About our mentor program

We partnered with a group of accomplished alternative protein experts who applied to and were selected for our program out of hundreds of applicants. These exceptional mentors choose to give back to the sector by volunteering their time and industry knowledge.

Areas of expertise include, but are not limited to:

  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Fundraising and investor relations
  • Legal 
  • Formulation/ingredients
  • Infrastructure 
  • Pitching and presenting

If you are interested in speaking with a GFI Mentor please review the mentor bios below and submit the form at the end of this page. You may request sessions with more than one mentor.

Meet our mentors

Alexandre Bastos


Areas of expertise: Foodtech, venturing, entrepreneurship, strategy development and digital transformation. 

Location: Switzerland

Mentor bio

Angel investor|  Advisory board

Alexandre has more than 20 years in the food industry, mature and high growth markets; solid experience in foodtech, venturing, entrepreneurship, strategy development and digital transformation; cross-functional in corporate and multi-cultural background. Previously, he has had top global consulting and petro & oil industry experience.

Josephine bellacomo

Josephine Bellaccomo


Areas of expertise: Fundraising, public speaking, storytelling, high performance

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Leadership coach | Pitch consultant | Speaker | Master facilitators | Author, Move the Message

Josephine helps large organizations, startups and individuals, turning leaders and innovators into great communicators. As a pitch coach, she helps founders get funding and grow their business. As a leadership coach, she specializes in executive presence, presentations and high performance. Jo has worked with VMware, Microsoft, Zoom, MasterCard, American Express, Expedia, Deloitte, Capital One, BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Bloomberg, HSBC, Korn Ferry Hay Group, Willis Towers Watson, Akamai, ThoughtSpot, Razorfish, McCann, Tribal DDB, Y&R, Dentsu Aegis, Packard Foundation (SOCAP), Bay Area Video Coalition, Perfect World Entertainment, Cryptic Studios, and Mission Barns.

Marta bigio

Marta Bigio


Areas of expertise: Strategic planning, media relations, crisis communication, CSR communication, campaign management

Location: Singapore

Mentor bio

Marta has 15 years of international communications experience in both in-house and agency settings. Marta worked with brands like HP, TomTom, Crocs, Mars, Heineken, NBC Universal and Unilever throughout her career. At Redhill, Marta is responsible for the sustainability practice, working with clients from NGOs to disruptive startups in the alt-protein space. Marta is highly skilled in strategic planning, media relations, crisis communication, CSR communication and campaign management. Marta is a Portuguese national who lived in The Netherlands, Spain, before moving to Singapore, where she lives now with her husband and two children.

Lena brueggen

Lena Brueggen


Areas of expertise: Fundraising strategy, investor relations, commercial strategy, go-to-market strategy, pitching & presenting

Location: Berlin, Germany

Mentor bio

Lena Brueggen is Principal at the Berlin-based FoodTech VC Be8 Ventures which she joined in early 2020. As part of the founding Team, she is responsible for alternative protein investments since inception and is supporting startups with her knowledge and network in the space of alternative proteins. Before joining Be8 Ventures, Lena gained experience in transaction consulting advising international corporate and private equity clients. Lena is based in one of Europe’s most thriving Start-up Hubs, Berlin, where she enjoys the diverse art & culture as well as the innovative food scene. Lena’s expertise includes fundraising strategy, commercial strategy, business planning & competitive positioning.

Mark busch

Mark Busch


Areas of expertise: Fundraising/IR strategy, financial modeling, commercial strategy, structuring & negotiating partnerships/JVs/acquisitions

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Mark is a Venture Partner at Earth First Food Ventures a venture capital platform focused on ESG/impact investing in innovative food technologies. Mark started his career in the NGO space doing business development and impact investing before transitioning to being an entrepreneur for several ventures in both the hospitality and adventure tourism industries. Subsequently, Mark worked as an investor for multiple VC firms (US and Europe) ranging from health-tech to life sciences, to blockchain and machine learning verticals. His transaction experience has been further strengthened working on the buyside as the SVP of Corp Dev/M&A for one of the largest publicly held retail and CPG cannabis operators in North America. Since 2017 Mark has been an advisor and consultant for several alternative protein companies spanning all three verticals (plant, cultivated, and fermentation).

