Sharon was mostly recently with Kaiima Agri-Biotech where she set-up and led their US operations. Sharon studied Agriculture and Biochemistry at the University of Missouri, Columbia. After a few years in academia, Sharon joined Monsanto, where she held positions in R&D, Regulatory Science & Affairs, Licensing and M&A, Specialty and New Crops, Field Operations and other crop-focused businesses. After leaving Monsanto, Sharon was an independent consultant and spent three years at a start-up, Chlorogen Inc. She subsequently held positions as Director of International Programs and Assistant Director of Technology Management at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Sharon then joined Dow AgroSciences to establish an Agronomic Traits pipeline and to lead out-licensing efforts related to the EXZACT™ Precision Technology (zinc fingers in plants). She was instrumental in developing Dow’s licensing function and led transactions across the business, including biotechnology traits, enabling technologies and crop protection. In last role, Sharon led the Venture Capital investment strategy and related deals for Dow AgroSciences.
Jacqueline is a Venture Partner in the Boston office. She has 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, executive management and venture investing in the food and agriculture sector.
Jacqueline’s career has centered around the support of innovation in the sector by identifying and commercializing new technology, both as an entrepreneur at start-ups like CiBO Technologies and Mendel Biotechnology, and as a leader of global R&D, strategic alliances and investor at Monsanto, Flagship and Two Blades Foundation. She was a Partner at Flagship and an Investment Director at Monsanto Growth Ventures, starting up the corporate venture arm of the world’s leading agritech firm. Jacqueline has served as an active Board member for her portfolio companies, and forged new open innovation structures for the industry by creating new companies like Nimbus Ceres Discovery and Preceres to develop novel Fungicide and RNA formulation assets using capital efficient, semi-virtual models.
Jacqueline’s work has resulted in more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and patents. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board of the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Keystone Symposia. Jacqueline has technical degrees in Biology and Biochemistry with a PhD from Boston College, Post-doc at Harvard MGH and a degree in management from Sloan at MIT.
Dr. Michael Helmstetter serves as Co-Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Technology Acceleration Partners (TechAccel LLC).
TechAccel is a first-of-its-kind private capital development company that invests in, acquires, and accelerates early-stage discoveries and technologies in agriculture, animal health, and food ingredient sectors. TechAccel targets higher risk innovatons in need of advancement capital coupled to scientific expertise. The innovations are advanced in collaboration with Global Strategics, Universities and/or emerging start-up companies.
Before founding TechAccel, Michael served as the fifth President and Chief Executive Officer of MRIGlobal – one of the nation's most prominent research institutions. Over his 14 years with MRIGlobal (formerly Midwest Research Institute), he was critical to the growth of MRIGlobal from 2 locations to 17 locations in 9 states, as well as several international locations. He was integral to the spin-off of several companies and played a leadership role in the company’s win of a $1 billion Department of Energy contract.
Prior to joining MRIGlobal, he held a series of laboratory management positions at Applied Marine Research Laboratory in Norfolk, Virginia, before becoming the Program Manager for the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce, Florida. In 1993, Dr. Helmstetter served as President and Chairman of startup Brevard Teaching and Research Laboratories, a post he held until 1999 when MRIGlobal acquired BTR Labs and retained Dr. Helmstetter as Director of its Florida Division.
Michael has more than 30 years of experience working with both the private sector and government agencies. His start-up, spin-off and technology advancement expertise spans many sectors including agriculture, defense and biotechnology. His personal success in laboratory research and development covers biotechnology, toxicology, chemical instrumentation, sampling designs and complex data analysis.
Michael received a Ph.D. in Chemical Toxicology/Oceanography from Old Dominion University and a B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College. He has been a panelist, keynote speaker, lecturer, reviewer to several journals, and is the author of numerous publications, technical articles, book chapters, and technical reports. He has served on numerous boards and committees including:
Labconco Corporation Board of Directors
Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Board of Directors
University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees
Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board
Kansas City Area Development Council Board of Directors
Civic Council of Greater Kansas City Member
Greater Kansas City Chamber Board of Director, Executive Committee and Big 5 Committees for Animal Health and Entrepreneurship
Michael lives in suburban Kansas City. You can reach him via the TechAccel website (www.TechAccel.net), on Twitter (@Tech_Accel) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhelmstetter). His email is Michael@TechAccel.net.
