategy Team, and also is a key contributor to the company’s public relations and communications efforts.
Marc Gottschalk is a partner in the Palo Alto office and a co-leader of Sidley’s corporate venture capital group, which represents strategic venture investors in the technology, life sciences, financial services and consumer products/lifestyle sectors. In addition to advising corporate investors, Marc’s core areas of practice also include advising cleantech and other emerging growth companies in corporation formation and venture finance transactions. He is the co-founder and board chair of the Cleantech Open, a world-leading organization that provides vital resources inventors and entrepreneurs need to take cleantech innovations from concept to operating business. Marc previously served as the co-chair of the Energy and Clean Technology practice at a well known high technology law firm. While there, he assisted dozens of innovative cleantech companies go to market. Prior to joining Sidley, Marc served as chief business development officer and general counsel for Proterra Inc., a leading manufacturer of advanced electric drive and energy storage solutions for heavy duty vehicles.
Brad Greenway of Mitchell, South Dakota owns a wean-to-finish pig farm that markets 10,000 hogs annually. He also has 200 beef cows and raises corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on 1,700 acres.
Technologically advanced barns, increased biosecurity and utilization of vaccines are just some of the ways Brad and his farm are constantly seeking improvements toward a more sustainable process as they seek to raise healthy pigs.
Brad finished serving two three-year terms on the National Pork Board in June 2015 and most recently served as vice president. He is an Operation Main Street and OMS 2.0 presenter and has given over 100 presentations throughout South Dakota and nationally. On the national level Brad is a member of the Trade Committee, Pork Safety/Quality/Nutrition Committee, and is currently vice chairman of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. He has served on the National Pork Board’s Nominating and Resolutions Committees, chaired the Environmental Stewards Task Force which created the new Pig Farmer of the Year award, and also chaired the NPB Domestic Marketing Committee for two years.
Brad has been involved with the Davison County Pork Council for 28 years, served on the SD Pork Producers Council from 2000 to 2015, and served as state president in 2005 and 2006.
He also is a member of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, the South Dakota Soybean Association, and the South Dakota Farm Bureau.
Carlos oversees current and newly launched programs with government and industry partners in the areas of technology commercialization, open innovation strategies and technology-led economic development. Carlos has led engagements with leading federal agencies that support R&D-driven ventures under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Clients have included: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST), and others. He has similarly led efforts with governments and innovation agencies around the world to support ecosystems of innovation and the global competitiveness of entrepreneurs. He has served as a speaker and moderator at the SBIR National Conference on the commercialization of government-supported R&D and World Bank briefings on similar subject matter.
Kirk Haney is the CEO and Managing Partner of Radicle Growth, an Ag and Food Tech accelerator fund focused on transforming the speed of innovation in agriculture. Under Kirk’s leadership, Radicle secured top tier financial and corporate investors including Finistere Ventures, $150M agtech fund, OurCrowd, $300M funding platform, Bayer Crop Science and DuPont Pioneer. Radicle is partnering with great entrepreneurs to bring disruptive innovation to market while leveraging the platform’s global network to accelerate the development of the new technologies.
Previously, Kirk served as President and CEO of SGB, an agricultural biotechnology company, from 2007 to 2014. Under Kirk’s leadership, SGB became a leader in the development of new crops for food, energy and industrial markets and raised $40M from institutional and corporate investors. Prior to SGB, Kirk was the Chairman and President of Green Millennium. Kirk raised more than $120M in venture and private equity to develop, plant, and manage sustainable reforestation programs in Central America. A majority share of the company was sold to a $3 billion private equity firm in 2007.
Prior to his work in sustainable agriculture, he held senior management positions for 3Com Corporation, ArrowPoint Communications (acquired by Cisco Systems for $5.9B) and Cisco Systems.
Kirk earned an MBA from Pepperdine University and is fluent in Spanish and German. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), is Co-Chair of the YPO Global Agriculture Group and he also serves on the board of advisors for the Ag Innovation Showcase. Kirk is a proud father and he is passionate about food, health and sustainability.