Brian cooley

Brian Cooley


Areas of expertise: Communications, media relations, marketing

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Experienced technology editor, media host and speaker who can help with executive presentations, media training, podcast design & production, and video strategy and production. Has coached and consulted numerous major brands in the food, package goods and consumer electronics industries to help them communicate with consumers effectively.

Nate crosser

Nate Crosser


Areas of expertise: Fundraising strategy, commercial strategy, alternative protein technology differentiation

Location: United States

Mentor bio

VC investor in alternative proteins & post-animal bioeconomy

Nate is a Principal at Blue Horizon, an investment company dedicated to accelerating the transition to a New Sustainable Food System. He is primarily focused on alt proteins at the pre-seed/seed stages. He was previously at the Good Food Institute and a biotech incubator in startup and investment support roles. Nate can help with your investor pitch, commercial strategy, and differentiating your technology. Nate currently lives in Kansas and is into writing, animal welfare, effective altruism, cooking (especially with fire and microbes), and hiking.

Howard eisenberg

Howard Eisenberg


Areas of expertise: B2B sales, product realization (prototype/MVP through production), supply chain management and logistics, and international partnerships

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Entrepreneur | Adventurer | Mentor

Working in leading edge industries throughout his early career, Howard created operational success in new technology businesses working in key positions as an Intrapreneur at forward-thinking companies: Microwave Microelectronics in the 1980s, Electric Vehicles and Warehouse Automation in the 1990s, and Fiber Optic Telecommunications in the 2000s. He went on to start up two automated equipment manufacturing companies in the warehousing and distribution space – one co-owned with a Dutch company, the other wholly owned in the US. As President of both companies simultaneously, Howard and his team grew Eurosort Inc. and United Sortation Solutions LLC (USS) to a combined revenue of over $120M with net margin significantly higher than the industry standard. Both companies were acquired in 2016 by Intelligrated, now a division of Honeywell.  Howard is founding Co-Director of the Georgetown University Startup Accelerator, an Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University, a mentor at Halcyon House –  a social impact incubator, and an active angel investor. Areas of expertise include B2B sales, product realization (prototype/MVP through production), supply chain management and logistics, and international partnerships. Howard holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Buffalo, an MS in Financial Management from Johns Hopkins University, and an MS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. He resides in Washington DC and enjoys exploring new places with family, hiking, skiing, rock climbing, and photography.

Peter jackman

Peter Jackman


Areas of expertise: Global patent portfolio procurement, management and enforcement strategies, technology transfer, invalidity, non-infringement, freedom-to-operate and patentability opinions, due diligence investigations.

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Peter Jackman is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group. His practice includes counseling clients in areas such as global patent portfolio procurement, management and enforcement strategies, technology transfer, invalidity, non-infringement, freedom-to-operate and patentability opinions and due diligence investigations. He has significant experience in representing clients in patent reexaminations and inter partes review proceedings and has written and prosecuted patent applications domestically and internationally in areas such as immunology, genomics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technologies, transgenics, bioprocessing, advanced biofuels, bio-based chemicals, fertilizers and enzymes, fermentation technologies, microbiology, cell and gene therapies and food science. Peter is also a member of the firm’s CleanTech Industry Group. He frequently lectures and publishes on intellectual property issues surrounding renewable technologies, and he was an Associate Editor for Clean Tech Law & Business, the first peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to the pursuit of environmentally sustainable technology. He further served on the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the firm, Peter worked in the Office of Technology Development, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, as a Technology Transfer Fellow. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law co-teaching a course in Technology Transfer. Peter holds a BS in Biology from Villanova University and an MS in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University.  He received his J.D. with concentrations in both Intellectual Property Law and Business Law.

Keren kles

Keren Kles


Areas of expertise: Protein functionality, texture, emulsions, food physical chemistry

Location: Israel

Mentor bio

Food science and technology consultant

Keren is a motivated food scientist with a Ph.D. and a strong background in food chemistry with great passion for “fun foods” and innovation, reaching back to her family’s dessert factory. More than 10 years of food industry experience (4.5 years working at a food tech start up, 1.5 years at a large CPG company and 5 years of food manufacturing experience), 7 years of academic research focusing on protein functionality, texture, emulsions and food physical chemistry. Ten years of teaching experience in a variety of different food science classes. Excellent leadership and presentation skills.