Dr. Philippe received his Ph.D. in biotechnology in Toulouse, France, with expertise in both chemistry and plant biology. He has more than 15 years of experience in Ag-industry, working across early stage company, international research organizations and multi-national companies in Europe, Asia and USA and has been in charge of international projects and establishing partnerships across a range of projects.
Director of Project Management, Crop Protection Division
Director of Project Management, Crop Protection Division
Arnon is a Director of project management at Evogene crop protection division. The focus of the crop protection group at Evogene is to bring novel solution in the fields of insect control, disease control and weed control. Arnon was previously the CTO of BondX Technologies developing plant-based additives to the lignocellulose industry. Arnon has a PhD in Biotechnology from the Hebrew university in Jerusalem, and an MBA from college of management academic studies in Israel. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and several patents.
Mark Kahn is the co-founder of Omnivore Partners, a venture capital firm, based in India, investing in startups that are developing breakthrough technologies for food and agriculture. Mark is a Director for multiple Omnivore-backed startups, including Skymet, FrontalRain, Arohan Foods, Eruvaka, and YCook.
Previously, Mark was the Executive Vice President (Strategy & Business Development) at Godrej Agrovet, one of India's foremost diversified agribusiness companies. At Godrej Agrovet, Mark was responsible for corporate strategy, M&A, R&D, and new business incubation.
Earlier in his career, Mark worked for Syngenta and PFM. He earned a BA (Honors) from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar.
Nicola is the founder of Newbean Capital, a registered investment adviser that manages early stage venture capital mandates, such as, the Battle Born Venture mandate which invests in early stage Nevadan companies on behalf of the US Treasury. Newbean Capital also has substantial interests in indoor agriculture, owing two business in the space. Contain Inc. is an alternate finance business dedicated to indoor growers, it partners with leading equipment suppliers to arrange lease finance. Indoor Ag-Con is the premier event business in the space, focusing on crop-agnostic technology for growing hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic systems in warehouses, containers and greenhouses.
Nicola has spent close to 20 years in real assets investments in Europe, Asia and the US. After spending time as a rated equity analyst at ABN Amro Hoare Govett in London, she led a team of equity analysts in Asia, achieving top 3 ratings in independent analyst rankings. In the US, she has managed hedge fund portfolios at a subsidiary of the Monitor Group and managed established private equity and real asset platforms for SEI Investments. Her coverage sectors have included traditional and renewable energy, chemicals, water, agriculture, farmland, and forestland.
She sits on the advisory board of Filament, a VC-backed mesh-networkable low cost microcontroller and software platform that incorporates blockchain to allow users to easily create remote secure WiFi networks.
A graduate with honors of Magdalen College, Oxford, where she studied politics, philosophy and economics, Nicola also holds Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) qualifications. Her work has been featured in leading financial media, including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.
Rob is CEO of AgFunder, an investment marketplace platform for the $6.4 Trillion dollar agriculture industry. Rob has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Financial Post, Seeking Alpha, and twice in Nature journals. Rob has been invited to speak at global conferences on agriculture, technology, and capital raising. He has given seminars at the USDA, been featured in Forbes and Reuters, judged for the National Ag Innovation Prize, and held a committee member position for the Ag Innovation Showcase; the world’s leading AgTech conference. Rob has five degrees, spanning Philosophy, Computer Science, and Computational Biology, including a PhD from Yale University.
Founder, President NA & Board Member
Aditya is also the Founder and Director of Symbiotic Sciences Pvt. Ltd., a company focused on realizing and maximizing the potential of bio-resources for agriculture. He built Symbiotic Sciences from a single-person garage operation into one of India’s largest supplier of mycorrhizae, catering to the European, Indian and North American markets.