Jay Hill is a second generation farmer in southern New Mexico, who partners with his father, Jim Hill, on their 750-acre farm started by Jim in 1969. The majority of their operation is dedicated to vegetable and nut production. Hill Farms produces more than 18 million pounds of fresh onions annually. Jay currently supplies onions for Bloomin’ Onions at Outback Steakhouses across the U.S. while also selling produce to local restaurants. In addition to onions, Jay grows world famous New Mexico Green Chile peppers, lettuce, wheat, oats, alfalfa, pinto beans, corn and pecans using GPS-aided precision farming and sub-surface drip irrigation. Jay’s recent testing of GMO crops has resulted in a dramatic reduction in amounts of herbicides and pesticides used in Hill Farms operations. Jay holds a Bachelor of Science degree from New Mexico State University.
Joshua T. Hofheimer is a partner in the Los Angeles and Palo Alto offices where he serves as the leader of the only Band 1 Chambers ranked Global Agribusiness and Food Practice. He focuses on representing clients in partnering transactions, joint ventures and capital raising in the agriculture, life sciences and information technology sectors. Notably, he represented Monsanto Company in its publicly announced strategic BioAg Alliance with Novozymes to discover, develop and sell sustainable microbial solutions to improve and protect crop yields for global broad-acre crops, fruits and vegetables. From 2008-2010, Mr. Hofheimer was the CEO/Managing Director of Australia’s first publicly listed ag-biotech company, Hexima Limited (HXL:ASX). While at Hexima, Mr. Hofheimer led the company’s successful effort to forge a commercial path for its disease control platform, establishing relationships with Pioneer Hi-Bred, Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, and Australian research centers. From 2010-2014 Mr. Hofheimer served on the board of directors of the Australian Center for Plant Functional Genomics, advising on international commercial and strategic development.
Scott is a Managing Director at Middleland Capital where he is responsible for portfolio management and evaluating investment opportunities in agriculture and biotechnology. Prior to Middleland, Scott was a Managing Director at Third Security, LLC, where he was responsible for assessing the commercial viability and technical merit of potential investments in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. He also worked with many portfolio companies of Third Security’s managed investment funds providing business intelligence and operational support, and served on the Board of Directors of Synchrony Inc. (acquired by Dresser-Rand Corp.). In addition to portfolio management, he took on interim operating roles within several portfolio companies. Prior to Third Security, he was a founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Pathologics, LLC, a point of care diagnostics company located in Rochester, NY. Scott received his Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry and an M.S. in Biophysics from the University of Rochester and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Albany.
Nitza has 20 years of experience working in senior management positions at life science companies. Previously, she served as VP Business Development at TechnionSeed, the technological incubator founded by the Technion R&D Foundation 2, Ltd., where she was responsible for the life sciences and cleantech fields.
Previously, Nitza managed business development at Rafael Development Cooperation; served as CEO of Clal Life Sciences, a R&D center for emerging life science companies; and was CEO of UroGyn, a start-up that developed minimally invasive surgical tools.
Nitza earned her Ph.D. (life sciences) and M.Sc. from Tel Aviv University (both with distinction) and studied law at Tel Aviv University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Plant Genetics at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Amy Kircher is the Director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence and an Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She leads the Centers initiatives and coordinates a research consortium of experts dedicated to protecting the food system through research and education. Her current research includes identification and warning of food disruptions through data fusion and analysis. She serves on several federal committees and working groups to advance public health preparedness.
Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kircher was the Command epidemiologist with the NORAD – US Northern Command (N-NC) Office of the Command Surgeon. Dr. Kircher has an extensive background in Homeland Security Defense, supporting operations and response during national disasters to include Hurricane Katrina, and H1N1.