Matt lucas

Matt Lucas


Areas of expertise: Scaling up, Bridging from pilot to commercial scale, project financing

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Dr. Matt Lucas is the Managing Partner at Tuatara (two-ah-tar-ah) Development Capital where he provides capital and operating support to project developers building the climate-positive infrastructure of tomorrow. Matt is passionate about technology commercialization and scaling. He previously led originations at New Energy Risk focused on technology risk of emerging technologies. He has also worked in corporate venturing, had technical roles at several hardtech university spinouts, and launched a pre-seed, nonprofit startup accelerator to support innovators in the circular economy. Matt received his Masters and PhD from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering while conducting research in inorganic chemistry. Matt earned his BS from Harvard, also in Mechanical Engineering.

Samantha miller

Samantha Miller


Areas of expertise: Partnering with strategics, fundraising, FDA regulatory strategy, negotiation of CMO & CRO agreements

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Cellular agriculture | Cultivated meat | Precision fermentation | Startup strategy |
Manufacturing scale-up | Partnering

Samantha has roots in biochemistry research and over 25 years of leadership experience in the biotech industry. She is a business development, licensing, and operations leader turned entrepreneur. She has extensive experience setting up new companies and optimizing corporate equity structure to protect both the founders and company. She has raised more than $400M from strategics, VCs, family offices, and foundations. She has developed many strategic plans, negotiated all forms of agreement, especially partnering, and contract development & manufacturing relationships, including many international deals (Asia, Europe, and Middle East). She has held senior management and board-level positions with many early-stage biotech companies. She is passionate about applying her skills to help new companies that are developing and scaling replacements for animal products (meat, seafood, dairy, leather etc). She can also help with team building by tapping into her deep network of professionals in biotech research, development, manufacturing, regulatory, and business. Her extensive experience in both the business and science of biotech start-ups makes her well positioned to be useful.

Steve molino

Steven Molino


Areas of expertise: Growth strategy, fundraising strategy and storytelling, competitive positioning

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Impact investor

Steven is a Principal at Clear Current Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on reinventing food through sustainable alternative protein investments. CCC’s primary investment categories are focused on plant-based food (meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs), cultivated meat, fermentation, and other mission-oriented enterprises focused on removing animals from the supply chain at scale. With CCC, Steven is responsible for leading new investment and diligence activities, portfolio management needs, and internal operations support. Steven has prior experience at leading mission-driven VC firms, as well as in the alternative investments and strategy consulting spaces. He is a Board Member at Sundial Foods and is a mentor with ProVeg Incubator and The Protein Directory and a member of The Rising Tide Collective. He received his a BS in Finance from The College of New Jersey (magna cum laude) and an MBA from Columbia Business School (Dean’s List). Key areas of expertise, as it relates to the GFI Mentor Program, are in the areas of growth strategy, fundraising strategy and storytelling, and competitive positioning.

He mu

He Mu


Areas of expertise: Partnering with strategics, fundraising from strategics, FP&A/strategic finance, seafood/alt seafood,  international markets (particularly Latin America and Asia)

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Finance, M&A and strategy leader | Board member

He Mu is a finance, strategy and M&A leader within Cargill’s Animal Protein business. He has led finance for Cargill’s Seafood BU and Alternative Protein BU, and previously worked in investment banking and at the IFC/World Bank. He currently also serves on the board of Salmones Multiexport, a Chilean salmon farmer. His areas of expertise include partnering with strategics, fundraising from strategics, FP&A/strategic finance, seafood/alt seafood, and international markets (particularly Latin America and Asia). He Mu is originally Chinese and grew up in Argentina.