Aditya Malhotra is the former President and CEO of SyMyco, Inc., a joint venture between Symbiotic Sciences and Mycorrhizal Application (subsidiary of Valent Biosciences). SyMyco's research and development focuses on ways to increase crop yields through products that better deliver water and nutrients to farmer fields through beneficial Mycorrhizal fungi.
He started his career in 2006 as an analyst at TheCentrix, where he worked on strategy projects for diversification in to Finance and Accounting Outsourcing.Aditya graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a Management Minor from University of Minnesota.
Ron has 26 years of experience in bringing new technologies and products to market. During this time he has led R&D for major corporations in agricultural chemicals, field crop and vegetable genetics and breeding, animal health, novel foods and industrial materials. His successful projects include planning and conducting 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, and introduction of a trans-fat free canola oil. Prior to forming MidPoint, Ron spent two years as an executive-on-loan writing an economic development plan which the State of Indiana adopted for its food and agricultural sectors. As Global Leader of Biotechnology at Dow AgroSciences, Ron led the expansion of its biotechnology research and development program. Ron holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in plant cell biology, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in plant physiology.
Pat is the President of Open Prairie and Managing Director of the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund. His expertise is in complex regulated industries, with special strength in turnaround management, investor relations and accountability standards and performance. Prior to joining Open Prairie, he was a three-time chief executive officer in the biologics industry; Vice President of Commercial Operations for Genesis Therapeutics; Executive Vice President of Sequitor Medical Technologies; and Executive in Residence of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. Pat holds a BA from Athenaeum of Ohio.
Bob Morris is President of AndMore Associates, LLC, a global advisory firm providing strategic counsel on technology innovation, commercialization and new business opportunities to global stakeholders in the food, agriculture, and cleantech sectors. An advocate for entrepreneurship, higher education improvements, and science and technology initiatives, Bob is passionate about developing sustainable solutions in an evolving, dynamic global marketplace.
As past president of The Sulphur Institute, Bob led the successful promotion of sulphur as a viable investment and commercial product in agricultural and industrial markets worldwide among Fortune 100 corporations, SME’s, associations, non-government organizations, and international government agencies. He initiated and conducted programs that positioned sulphur as an essential crop nutrient with Indian government and industry, a two million ton fertilizer market. The programs and partnerships he established with Chinese industry and government helped stimulate growth of Chinese sulphur imports from zero to more than ten million tons, a US$1 billion market.
A published and recognized industry expert, Bob serves on various advisory boards and councils including the Ag Innovation Showcase, TechCast Global, IFA Agriculture and Communications committees and the Rutgers University MBS program. Bob is an agronomist with a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.S. from Pennsylvania State University.
Director of Business Development
Open Innovation Lead at Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™
Director of Business Development
Open Innovation Lead at Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™
Mat Müller is Director of Business Development - Open Innovation Lead at Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™. His focus is the deployment of an open innovation strategy in support of the newly formed Agriculture Division. Mat’s primary objective is to stimulate innovation, both internally and in collaboration with others, to enable and support research scale and to extend technologies developed by Corteva scientists into adjacent spaces. Prior to his current role, Mat occupied leadership positions in science, operations, licensing and business strategy. Prior to Pioneer, Mat served in various capacities for Verdia, Inc., Maxygen, Inc., the University of California, the Swiss National Foundation for Scientific Research and the University of Lausanne. Mat earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Lausanne, and an MBA from the California State University at Hayward.
Vice President, Business Development
Vice President, Business Development
Andy has more than a decade of experience in global technology scouting and acquisition as well as business development for agricultural solutions companies. He received his PhD in plant biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Bayreuth, Germany and was a PostDoc at the Max-Planck-Institute in Potsdam, Germany. In 1999 he joined BASF where he first worked on the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids in oilseeds. From 2003 to 2014, he was responsible for BASF Plant Science’s technology scouting and acquisition in Europe and America. From 2014-2016 he moved to the early-stage company Benson Hill Biosystems to establish new commercial partnerships. In 2016 he also worked as independent consultant with various ag tech start-up companies and venture capital firms. In January 2017 Andy joined Vestaron Corporation as VP Business Development to support the market launch of their first product family SPEAR®, to expand to new markets, and to build strategic partnerships.