Dr. Kircher completed her Doctorate in Public Health at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Jonah Kolb is Vice President and Managing Member of Moore & Warner Ag Group, LLC in Clinton, Illinois and manages its brokerage subsidiary Moore & Warner Farm Real Estate, LLC. Jonah leads business development and consulting initiatives, working with private and institutional investors to build direct farmland portfolios. He also advises start-ups, private equity and venture capital funds pursuing opportunities in production agriculture and agribusiness.
Jonah’s professional experience includes evaluating agricultural big data technology and trends, business development at Cargill, risk management for CF Industries, and consulting and private equity in agriculture and renewable energy. Jonah started his career at the global investment firm D. E. Shaw & Co. in New York City.
Jonah holds an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University where he was an Austin Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College. Jonah is a Trustee of the Vespasian Warner Public Library.
Sanjeev is Managing Director of S2G Ventures, and he has been with the firm since its inception. Sanjeev has over 15 years of experience in sourcing, executing, managing and governing venture and private equity investments, including a focus in agriculture and food companies. As Managing Director, Sanjeev is active in developing investments and managing portfolio companies.
Sanjeev serves on the boards of several S2G portfolio companies including Shenandoah Growers, MycoTechnology, Midwestern BioAg, Terramera, Shenandoah Valley Organic, Mercaris, and Arable. He also serves on the investment committee of Bamboo Finance and a variety of advisory boards related to impact investing and the agriculture and water sectors.
Arama Kukutai is a co-founder and Partner at Finistere Ventures, a pioneer in the Agriculture and Food technology sectors founded in 2005. Mr. Kukutai has been a company founder and entrepreneur in the Agribusiness sector with over 20 years experience. He served as Executive Chairman of PKW Farms, a successful agribusiness and diversified investment entity involved in dairy farming and aquaculture activities in New Zealand, Asia and Australia. Arama also led the New Zealand government’s Trade & Investment agency in North America, and had a successful career in corporate banking prior to emigrating to the USA. Finistere announced the closing of their latest venture Fund in 2015. Mr. Kukutai serves on the boards of current portfolio companies CropX and Zeakal. Mr. Kukutai is an active member of the Agtech community helping create Ag Tech Week, the industry’s leading event in the Agtech sector. (Visit www.globalaginvesting.com).
Rob is the co-founder of AgFunder, an online investment marketplace for the $6.4 Trillion global agriculture industry. He has been published in Harvard Business Review, Financial Post, TechCrunch, and twice in Nature journals (200 citations across both publications). Rob has spoken or moderated at more than a dozen global conferences on agriculture, technology, and investing. He is a judge for the National Ag Innovation Prize and sits on the advisory committee of the Ag Innovation Showcase, the world’s leading AgTech conference. In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Rob to their list of ‘Up-And-Comers’. Rob holds a BA in Philosophy, BSc in Computer Science, and MSc in Computer Science from The University of Calgary, and a PhD in Computational Evolutionary Biology from Yale University.
A Davis native and alum of UC Davis, Josette Lewis came to the World Food Center after a distinguished career advancing agricultural innovation in both the private and public sectors.
Josette spent 16 years at the U.S. Agency for International Development working in international research and development, then as senior biotechnology adviser and finally as director of the Office of Agriculture, where she played a lead role in developing the Obama administration’s global hunger and food security efforts.
In 2010, Josette left USAID to serve as director of agricultural development at Arcadia Biosciences, where she worked on overseas business partnerships, technology licensing and technology collaborations with developing nations.
Josette is a recipient of the USAID Superior Honor Award and the State Department Superior Honor Award. She graduated magna cum laude from UC Davis with a bachelor of science degree in genetics and received her PhD in molecular genetics from UCLA.
