Plantbased Business Hour

Why Institutional and Philanthropic Investors Are Focusing on Food – the Milken Institute on the Plant Based Business Hour

Caitlin MacLean, Senior Director of Innovative Finance at the Milken Institute, and Holly Freishtat, Senior Director at Feeding Change, join Elysabeth Alfano on The Plantbased Business Hour to discuss blended capital and why institutional and philanthropic investors are using this approach to focus on food. Specifically, they discuss: What is the Milken Institute’s Feeding Change initiative? What does it aim to accomplish? Holly, what were your takeaways from COP28, and have you seen this play out in the finance community thus far? Is investing in food systems transformation considered innovative finance? If so, why? When do we think Wall Street capital, a major component of blended capital, will come into play? How will this transpire? No one knows the future, but if we had to …

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Plantbased Business Hour

What Is Stakeholder Engagement and is it Important for Food Systems Shift?

Chief Investment Officer of VegTech Invest, Dr. Sasha Goodman, discusses the firm’s recent white paper, in conjunction with Harvard University students, on Stakeholder Engagement for Plant-based Innovation & Diversified Proteins. Along with host of The Plantbased Business Hour, Elysabeth Alfano, the two discuss the top 5 findings of the white paper and the impact on the diversified proteins sector. Specifically, they discussed What is the new white paper between VegTech™ Invest and Harvard’s Great Food Systems Transformation Course students? What prompted the White Paper on Best Practices for Stakeholder Engagement for Plant-based Innovation and Protein Diversification? Why is Stakeholder Engagement in Plant-based Innovation and Protein Diversification important? Of the 6 case studies in the paper, is there one that particularly stands out for you? What …

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Future of Protein Production panel

Image courtesy of Nick Bradley

Plantbased Business Hour

Future of Protein Production 2024 on the Plant based Business Hour

Host of The Plantbased Business Hour and CEO of VegTech Invest, Elysabeth Alfano, was recently on a panel at the Future of Protein Production conference in Chicago. Elysabeth was on the panel discussing investing in food systems transformation with Aleh Manchuliantsau, Founder and CEO of Planetarians, Fengru Lin, CEO and co-founder of TurtleTree, and Alex Shirazi, co-founder and director of the Cultivated Meat Symposium. At the links below you can listen to their panel discussion. Audio clip: https://x.com/ElysabethAlfano/status/1787871566950195407 Podcast link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/future-of-protein-production-2024/id1512473843?i=1000654300710 Below is a transcript of an audio clip from the episode. Alex Shirazi: There have been a lot of discussions about the downturn in investment in 2024, so that’s what we’re going to jump into. You know, have we seen different types of investment come into …

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Elysabeth Alfano impact investing

© Elysabeth Alfano

Investments & Finance

Impact Investment Strategies Unveiled in New GenConnectU Course by VegTech Invest’s Elysabeth Alfano

GenConnectU has recently introduced an on-demand educational offering, “Impact Investing with Plant-based Innovation,” targeted at those interested in sustainable investment practices. The course is led by Elysabeth Alfano, CEO of VegTech Invest, who brings substantial expertise in the plant-based investment sphere. The course curriculum is designed to educate enrollees on how to integrate ethical considerations into their investment choices, specifically focusing on the plant-based innovation sector. It aims to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate public markets with a sustainability-focused approach. Elysabeth Alfano’s professional background includes a start at The Kellogg Company and various executive roles before transitioning to a focus on sustainability investing and consulting. She has shared her insights on global stages, such as the United Nations and Yale …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Why Is a Former Meat Company Owner Investing in Cultivated Meat? With Davide Dukcevich

The former owner of Daniele prosciutto and now cultivated meat investor, Davide Dukcevich joins Elysabeth on The Plantbased Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano to discuss the outlook for cultivated meat AND the outlook for meat.   Specifically, they discuss: Why would someone whose family founded a meat company, Daniele known for its prosciutto, be interested in cultivated meat? When did you realize that change was afoot in the meat industry and how do you see this transpiring in today’s convoluted world? When will we see the supply chain issues be addressed in cultivated meat and what kind of capital will that take? Will it be blended capital, and if so, how much? Will we see ‘S-curve capital’ before we see ‘S-curve adoption’? What innovations are you most …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Will Investors Embrace Food Systems Transformation? With Mahesh Roy of IIGCC

Will investors embrace food systems transformation? On this episode of The Plantbased Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano, Mahesh Roy, Investor Strategies Programme Director of the Institutional Group on Climate Change, discusses the IIGCC perspective on investing in food systems transformation to combat Climate Change and partake in the potential growth of the sector. Specifically, they discuss What is the IIGCC? Why do you believe that the global food systems shift is going to happen quickly? Why is the food sector the only sector that can be net zero by 2030? Why has IIGCC expanded to invest in food? What is your most critical tip for institutional and impact investors? Below is a highlight clip and transcription from the long-form conversation. Podcast link is here. Display content from …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Bloomberg Intelligence’s Jen Bartashus at the Farm, Food, & Fuel Summit

