Pitch panel: meet 8 investors to impress at Food Tech Matters

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5 min read
AUTHOR: Tilly St Aubyn

Food Tech Matters November edition is set to be a collaborative, rich and exciting digital event, with start-ups pitching their innovative ideas to investors in the hope of receiving funding and booking 1-2-1 meetings to talk about their companies and discuss their plans for the future.

It’s important for start-ups to do their homework and find out who they will be pitching to and learn more about the investors and their current and past work.
We have put together the profiles of eight investors who will sit on the pitching panel at Food Tech Matters this November, so start-ups can get acquainted with them ahead of the event and make sure they are organising 1-2-1 meetings with the most suitable person. 

Ivan Farneti is Co-Founder of Five Seasons Ventures, the first European fund fully focused on foodtech. Prior to this, he held positions at Bain & Co., Deutsche Bank, Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and Seedcamp. Ivan is interested in how product and technology can be utilised to solve the big challenges in the food industry and has been an active venture capital investor for the past twenty years. He was an early stage investor in Everbridge, Inc. (Nasdaq: EVBG), Tridion (acq. by SDL Plc) and Gomez (acq. by Compuware).

During his tenure at Five Seasons Ventures, Ivan has invested in several start-ups including Tropic Biosciences (plants gene editing), Butternut Box (DNVB pet nutrition), THIS.co (plant-based meat alternatives and one of the winners of Food Matters Live Awards 2020), Cortilia (D2C fresh food retailer), YFood Labs (balanced meal replacements), Just Spices (D2C spices), Yamo (D2C fresh baby food) and La Fourche (D2C organic groceries) and Air-Up (reusable water bottle + flavour pods). 

Jonathan Lander is Founder and CEO of Volvere Plc, an investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Volvere is divided into two subsidiaries which are Shire Foods, which produces frozen pies and pasties, and Indulgence Patisserie, which produces premium deserts. He also founded D2L Capital, a tech venture capital firm.

Jonathan has over thirty years experience in the financial services sector include positions at Credit Suisse First Boston, SG Warburg and Nomura. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and active angel investor.

Adriana Freitas is a Partner at Deep Green Impact Ventures, a venture capital fund aimed at supporting early stage tech entrepreneurs. She is also a Partners at Muster Ventures which is a tech consultancy firm working to leverage the best possible minds and capital for tech-driven companies. Adriana works hand-in-hand with founders to build fundraising, go-to-market and expansion strategies.

Adriana is an exponential business visionary and has over twenty years of experience in the telecom market across networks all over the world including running international projects in Rio, Miami, New York and Barcelona for Telefonica. She also holds a managerial position at Connector Startup Accelerator.

Neeraj Berry is Founder and Partner of Tet Ventures which is a foodtech and climate focused venture fund that focuses specifically on transforming the food system. The fund primarily invest in pre-seed and seed start-ups and some of his recent investments include Farmstead, a vertically integrated digital grocer; Gorillas, a ten-minute grocery platform; and Orbillion Bio, creators of cell-cultured heritage meats.

Prior to Tet Ventures, Neeraj founded various tech start-ups including Sprig, a vertically integrated food delivery platform that raised $60M and scaled to 1,200 employees, and 12Society, a subscription commerce business. He was also named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016.

Before his career in tech, Neeraj worked in investment banking.

Leah von Siemens is a Principal at Manta Ray where she heads up investments in food, healthcare, life sciences and transportation. Her investments to date include Climax Foods, a biotechnology company; THIS, a plant-based meat company, and one of the winner of Food Matters Live Awards 2020; Future Meat, creators of cultured meat; and Supplant, a plant-tech company creating sugars from fibre.

Prior to Manta Ray, Leah held positions at Bonfire Ventures and Santander InnoVentures. She began her career working in sales and product marketing at Google. 

Loet Ramelsberg is Program Director at StartLife. Loet supports early phase food and agtech entrepreneurs to get from their MVP until Seed/ series A investment. In the process, he shares his experience as a former entrepreneur and makes connections to the business where needed. Loet is very passionate about food and is always looking for cool agri-foodtech startups who aim to make a positive change. 

Nicky Deasy is Co. Founder and Managing Partner, The Yield Lab Europe. The Yield Lab Europe is an Agtech impact venture capital fund, which invests into early stage European AgriFoodTech companies to make our global food and agriculture production system more sustainable and more efficient whilst improving profitability.  This includes technologies in crop production, animal health and welfare, precision agriculture, supply chain/logistics, food ingredients, supply chain, food processing and packaging. The Yield Lab Europe also runs an award-winning accelerator for earlier stage companies. 

Nick Horsthuis is an early-stage investor in sustainability and impact-focused companies at Mariana. Nick previously founded a social impact venture tackling food waste and has a background in product management and design. His interest in agriculture and food technology began through his involvement in his family’s fresh food retailing and wholesaling business. He is passionate about ensuring company purpose is weighted equally to that of financial performance.

Discover more investors you could be pitching to at Food Tech Matters.

The next Food Tech Matters event is from 29 – 30 November 2021. To pitch at the event, please email tilly.staubyn@foodmatters.co.uk or book online here.

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