Andy has a strong network covering the entire agricultural solutions field. Besides his role at the Ag Innovation Showcase, he serves on the industry advisory boards of the biostimulants company Growcentia and the ag tech incubator The Yield Lab.
Dawn Riley has over 20 years of experience working in the government and public service arena at the local, state and federal levels specifically focused on agriculture. She regularly collaborates with Point A Consulting on projects related to emerging trends in agricultural policy, agricultural development strategies and best practices in farming and agribusiness.
In 2005 Ms. Riley founded her own government relations firm, Dawn Riley Consulting. Her clients have included agricultural organizations with a statewide focus (Kentucky Agricultural Council); regional-oriented (Southeastern Livestock Network) and national in scope (Farmers Market Coalition). She also represents private companies of various types (Monty’s Plant Food Company) and non-profit organizations (Alliance for Water Efficiency) whose products or programs interface with the agricultural and environmental arenas.
From 2001 through 2004, Ms. Riley worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Her first responsibility was as Acting Deputy Undersecretary for the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services mission area, as well as the Acting Deputy Undersecretary for the Research, Education and Economics mission area.
From 2002 thru 2003, Ms. Riley worked as the Director of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, for the Research, Education and Economics mission area of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 2004, Ms. Riley served in the public arena as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary, continuing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Serving as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary, Riley served as an advisor in every aspect of Departmental operations including but not limited to homeland security, budget, hiring, congressional relations, foreign assistance, food and nutrition issues, research and education, food safety, natural resources and environment, farm programs, and inspection of animals and plants.
Since returning to Kentucky in 2005, Dawn has been very involved in providing leadership to the local food arena, and was a founding member of Louisville’s Food Policy Committee. Ms. Riley continues to maintain her networks across the country and internationally, as an invited participant in many national agricultural policy forums such as the US Water Alliance, AGREE and the Farm Foundation to name a few. Ms. Riley grew up on a farm in central Kentucky, where she is still active in managing a family-owned farm supply business. She is a graduate of Centre College.
David Russell is a Venture Partner at Lewis & Clark Ventures located in St Louis, Missouri. Lewis & Clark Ventures has raised a family of venture capital funds focusing on sectors such as enterprise software, healthcare technology and financial technology. David is part of a new Ag commitment that will focus on agriculture technology including precision agriculture, plant genomics, soil and crop technology, biomaterials, food sustainability, and water solutions.
David has a long-standing interest in finding, evaluating and developing new Ag and Food technologies. Prior to joining Lewis & Clark, David lead Monsanto’s Biotechnology Prospecting Team looking for innovative opportunities to support the Monsanto technology portfolio. David has also helped lead the development of feed and processing traits as part of the Renessen LLC JV where he was V.P. of Product Development & Technology and lead the technology and regulatory science functions. He started his Ag career with Agracetus, Inc., an early Ag biotech startup.
David received his Ph.D. from Rice University in microbial gene expression, and did a NSF Plant Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University.
Eric is President of AgBiome, Inc. He has worked in the ag biotech industry for over 25 years, most recently serving as president of the Two Blades Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the development of durable disease resistance in crops. Prior to that he was CEO and a co-founder of Cropsolution, Inc., an ag chemical discovery company focused on novel fungicides. Eric began his career at Ciba-Geigy (later Novartis, now Syngenta), where he held various positions in research management, ultimately serving as co-president of Novartis Agribusiness Biotechnology Research. Eric has authored more than 65 scientific publications and is inventor on more than 30 issued patents. He received his undergraduate training in biology at Duke University and a PhD in plant biology from Washington University in St. Louis.