Blue Horizon today announces the appointment of a new female Partner and two female Directors to its investment team. In five years, Blue Horizon has grown to 28 employees, including nine in the investment team which is now 67% female. In this time, the company has raised more than $850 million and invested in over 50 companies spanning agriculture, biology and technology.
As we reported last year, research done by Jenny Stojkovic, founder of the Vegan Women Summit, found that female-led companies performed 63% better than all-male founding teams, and businesses founded by women deliver twice as much per dollar invested than those founded by men.
The company states that the three new female leaders join “at a time of increasing interest in sustainable food and agriculture, as global banks, institutional investors, multibillion-dollar funds and family offices begin to understand the market opportunity and stakeholder demands to address climate change.”
The additional investment experts –onboarded to expedite Blue Horizon’s deal pipeline and to address accelerated growth and market opportunities in the sector — are as follows:
Lea Bajc, Partner: Lea brings two decades of investment and operational experience in venture capital as well as being a serial founder and entrepreneur across finance, technology and impact investing. Lea characterises her career as having been “on both sides of the table and both sides of the Pond” – investor and founder with a pan-European upbringing who went on to build companies in Silicon Valley. As a Partner Lea will deploy her significant personal and professional expertise across the breadth of operations at Blue Horizon from the investment committee to providing hands-on support to portfolio company management. Principally, Lea will be focusing on the value chain, creating impact and growth in the portfolio, in alignment with Blue Horizon’s mission to create positive change for future generations.
Friederike Grosse-Holz, Director: Friederike brings an extensive scientific background vital to identifying investments in the technologies that will have a real impact on food industry sustainability. Friederike will also be responsible for establishing relationships with technically versed founders, leading scientists and industry stakeholders. Friederike obtained a DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford, using a mix of bioinformatics and protein biochemistry to improve recombinant protein production in plants, a technique called molecular farming. She was previously a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, where she worked with biotech and biopharma clients.
Olivia Stolt-Nielsen Meinl, Director: Olivia will be responsible for impact and ESG for Blue Horizon, and will lead relationships for the team with portfolio companies and stakeholders. Olivia brings significant experience in the food industry, including as a (co-)founder herself of Olive + Squash, a fast-casual farm-to-table restaurant in London’s City. Previously, Olivia was part of Blackstone’s Alternative Asset Management team and an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs. In addition, Olivia holds a Masters in Climate Change from Imperial College London.
Bjoern Witte, Managing Partner & CEO of Blue Horizon said: “We’re delighted to welcome Lea, Friederike and Olivia at a significant moment in Blue Horizon’s growth journey as we strengthen our position as the leading accelerator in the transition to a sustainable food system. Each brings unique capabilities combining entrepreneurship, finance knowledge and science credentials that deepen our expertise as a global investor across the food industry. From executive leadership, to food formulations and biochemistry, they will be integral to our drive to quickly scale Blue Horizon even further over the coming months. At Blue Horizon our wealth of talent is drawn from around the world through a remote-first model, which gives us greater visibility of the sector and allows us to tap into a multitude of opportunities, widening our strategies and investments globally. This approach allows us to deliver on our dual mandate of producing strong financial returns alongside measurable positive impact.”