Marjorie munneke modified

Marjorie Munneke


Areas of expertise: Protein functionality, structuring technologies,  food texture, process development, product commercialization and scale, sensory, R&D strategy

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Marjorie leads the Material and Texture Program at Impossible Foods, a technology enabled food company that is transforming the way our planet looks from outer space through the development of uncompromisingly delicious meat made from plants. Marjorie was integral to developing and scaling the Impossible Burger and has helped build the Impossible Foods R&D team over the last 8-years. Currently, Marjorie leads a team to develop the future of Impossible products and ingredients by developing solutions to fundamental challenges of working with plant ingredients.  Marjorie has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand where she developed a novel method using laser light to manipulate droplets and measure their forces. 

Ashish paradkar

Ashish Paradkar


Areas of expertise: Industrial biotechnology, including discovery and development of fermentation-based products like alternative proteins, enzymes, microbes, and secondary metabolites

Location: India

Mentor bio

Ashish serves as Vice President, R&D at Perfect Day, a consumer biology company on a mission to create a kinder, greener tomorrow by developing new ways to make the foods you love today through precision fermentation — starting in the dairy aisle. Ashish brings more than 20 years of experience in industrial biotechnology, including discovery and development of fermentation-based products like alternative proteins, enzymes, microbes, and secondary metabolites, with applications across food, feed, household care, personal care, and human health. Ashish has held various R&D leadership roles in biotechnology across multinational corporations like Novozymes, DuPont, and Procter & Gamble. Ashish received his Ph.D. from Dalhousie University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta (both in Canada). His skills in building strong, innovative, and empowered R&D organizations, technology strategies, and open innovation are critical for the future of Perfect Day. He is passionate about the future of animal-free dairy and, with the rest of the Executive Leadership Team, is driving Perfect Day to its vision of building a more equitable, resilient, and diverse food system for all of us. Ashish is based in Bangalore, India.

Alexandra cart

Alexandra Peterson


Areas of expertise: ESG, impact investing, team dynamics, execution

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Strategic advisor | Entrepreneur

Alexandra Peterson is an advisor and investor focused on impact-driven companies and funds, with a particular interest in healthy food systems. Her current work includes her role as Venture Partner at Desert Bloom Foods, a next-generation food platform, and co-founder of Trofi Holdings, an investment collective. 

Previously, Alexandra co-founded Madeira Global, a leading ESG advisory and reporting firm, in 2012. With nearly a decade of experience as a specialized consultancy, Madeira worked alongside some of the largest alternative fund managers, family offices and Fortune 100 companies providing world-class frameworks for ESG strategy and integration. Madeira Global was acquired in 2020. For her work, Alexandra was named a Forbes “30 Under 30” Social Entrepreneur in 2015 and has been a featured speaker at Yale University, UBS, J.P. Morgan, the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, and the Nexus Global Summit at the United Nations, among others.

Alexandra began her career in investment management at G2 Investment Group, ultimately serving as Managing Director and interim-COO. She has a B.A. from Middlebury College in International Studies and Political Science with a specialization in Latin America. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, she is an advisor to PATH, the refillable bottled water brand on a mission to end single-use plastic, Overlay Capital and serves on the Advisory Council of Rockefeller Capital Management.

Sandra porcile

Sandra Porcile


Areas of expertise: Developing strategic plans, negotiation of distribution agreements, commercial strategies, integrated marketing initiatives, digital innovation, social responsibility

Location: Chile

Mentor bio

Board member | CEO

Sandra is a Board Member, Director, General Manager, Regional Manager Latin America in Marketing, Sales and Planning with over 20 years of experience in leading roles at multinational retail and consumer goods companies: Cencosud, Nike, Nestlé and Kraft. She has managed distribution of: New Balance, Quiksilver, Trek, Original Penguin, Paul Frank, among others. She has a track record of strong business results with increased levels of responsibilities, with emphasis in: developing strategic plans, negotiation of distribution agreements, commercial strategies, integrated marketing initiatives, digital innovation and social responsibility.

Tom phillips

Tom Phillips


Areas of expertise: Strategic planning, business development, pitching & fundraising, financial modeling, structuring & negotiating partnerships, team building

Location: England

Mentor bio

Alternative protein | Cellular agriculture | Cultivated meat

Tom has 18 years of commercial experience in sustainability, food and agriculture as a strategy consultant, investor and operator, including senior management and board-level positions with early-stage companies. For the past three years Tom has focused on the future of food and opportunities in alternative protein, cellular agriculture and cultivated meat in particular. As a mentor Tom works with early-stage companies on commercial topics, including: strategic planning, business development, pitching & fundraising, financial modeling, structuring & negotiating partnerships and team building.