Paul is an Operating Partner at U.S. Venture Partners, one of the true pioneers of venture capital that have helped make Silicon Valley a leader in IT technology and health care innovation. At the same time, he is the Founder of Feeding 10 Billion (not affiliated with USVP), a non-profit initiative focused on building a robust eco-system of information and people to help entrepreneurs create their food-system businesses. At USVP, Paul has led or co-led investments in Livefyre, 3Ware (sold to AMCC), Total Beauty, Trovix (sold to Monster), PlaceIQ, Swoop, and others. He serves as a trustee of the World Affairs Council and as an advisory board member for the Jake Jabs Business School at Montana State University in Bozeman. On the natural landscape:, Paul is member of the National Council of the American Prairie Reserve (APR), which is “Building an American Serengeti”– an ambitious undertaking to reclaim three million acres of the nation’s northern prairies as wild habitat. Paul began his professional career at Texas Instruments, Future Computing, and Tandem Computers. In 1996, he became CEO of HearMe, taking that company public in 1998. His two decades of operating experience included eight years with Adaptec, where he was Vice President and General Manager of the Storage Products Operation. Paul served as a Resident Entrepreneur for Institutional Venture Partners in 1995 and was an advisor to Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures in the 1990s. Paul earned an M.B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A., International Studies from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. from the University of the Pacific.
Mr. McNairy is CEO of International Farming Corporation, a $1.2 bn agricultural investment manager. Mr. McNairy has overseen farmland acquisitions, mid-stream assets and agtech investments across a multitude of geographies and crop types. He grew up working for his family’s farming businesses, which were founded in 1871. These businesses included L. Harvey’s Falling Creek Produce Company and Harvey Farms, where he focused on both row and permanent crops. Mr. McNairy began his career as an analyst in Morgan Stanley’s New York City real estate division, focusing on principal investments, mergers and acquisitions, and REIT advisory work. Mr. McNairy was a Morehead Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa and All-ACC Academic at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he played on two Final Four basketball teams for Hall of Fame Coach Dean Smith. Mr. McNairy currently serves on the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Board of Visitors and the General Alumni Association Board of Directors. Mr. McNairy received his M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Ron Meeusen, PhD is a Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox and co-founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures. Ron has over 30 years of experience in bringing new technologies and products to market. He has led research and development for major corporations in agricultural chemicals, field crop and vegetable genetics and breeding, animal health, novel foods and industrial materials. His successful projects include the world’s first field trial of a genetically engineered crop trait in 1986, development and launch of one of the first insect and herbicide resistant corn hybrids in 1996, introduction of a trans-fat free canola oil, and development of dozens of new varieties of field and vegetable crops on three continents. Ron has been a frequent speaker at conferences, a consultant to Federal policy on biotechnology regulatory issues, and active in industry trade groups. Prior to forming Cultivian Ron led the expansion of the biotechnology research and development program of Dow AgroSciences, and founded a successful biopharmaceutical company, Immuneworks, Inc. Ron represents Cultivian on the board of directors of AbCelex Technologies, Agrivida (Board Chair), enEvolv, Proterro, Rivertop Renewables, Vestaron and Virgin Plants. He was also a member of the board of directors of Allylix, Aratana Therapeutics and Divergence, Inc. Ron holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in plant cell biology, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in plant physiology.
Brian Mixer is an investment director at Middleland Capital. Brian works with technology companies in the food, agriculture and sustainability sectors. He led Middleland’s investments in and holds the board or observer seats in Aerofarms, Arable Labs, Agrivida, Aquaspy, Conservis, Groundwork BioAg, Rootility and Shenandoah Growers.
Prior to joining Middleland in 2010, Brian worked in investment banking and held senior positions in multiple US political campaigns. Brian holds a BA in economics from Bucknell University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Robert’s career has been devoted to getting automation and robotics to work for society. He led the U.S. Army’s first drone platoon in Afghanistan. Subsequently, he consulted about maritime robotics with Deloitte and got an MBA at Carnegie Mellon.
He is now the founder and the CEO of TerrAvion. TerrAvion is the largest volume provider of aerial imagery to agriculture and collects over 100 times as much imagery as the electric drone industry combined.
