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Meet AgFunder’s Mentors

November 19, 2019

Editor’s Note: Rob Leclerc is a Founding Partner at venture capital firm AgFunder where he co-leads the investment team with Founding Partner Michael Dean.

Last month we invested in our 30th startup, and as we continue to grow and scale both AgFunder’s venture capital funds and GROW, our new agrifood tech accelerator in Singapore, we are developing new ways to help the exceptional founders in our portfolio. Today we announce the launch of the AgFunder Mentor Network, to give our portfolio companies access to some of the industry’s leading executives and entrepreneurs so that they can more rapidly grow and scale their businesses.

Below is the inaugural group of hand-selected mentors, and longtime friends of AgFunder, who are helping to guide the next generation of great foodtech and agtech founders. The men and women below are some of the smartest, most experienced, and most connected people in our industry and all of them are passionate about transforming our food and agriculture system.

Our goal is to build a network of 200 truly world-class mentors who are passionate about transforming our food and agriculture system. Over the next few months, we’ll be inviting additional mentors to the network to better represent the diversity of both founders and industries across the food and agriculture value chain. If you’d like to nominate a mentor, we’d love to hear from you.

Meet our inaugural mentors


Bill Buckner

Former President/CEO of Bayer CropScience




Carl Casale

Board Member at Syngenta, Former President & CEO of CHS, Former CFO at Monsanto




John Diener

COO at Agriprotein (Raised >$125m)




Vonnie Estes

VP of Technology at the Produce Marketing Association




Rick Grubel

Former President of Human Nutrition & Health at DSM and Former President of Monsanto Brazil



Jan Christoph Kabath

CEO of Louis Dreyfus Africa




Paul Lightfoot

Founder and President of BrightFarms (Raised >$100m), and board member of United Fresh Produce Association


Pam Marrone

Founder & CEO of Marrone Bio Innovations ($220m raised), founder of AgraQuest ($475m exit)




Chris Paterson

xarvio Digital Solution’s Lead for North America at BASF



Ian Pinner

ADMs VP of Growth and Strategy and Executive Council Member




Dave Stangis

Former Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell’s



Know an incredible mentor who would be a great addition to the AgFunder Mentor Network? We’re especially looking for Mentors who are women and underrepresented minorities. Nominate them here!

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