Kristen rocca modified

Kristen Rocca


Areas of expertise: Growth strategy, fundraising strategy and storytelling, competitive positioning, investor relations, frontier tech commercialization

Location: The Netherlands

Mentor bio

Kristen Rocca is a Principal at Unovis, a global investment firm that provides early-stage funding to entrepreneurs tackling some of the biggest challenges in our food system. As a Principal, Kristen explores deal flow with a passion for frontier tech opportunities and works closely with founders to solve daily challenges, evaluate strategic decisions, and support growth initiatives. She holds an MBA from IESE Business School and a Chemical Engineering degree from McMaster University. Prior to Unovis, Kristen worked in the energy sector in various roles including product development, operations & corporate sustainability, then moved into sustainability consulting for international corporations, and growth strategy for early-stage start-ups.

Miguel serrano

Miguel Serrano


Areas of expertise: Branding, business model and point of differentiation, go-to market strategy (markets, channels, partners), storytelling, communications

Location: Switzerland

Mentor bio

Plant-based strategies for international markets | Scaling up | Transformation | Innovation

Seasoned brand and business builder with over 30 years of global experience across different channels and geographies in multinational, SMEs and various start-ups, with 12 yrs in senior leadership roles in food and food service at Nestlé creating the biggest plant-based brand in EMENA. Awards, failures, being celebrated internationally and being retrenched were an integral part of it. Let me help you to seize untapped opportunities and avoid mistakes that I have made with my teams in the past. Sounding board and mentor: Sharpening your identity, business model and point of differentiation to succeed in the market (marketing-mix modeling, purpose); applying knowledge about cross-cultural go-to market strategies (markets, channels, partners) and vast network to access; helping you to clearer understand your consumers’ needs and market dynamics/trends in plant-based and conventional food (pains/needs/wants/expectations of your target audience); developing your ownable, compelling storytelling that creates desire and sustainable value with your stakeholders; making you fit for presentations and negotiations with investors, partners, trade, etc.

Shally shanker

Shally Shanker


Areas of expertise: Fundraising, impact investing

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Shally Shanker is the founder and managing partner of AiiM Partners, which invests in businesses leveraging technology to address climate change and generate measurable social, environmental, and financial returns. 

The AiiM team, comprising investors, entrepreneurs, operators, and researchers, has invested in companies that have benefitted 3 million people worldwide with 50 percent of the assets invested in women founders and CEOs. 
A Chartered Financial Analyst®, Shally has over 22 years of investment management experience structuring and stewarding global portfolios. She has been involved with the boards of 16 portfolio investments, actively engaged in supporting emerging solutions ranging from using data for advocacy to using technology to scale innovations, and, over the last decade, mentoring women entrepreneurs in more than half of her portfolio.

Paul spinale

Paul Spinale


Areas of expertise: Partnership and account development, pricing strategy, plant-based products, food industry R&D, brand development, distribution, retail, procurement, sales strategy

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Paul brings over 20 years of experience in the food service industry managing multiple sales channels and securing national accounts. He is currently the Senior Director of Field Sales – Food Service for Hungry Planet. His previous experience includes National Sales Manager, Food Service & Industrial Sales at Earth Island, Follow Your Heart. In that role, Paul held responsibility for food service and industrial sales throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to Follow Your Heart, he held sales and marketing leadership roles with companies including Bindi North America, Taste It Presents, Australis Aquaculture, and Conagra.