Paul grew up on a farm and has been buying and operating farms on his own account since 1999. Paul founded Farmland Partners in April of 2014 by contributing approximately 7,300 acres of high-quality farmland, mostly in the U.S. Midwest. Since that time Farmland Partners has continued to grow and now owns approximately $980 million of farmland across 17 states. Before devoting full attention to production agriculture, Paul was a public company CFO (Jazz Technologies), investment banker (Merrill Lynch, Wasserstein Perella) and lawyer (Sullivan & Cromwell). He has a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Illinois, an M.P.P. from Harvard University, and a J.D. with Honors from the University of Chicago.
Mario Portela is an investor and Managing Director with TPG ART. He began his relationship with TPG in 2009. He has broad investment and M&A experience across all investment stages, from VC and growth to large private and public deals.
Mario also has extensive operational experience managing businesses in the energy and industrials sectors globally. In recent years, he has been focused on resource efficiency, industrial innovation and sustainability.
Mario has a B.S. in Engineering from IMPE, Lisbon, Portugal, and has studied Finance and Marketing throughout his career at ESADE, INSEAD, IMD and Wharton. He has lived across Europe, US and South America and is fluent in 5 languages.
Mario Portela currently serves on the boards of directors of Anuvia Nutrients LLC; Advantek Waste Management Services LLC; ChemEor, Inc., EBES S.A., and Solinftec, AMBAR.
Eduardo Quemada co-founded PlantResponse in 2008, and has served as CEO since 2011. Eduardo has 24 years of experience in business management including industries such as construction, consulting, engineering and IT. Before founding PlantResponse, he was Managing Director, Research & Development for élogos. In 2004, Eduardo joined Applus+ (Europe’s leader in certification, inspection and engineering), managing a budget of more than €10 million. Eduardo has made a career of leading complex groups and companies, focusing on developing new businesses and bringing success to people. He earned an MSc. in Civil Engineering from Madrid Polytechnic University in 1994 and and MDP from IESE Business School in 2006.
Stephanie Race is the Founder and CEO of Crop Performance Ltd. a geospatial analytics company providing data services for sustainable agriculture. Crop Performance works with growers and food companies to improve productivity, conserve resources, and monitor the environmental impact of food production. The food industry benefits with more accurate supply forecasts, an enhanced visability to source commodities, assess risk and monitor the impact of climate change on agriculture. Crop Performance analytics forecast crop yields with accuracy in advance of harvest. The data is used to inform in-season yield, water & nutrient status of crops at the field scale. Customers of growers in the supply chain benefit from an integrated view of supply to inform sourcing, harvest planning and logistics. The in-situ remote sensing platform utilizes IoT, satellite, and drone platforms to monitor weather, phenology, pests and disease allowing growers to produce higher yields of quality crops on less land, improving profit per acre. Stephanie has been providing sourcing and risk management solutions for the agriculture, food & beverage industry for over 25 years. One of the early pioneers of IoT, Stephanie developed the first product data exchange utilizing electronic product codes to delineate location based sourcing for the food industry. Stephanie was a Partner at Accenture, and gained her corporate technology experience with leadership roles at Oracle Corporation and Andersen Consulting. In collaboration with NASA, she conceived and built solutions using satellite based earth observation data to analyze the economics of agriculture, land use, infrastructure and water for the food and beverage industry. Stephanie is the co-founder and Board Member of Global Map Aid a non-profit that provides geospatial data for humanitarian assistance resulting in more efficient distribution of aid to those in need.
John is the Senior Vice President for Climate’s Global Commercial business including Precision Planting and Climate FieldViewTM Agronomic Services. John’s team leads sales, customer service and support, and business operations of these global businesses.
Prior to his current role, John was the Monsanto U.S. Customer Advocacy lead. John led the development of U.S. advocacy campaigns on behalf of farmers and local community outreach efforts for farmers and ag youth. In addition, John lead the formation of a field team responsible for servicing America’s most progressive farmers.
In 2007, John was named Business Affairs lead in Corporate Affairs, working with State & Federal policy makers and regulators, where he built vital relationships for Monsanto and the industry.
In 2005, John was named General Manager for Monsanto’s Australian, New Zealand, & Philippines business units, based in Melbourne, Australia. This business included cotton and canola and Monsanto’s crop protection business.