Senior Research Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Jen Bartashus, joins host and CEO of VegTech™ Invest Elysabeth Alfano on The Plantbased Business Hour. Together they discuss the conference and their panel experiences as well as their predictions for the sector in the next five to ten years. Specifically, they discuss: What are some of the hardships that the animal agriculture industry is facing at the moment? Is there a growing interest in protein diversification? Are there financial benefits to protein diversification? What were some key learnings coming out of the Bloomberg Intelligence Farm, Food & Fuel Summit? Below is a highlight clip and transcription from their long-form conversation. Podcast link here. Display content from YouTube Click here to display content from YouTube. Learn more in YouTube’s …

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Plantbased Business Hour

The Investment Thesis Behind Food Systems Transformation: Lombard Odier’s Thomas Hohne-Sparborth

Thomas Hohne-Sparborth, Head of Sustainability Research at Lombard Odier Investment Managers in Switzerland joins the Plantbased Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano. They discuss who pays for and who benefits from food systems transformation. From the farmer to the investor and everyone in between, we cover the investment thesis for environmentalists and capitalists alike. Specifically, they discuss: What is Lombard Odier and why do you focus on investments in natural resources as a strategy? What do we mean when we say global food systems transformation? How can investors benefit from this? How do you envision financing the food systems transformation? In what time frame? Are your clients on board? Who is driving the growth behind the global funding? Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our …

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Plantbased Business Hour

How to Raise Capital in This Economy: Jeffrey Harris of Green Venture Advisory

How to raise capital for your startup or existing company in this restrictive economy? This is what is on every founder’s mind. Jeffrey Harris, CEO of Green Venture Advisory, joins Elysabeth today on the Plantbased Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano to talk about the three things you need to know. Specifically, they discuss What do startups/brands need to focus on to successfully raise capital? What are VCs and angels – if anything – focusing on before they invest? What have founders and investors learned in the past two years? What are the top mistakes on both sides? What deals have taken place and are we coming out of the investment slump? Below is a highlight clip and transcription from their long-form conversation. Podcast here. Display …

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Plantbased Business Hour

How to Get Your Food Business Acquired with Yves Potvin

Three-time founder, Yves Potvin, discusses the current state of the plant-based innovation sector and how to grow a food business to be acquired. Having sold Gardein to Conagra and Yves Veggie Cuisine to Hain Celestial, Yves is now championing Konscious Foods with a plan to be acquired. Learn from this ultra-successful pioneer on The Plant-based Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano. Specifically, they discuss How to have a successful exit/acquisition for your company. The most important steps in building a robust company. Why, after starting and successfully selling Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein, he decided to start Konscious Foods. The common mistakes founders make that can implode their companies. The current state of the industry. Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our long-form conversation. …

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Plantbased Business Hour

How Do We Fight for the Planet? George Monbiot Weighs In

George Monbiot, author, journalist, and environmental activist, joins The Plantbased Business Hour to discuss how to best fight for the planet and how to take no prisoners when it comes to taking on the meat industry and its lobby. He goes for the jugular and this is a do-not-miss interview. Specifically, they discuss: How does the Big Meat misinformation campaign differ from big tobacco and fossil fuels’ misinformation campaigns? What do you do against the misinformation campaign, especially if it is protected by certain government organizations? Is there a strategy for impact when we are woefully outspent? What is it going to take to move the needle? For people to be outraged? A health crisis? Another pandemic? Capitalism and free markets? The ills of big meat are …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Can We Have a Sustainable Future? With Roger Spitz of Techistential

Roger Spitz (M.Sc., FCA, APF) is an international bestselling author, a celebrated futurist, the president of Techistential (Climate & Foresight Strategy), and the chair of the renowned Disruptive Futures Institute, based in San Francisco. In this episode, they discuss how we can prepare for the disruption ahead and come out financially and consciously better. Specifically, they discuss: How do we have strategic foresight for an adaptive and resilient future? What is a virtuous inflection point and how does it help to achieve critical mass adoption? What is transformation innovation and how does it encourage systems change? What levers are the most effective for systemic change: this may be the most holistic point of all and, thus, perhaps the most complex. What does this mean for …

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Elysabeth Alfano speaking at COP28

Image supplied by the author

Guest Posts

Financing Food Fast: Take-Aways from COP28

As I write this, still on the ground in Dubai, I am struck by so many swift moves to bring sustainable food systems change through diversified proteins to the forefront of not just the climate conversation, but the climate strategy and execution conversation. As I come down from my four speaking engagements in the Blue Zone, I can’t believe the rapid zeitgeist shift, writes Elysabeth Alfano. Only last year, when I spoke at COP27, I was pushing to be heard, along with dedicated colleges at the Food4Climate, Food Systems pavilions, The Good Food Institute (GFI), Mighty Earth, Food Tank, FAIRR and so many others that food systems transition was not only key to the climate change conversation, but that we simply couldn’t hold on to …

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Plantbased Business Hour

The Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International, Raphael Podselver, at COP28

The Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg International, Raphael Podselver, joins Elysabeth to highlight the advancements surrounding food transformation based on diversified proteins at COP28 on this episode of The Plantbased Business Hour. Specifically, they discuss the list of the many steps forward. Below is a highlight clip and transcription with Raphael Podselver. Podcast here. Elysabeth: Director of UN Affairs at ProVeg, Raphael Podselver, thank you for being with me. Raphael Podselver: It’s a pleasure. It’s great to be with you, Elysabeth. Elysabeth: What has happened thus far? Raphael Podselver: I think a lot has happened. Usually I wouldn’t take notes after a COP because nothing happens on food systems and you try to do things and have side events to engage with negotiators. I have …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Mathias Cousin, Managing Director of Monitor Deloitte

Managing Director of Monitor Deloitte, Mathias Cousin, shares the advancements of the BioP2P network that is ensuring the health of the bio-manufacturing sector for sustainable food systems transformation. It’s another fascinating episode of The Plantbased Business Hour. Specifically, they discuss: What is Deloitte’s work in food and specifically why has it started the Food Tech Working Group? Who is in it? What are the challenges of the group and what does it aim to accomplish? Will start-ups be working side by side with legacy food manufacturers? Can sustainability be a driving force for the sector or an ‘add-on’? Below is a highlight clip from their long-form conversation. Podcast here. Display content from YouTube Click here to display content from YouTube. Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy. Always …

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Plantbased Business Hour

Glenn Hurowitz of Mighty Earth: “I Can’t Imagine Any Industry That’s Going to Grow More Quickly”

Elysabeth and Glenn Hurowitz of Mighty Earth discuss: What is Mighty Earth and what work does the organization focus on? What campaigns it is currently working on and with what success? What is their perfect storm technique? What is their work on alternative proteins, animal feed and climate change through food transformation? Below is a highlight clip from their long-form conversation. Podcast here. Elysabeth: I want to bring on the founder of Mighty Earth, Glenn Hurowitz. I’m pronouncing your name correctly? Glenn Hurowitz: Yes, well done. Elysabeth: Quick shoutout to FAIRR, Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return. They also do a lot of the work that you’re talking about, trying to bring on investors and private companies, be they privately owned or publicly traded, just …

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Plantbased Business Hour

What is Plant Transformation? Mary Fernandes of Solis Agrosciences

Mary Fernandes, President of Solis Agrosciences, discusses Plant Pipeline as a Service (PPaaS), plant transformation, gene editing, and the future (or the now?) of food on today’s episode of The Plantbased Business Hour. Specifically, they discuss What is Plant Pipeline as a Service? What is the demand for PPaaS? What is Plant Transformation? Gene Editing? Why do we need these things? What is GMO? Is it bad for you? Can we feed the world without GMO and without tech in our food? Below is a highlight clip from their long-form conversation. Podcast here . Display content from YouTube Click here to display content from YouTube. Learn more in YouTube’s privacy policy. Always display content from YouTube Open “Mary Fernandes of Solis Agrosciences Predicts Farmers Will Need …

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World Vegan Day

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People

Messages From Vegan Business Leaders on World Vegan Day, Part 2

In this second installment, we feature messages from prominent figures in the plant-based space who each have valuable insights to share, featuring vegan cheese legend Miyoko Schinner; bee-free honey pioneer Darko Mandich of Melibio; Canadian Waygu beef leader Blair Bullus of Wamame Foods; and vegan business expert Elysabeth Alfano of VegTech Invest. We asked: as we approach the end of what has been a turbulent year for many in the business, what is your message for the plant-based industry as we look ahead to 2024? Miyoko Schinner: “Celebrate compassion” Yes, it’s been a rough year for the industry of “alt-protein,” but does that necessarily mean it’s been rough for the advancement of veganism? The question we must ask as vegans is actually what is our …

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Plantbased Business Hour

How to Live to 100: Netflix and Blue Zones’ Dan Buettner

Author Dan Buettner who is the founder of Blue Zones and host of Netflix’s Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, joins me to share how you can live to 100 through eating a plant-based diet on The Plantbased Business Hour. Specifically, they discuss How to live longer and healthier,  The American health crisis. Below is a highlight clip from their long-form conversation. Podcast here. Elysabeth: I am recording today from the gorgeous and beautiful Santa Barbara Four Seasons. We’re back with Dan Buettner, founder of Blue Zones. Dan Buettner: We’ve flattened off and we’re headed towards a country where fifty percent of us are obese and that’s because of what we eat. The capacity of the human machine- so everybody listening out there right now, if …

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Plantbased Business Hour

What Can the Alternative Proteins Sector Learn From the Apparel Impact Institute?

Lewis Perkins, President of the Apparel Impact Institute discusses decarbonizing the fashion industry on the Plantbased Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano. Specifically, they discuss, What is the Apparel Impact Institute? What can the alternative proteins sector learn from A.I.I. What is the Fashion Climate Fund and Climate Solutions Portfolio? How are these structures helping to decarbonize the fashion industry? What does the industry really need to see happen for a major shift to take place in fashion?  Is it always as simple as just lowering prices? Do legacy fashion brands fight A.I.I on its mission towards sustainability. What kind of impact are you having? Below is a highlight clip from their long-form conversation. Podcast here. Display content from YouTube Click here to display content from YouTube. Learn more …

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