Supriya srinivasan

Supriya Srinivasan


Areas of expertise: Fundraising, financial modeling, general business strategy, corporate partnerships

Location: Germany

Mentor bio

Impact investor | Early-stage venture capital | Startup advisor | Experienced banker

Supriya is an experienced banker turned Early Stage Venture Capitalist and is currently Managing Partner at the Blue Revolution Funds (BRF)-a partnership between Hatch Blue and The Nature Conservancy. Passionate about transferring her skills to the sustainable food space, Supriya joined Hatch in early 2020 and prior to the BRF, managed the Hatch Portfolio (which includes investments in the Alt-Seafood space such as Umami Meats, The Plant Based Seafood Company and Finless Foods). Prior to Hatch, Supriya was the Global Head of a USD 76 Bn Portfolio at Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore. Her banking career also includes roles in Strategy Consulting, where she led projects around Mergers & Acquisitions for the bank and investing in incubating digital ventures. Supriya has a master’s degree in Physics from the Indian Institute of Tech-Madras, and retains a deep appreciation and curiosity for the sciences. With a desire to commercialize her scientific interests, she then secured an MBA in Finance from a leading Indian Business School. Supriya can help with preparing for fundraising and understanding term sheets; financial models; general business strategy – including building business plans; navigating partnerships with corporates; and emotional support navigating the start-up journey (Supriya is extremely passionate about helping entrepreneurs navigate this space!)

Maha tahiri

Maha Tahiri


Areas of expertise: Consumer driven innovation, global regulatory business strategy and international market expansion, DEI and leadership development, nutrition, sustainability, health, and wellness

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Board advisor | Nutrition and sustainability | Scaling up food tech | Innovation | Business development | Former Chief Health and Wellness Officer at General Mills

Maha is best known for developing game-changing strategies that translate science and technology into business opportunities. With deep knowledge of the global regulatory landscape, she anticipates and mitigates risk and creates competitive advantage to accelerate growth. Maha is an internationally recognized expert in the health and nutrition sector who leads at the intersection of scientific research, regulatory, and communication in public and private Fortune 300 global companies across more than 30 categories of food and beverages. Currently, Maha is CEO and Founder of Nutrition Sustainability Strategies LLC, a boutique consulting firm supporting early-stage start-ups and multibillion-dollar companies aiming to improve the food system. Previously Maha was Chief Health & Wellness Officer at General Mills. She specializes in consumer driven innovation, global regulatory business strategy and international market expansion, DEI and leadership development, nutrition, sustainability, health, and wellness.

Huw thomas

Huw Thomas


Areas of expertise: Go-to-market strategy, fundraising and investor relationships, corporate partnerships

Location: United States

Mentor bio

  • BEng CompEng, MSc Sustainable Energy, MBA Oxford
  • Focused on applying innovation to climate change mitigation efforts since high school.
  • Industry experience in energy and food and founded several deeptech companies in these spaces.
  • Energy/renewables
    • Co-founded SCENE (Sustainable Community Energy Network), a combined small-scale renewables project consultancy and crowdfunding platform
    • Innovation strategy & investment at National Grid, with a particular focus on demand-side technologies, eg heat, EVs, microgeneration, etc.
    • Energy market design consulting at Poyry/Afry.
  • Food
    • Founding COO of world’s first cultivated pork company, New Age Eats (SOSV IndieBio @ SF).
    • Founded the world’s first startup studio / venture builder for alternative protein, Counterfactual Ventures, aiming to accelerate the protein transition by filling critical industry gaps using IP developed in-house and with university partnerships; we were drowned after a couple of years by the inherent complexity and COVID-related burnout, but we did make strong progress in that time.
  • Worked extensively with startups and entrepreneurs as part of Entrepreneur First, Creative Destruction Lab, Zinc, EIT, WEF Global Shapers.
  • In my free time, I love cycling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and am currently learning to play the piano.
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Leena Uabumrungjit


Areas of expertise: Project management, industrialization, supply chain management

Location: Thailand

Mentor bio

Experienced in setting up new companies, new factories, and global business units with a demonstrated history of working in the food and FMCG industry. Strong project management, industrialization, and supply chain focus with more than 12 years of work experience in Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, and Germany. Passionate about the future of food, food system transformation, sustainable food, and bringing “healthy living, healthy ocean” to life. Set up global Alternative Protein business unit including building and launching the first plant-based brand for Thai Union.