From 2002 to 2005, John was the Vice President of Marketing, managing the company’s ag portfolio in the US.
Early in his career, John held numerous sales and sales management roles in the U.S. At the onset of biotechnology’s introduction, John was the U.S. Cotton Marketing Manager, responsible for launching the first two cotton biotechnology products, Bollgard and Roundup Ready.
John has been involved in production agriculture throughout his life. Growing up in southeast Missouri (Senath), John spent his youth working in a family fuel business serving farmers. He graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia, with a BS in Agricultural Systems Management and Marketing.
John and his wife Buffy have two children, Rachel and Austin, and their family is actively involved in production agriculture in Missouri.
Ryan Rakestraw is a principal at Monsanto Growth Ventures (MGV). With offices in San Francisco and St. Louis, MGV invests in a broad range of companies that can have a major impact on the future of agriculture. MGV is growth-stage agnostic, investing in companies from seed stage through IPO. Previously, Ryan was with Cultivation Capital, an early stage venture capital firm based in St. Louis. During this time Ryan founded the Yield Lab, an accelerator program focused on Agriculture. Earlier in his career, Ryan was a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman where he helped to design and implement military platforms ranging from undersea to space applications. Ryan has a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a master’s of science in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins, and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jeff Rosichan, Ph.D., brings more than 25 years of AgTech management, scouting and early-stage milestone development experience to AgTech Accelerator. As chief scientific officer, Dr. Rosichan is responsible for developing relationships with academic institution partners, shaping the strategic technology investment framework and managing all R&D activities from early discovery to global field trials.
Prior to joining AgTech Accelerator, Dr. Rosichan served as external technology leader at Dow AgroSciences, initiating and managing external research collaborations with various universities and companies. He also helped to develop and implement Dow AgroSciences cereals business and R&D strategy. Dr. Rosichan’s broad technology includes cereals, oilseeds, output traits, bioprocess R&D, gene expression and plant transformation.
Dr. Rosichan holds a B.A. in biology and zoology from Humboldt State University, a M.S. in genetics and a Ph.D. in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University.
Gideon Soesman is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GreenSoil Investments, an investment company with offices in Raanana (Israel) and Toronto (Canada).
GreenSoil funds companies with transformative technologies that change how we use the world’s resources and has ~$100M under management in two investment funds: GreenSoil Agro & Food Tech (GAFT) and GreenSoil Building Innovation Fund (GBIF). GAFT is the largest dedicated Israeli fund in ag & food tech and is invested in 6 promising start-ups.
Before co-founding GreenSoil, Gideon founded and managed GMS Capital, a boutique investment bank. Prior to GMS Capital, Gideon was responsible for all global merger and acquisition activities for a major division of Royal Philips Electronics and also served as Director of Corporate Strategy & Venturing. Prior to joining Philips, Gideon held senior positions at Shaldor and Ergo, both leading strategic management-consulting firms in Israel.
Gideon holds a B.A. in Economics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and an M.A. in Business Administration from the Boston University / Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He immigrated to Israel from the Netherlands in 1990, is married and has 3 kids.
Kip Tom is the Managing Member of Tom Farms LLC and the President of CereServ Inc. In addition to being active in Agri-Business operations in Indiana for the past 39 years, Kip has also served as a crop production consultant to various companies in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Today Kip leads finance, strategy and production operations for Tom Farms and CereServ in the U.S. and Argentina.
Kip’s early role in Tom Farms was to serve as a production technician. In 1980, he assumed the role of Assistant Director of Production and Supply Management, leading the company’s growth and expansion of production. In 1985, he led Tom Farms’ engagement into seed production for Pioneer and by 1996, they became Pioneer’s largest U.S. contract seed producer. By 1992, Kip began seed corn production consulting services in Latin America by working with companies to improve yields, increase efficiencies and shorten the timeline in the supply channel in Southern Hemisphere Seed Production. In 2000, he led the efforts to found a company in Argentina to produce seed for Pioneer. Today, Tom Farms is one of Monsanto’s largest seed producers and is also developing into one of Indiana’s largest grain commodity production businesses.
