106: The outlook for food and agri-tech investment in 2021

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Last year we took a look at the start-up environment for food and agri-tech post-COVID 19, and continuing the series we speak to two leading investors to get a sense of the outlook for food and agri-tech investment for 2021. What challenges and opportunities do investors see in this market, and where will they be looking to invest in the future as they focus on health, nutrition and sustainability?

Joining host Stefan Gates are Paul Rous, Director, Open Data Exchange & co-founder, Shake Climate Change and Rogier Pieterse, Managing Director, PYMWYMIC. Together they debate how the investment community will help support the innovators creating solutions to support data-driven agriculture, plant-based meat alternatives, and more.

About our panel

Paul Rous, Director, Open Data Exchange & co-founder, Shake Climate Change

Paul is a Director of the Open Data Exchange, a joint initiative between Yara and IBM to enable data sharing throughout the agriculture sector. He is also a co-founder of the UK’s first agritech investment programme, Shake Climate Change, supported by Rothamsted Research, UCL, Hertfordshire and Cranfield Universities.

Paul has been involved in investment, innovation, and agriculture for over a decade, having founded two venture capital funds, Fuel Ventures and Blackfinch Ventures focusing and investing in early-stage UK technology. He has also been involved in the launch and scale of tens of companies and had over five successful exits. After serving as an Officer in the Army and at Goldman Sachs, he took an active role in the family’s arable farm.

Paul has been involved in the rural economy and farming whilst serving as Chairman and Committee Member for the Country Landowners Association, District Councillor – East Suffolk, and Board Member for the East of England’s tourism board. Paul holds an MBA from Imperial College London where he held a position on the Dean’s Advisory Council and was awarded the Dean’s award for sustainable business. He is currently undertaking a Ph.D. with Cranfield University and Rothamsted Research focussing on agricultural innovation ecosystems.

Rogier Pieterse, Managing Director, PYMWYMIC

As a former entrepreneur himself and being passionate about bringing change and support to those who want to do good, Rogier has been leading PYMWYMIC since 2016. Since then, Pymwymic has fully focussed on the required transition in our food system. Rogier has an investment background with extensive experience in evaluating, negotiating, structuring deals (equity and debt) and creating shareholder value by scaling and initiating successful businesses. Previously CEO of family owned Transmark Holdings Group, Founder/MD of Green Giraffe Investment Management, Investment Manager Ampere Fund/ Triodos and Investment Banker at NIBC. Rogier holds a M.Sc. in Economics from University of Amsterdam.

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