Saskia versteeg

Saskia Versteeg


Areas of expertise: Sustainability and impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, business analytics, science communication, and bringing energy and connection to diverse teams

Location: United States

Mentor bio

Startup and impact strategy | Food tech and nature-based solutions | Climate justice and food equity

Saskia’s goal is to make our planet and people healthier by building more sustainable and equitable food systems. As a former environmental engineer and climate physicist, she excels in translating practical ideas between tech and business teams. She is also committed to developing solutions with strong local community impact and equity, and has worked on-the-ground in Europe and Mexico in previous roles. Currently at Impossible Foods she leads mission-accelerating projects including impact strategy, nature-based climate solutions, and increasing protein access to low-income communities. Saskia’s specialties include sustainability and impact assessment, stakeholder engagement, business analytics, science communication, and bringing energy and connection to diverse teams. She’s an ardent supporter of plant-based diets, bicycle paths, women’s and immigrant rights, and climate justice.

Emil virag

Emil Virag


Areas of expertise: Manufacturing, supply chain, engineering

Location: Switzerland

Mentor bio

Manufacturing scale-up | Supply chain and network strategy | Biotech and foodtech engineering | Alternative proteins | Cultivated meat | Precision fermentation

Emil acted as a global supply chain and manufacturing professional for a leading global food company with over 20 years professional experience in the food industry. He worked on building and starting up greenfield and brownfield manufacturing operations in various international markets (Europe, North America, and Asia), developed new technologies in close cooperation with major technology vendors, worked on innovation and new product development and launches under major global power brands, and expanded the company portfolio globally by working on route to markets. He offers management consulting services in the field of alternative proteins with a focus on manufacturing and contract manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering. He is keen to help the alternative protein ecosystem to grow and to make the food industry more sustainable. Do you have a great idea in the field of biotech and foodtech? Would you like to develop it successfully for global markets? Right from the start of development it is important to consider how a new product can also be produced on an industrial scale, where the product can be produced in such a way that manufacturing costs do not ruin the business and there is a reliable supply chain.

Benjamin voiry

Benjamin Voiry


Areas of expertise: Market analysis, innovation, formulation, value chain understanding, plant proteins and food ingredients

Location: France

Mentor bio

Benjamin Voiry is Head of Marketing for Plant Proteins at Roquette and located in the North of France. With a master’s degree in science and engineering, he has spent more than 15 years in the B2B ingredients manufacturing space and works on promoting plant-based ingredients around the world. One of Benjamin’s key focuses is on innovation to create and improve plant-based gastronomy with tasty, healthy, and sustainable food. He envisions a food system that is responsible in its local and global consideration of the planet and its population. Benjamin’s expertise includes market analysis, innovation, formulation, value chain understanding, plant proteins and food ingredients.

Noa weiss

Noa Weiss


Areas of expertise: Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Location: Israel

Mentor bio

Noa Weiss is an AI & Machine Learning consultant who’s been working with data for over a decade. She works with both early-stage startups and established companies, helping them design their AI strategy and build the ML projects that best fit their needs. She also leads the Israeli community of Women in Data Science, serves on the advisory board of the Modern Agriculture Foundation, utilizes ML for the preservation of whales with the Deep Voice Foundation, and is passionate about animal welfare and about promoting female entrepreneurship.

Hon mon yip

Hon Mun Yip


Areas of expertise: CEO coaching, category development, fundraising, talent acquisition

Location: Singapore

Mentor bio

Full-time climate investor | Reimagining our future | Fixing food

Hon Mun has over thirty years of investment, operations, and board level experience with investment funds, family offices, start-ups and as a founder. He was based in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, China and Singapore performing Post M&A integration, turning-around and growing new businesses for Private Equity firms and family-owned Asia businesses. Hon Mun was the CEO of a Singapore-China government Joint Venture Sustainable farming and food security in Northeast China. He is currently the Regional MD managing assets and investment strategy for a family office. He is a partner & advisor in various Food Tech VC, holds a board seat in a China alternative protein company and a private investor in the alternative protein space.

Areas that might be of interest to the mentees: Coaching to be a CEO, How to develop a Category, Fundraising and Talent Acquisition.

Mentor session request

Please fill out this form to request a free 1:1 meeting with a GFI Mentor. 

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Related resources

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