Courses of Study include: Agriculture Management, Texas A&M; Harvard Executive MBA Courses; Texas Executive Agriculture Program, Texas A&M; and the Purdue Midwest Food and Agribusiness Executive Program.
Current and recent activities include: Indiana Economic Development Corporation-Director (2004-Present); IEDC Director serving on the Entrepreneurship and Policy Committees (2004-Present); Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors (2007-Present); Farm Journal Agriculture Foundation, Board of Directors (2010-Present); Indiana Department of Agriculture, Advisory Board Member (2004-Present); 246 Capital Investments, Board of Directors (2010-Present); MASCO , Inc., Board of Directors (2007-Present); The Farm Foundation, Member (2011-Present). Board member of the International Food and Agri-Business Managers Association (2011-Present).
Kip currently resides near Leesburg, Indiana.
Carla Wardin and her husband Kris, both sixth-generation farmers, are the sole owners of Evergreen Dairy in St. Johns, Michigan. They recently expanded their herd and now milk a total of 400 cows. They also grow crops to feed their cattle on 850 acres of corn, alfalfa, and pasture. Carla blogs about the farm, goes into the schools to teach about farming, and enjoys giving tours. Carla is a dairy communicator and delegate for Michigan Milk Producers Association, and she and Kris were named Outstanding Young Dairy Cooperators in 2012. In 2013, they were selected as National Milk Producers Federation Young Cooperator Chaircouple. She also actively promotes agriculture through Michigan Farm Bureau, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and Michigan Ag Council. Before returning to the farm, Carla earned her Masters of Arts degree from Michigan State University in English literature. After graduation, she taught at Bradley University and Northern Illinois University, and, later, worked in marketing for Caterpillar and TechSmith Corporation. The couple has three sons – 8-year-old twins and a 4-year-old.
Mr. Berman has conceived and built many successful companies over the past three decades. Mr Berman is the CEO, Board Member and significant investor at Grower’s Secret, Inc. a life science company that manufactures and distributes specialty agricultural products including an OMRI listed 13-0-0 nitrogen & an organic biostimulant that is added to many other fertilizers. Mr. Berman was instrumental in GSI’s investment in Midwestern BioAg, Inc. He has grown the company from no revenue to a run rate of $5m for 2016.
He was the COB and CEO of United Consumer Benefits Network, Inc a loyalty marketing company. In addition he was the Founder & Chairman of UniPrivacy Inc dba DeleteNow a company founded to help consumers avoid identity theft.
Prior to his role at UCBN, Inc and previous to his founding UniPrivacy dba DeleteNow, Mr. Berman was Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MyPoints, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company’s domestic operations. As COO, Mr. Berman initiated a major profit-focused restructuring of the Company ahead of its acquisition by United Airlines. From 1998 through 2000, Mr. Berman held a variety of senior executive posts of increasing responsibility. Mr. Berman built the Company’s sales and client resources operations (comprising 135 employees), growing annual revenue to $64 million in 2000 from zero two years earlier. He was part of the team that took MyPoints.com through IPO, it was rated one of the best IPO’s of 1999 and at one point had a market cap of $2B.
Before joining MyPoints.com, Mr. Berman was President of three high-growth consumer companies: Goodstuffs, Footprint Marketing and WineWrights. Earlier, Mr. Berman was EVP of Sales for Willitts Designs, a merchandising design company. At Willitts, Mr. Berman profitably grew annual sales to $32 million from $1.5 million and managed more than 200 sales professionals. Willits Designs was acquired by Hallmark, Inc. in 1990.
Dr. John Killmer is CEO of APSE, a company building an RNAi product portfolio and developing technology to cost effectively produce RNA for RNAi applications in agriculture.
John has more than 30 years’ experience discovering, developing, marketing and selling products that make agriculture more productive. John was at Monsanto 25 years where he led international and domestic thrusts in both biotechnology and crop protection products. John was president of Monsanto China responsible for P&L as well as the establishment and operation of new biotech joint ventures. He was the global head of marketing and supply chain for Arysta LifeScience based in Tokyo. He has over 15 years of international experience. More recently John served as director of technology for AMVAC, an international crop protection company. He is currently the lead director for AMVAC and has served on their board of directors since 2008.
John has a PhD from the University of Illinois and an MS and BS from Louisiana State University. He completed the Harvard Business School advanced management program.
Ms. Nofziger Dasgupta has led the commercialization and overall business strategy development at EnviroKure since 2013, bringing a unique and critical agricultural perspective to the leadership team.
Prior to EnviroKure she divided her career between the agriculture and pharmaceutical industries with a track record of developing effective commercial strategy for DuPont, Merial, Rhone Poulenc, Merck, Amgen, as well as three start-ups. Previously, she managed pivotal legislative initiatives for the National Corn Growers. Additionally, she served as Agricultural Legislative Aide to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA), and on then-Vice President Bush’s Agricultural Taskforce. Under President Bush, she worked with The Honorable Cooper Evans, White House Advisor for agriculture in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Sonia holds a BS in Agricultural Economics and Communications from Purdue University. She lives with her physician husband and 5-year-old daughter in Philadelphia, where she is active on several non-profit and community organization boards.
As president & CEO of Advanced Animal Diagnostics, Joy Parr Drach brings a unique combination of agribusiness and new product introduction expertise. She has successfully launched more than 30 new products or ag initiatives ranging from dairy parlors to crop protection products. Her work on these launches has included product ideation and development, market research, channel strategy and management, pricing strategy and implementation, supply chain management, marketing communications planning and implementation, sales force training, and design and implemenatation of customer relationship management systems. Before joining AAD, she was the founder and senior partner of Entira, a management and marketing consulting firm for food and agribusiness companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 industry leaders. In addition to company leadership and personnel development, her client work there focused on corporate strategy, customer acquisition and retention strategies, product launch, organizational design and resource allocation, marketing strategy, and market research. Joy started her career in ag public relations. Joy understands the problems AAD’s products can help solve from the perspective of a customer because she owns and manages a purebred cattle operation and is involved in a family grain farming enterprise as well. Joy serves on the North Carolina Agricultural Biotechnology Advisory Council and is actively involved in the Illinois Simmental and Illinois Junior Simmental Associations. She earned a bachelor of science in agricultural communications from the University of Illinois and a master of business administration from the University of Chicago.
Remi Schmaltz is a co-founder, director and the CEO at Decisive Farming. The Schmaltz family has 4th generations of ag business knowledge and experience including the sale of the family business to a fortune 500 company; CHS Inc. in 2012. He has been one of the key drivers behind new web technologies, market strategy and the sales growth of Optimize RX, Know-Risk Farm Management and cloud software development. He has a proven track record when it comes to driving sales and making tough decisions; Remi’s previous role was at DynAgra where he was responsible for procurement of all crop inputs, logistics, marketing and sales, DynAgra Finance, business expansion and strategic relationships. He holds a Management degree with a major in Marketing from the University of Lethbridge. Remi enjoys spending time with his lovely wife and three children and is passionate about the outdoors.
With over 20 years of technology management and business development experience Paul has worked across numerous disciplines including 16 years in the in the precision agriculture sector. As founder of AgDNA, Paul recognised a gap in the global agriculture sector and commercialized his vision of the big-data analytics platform for crop producers.
Prior to founding AgDNA, Paul held various senior executive positions in Australia and the US precision farming sector. During this time his responsibilities included global software development, research and development, OEM and aftermarket distribution, channel management and technology commercialization.
Paul has a comprehensive background with hands-on experience in taking technology companies from start-up to commercialization through to trade sale. He has led several R&D commercialization projects and holds an MBA in Technology Management and a Bachelor of Engineering.
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