Food for Thought Worldwide (FTW) Ventures is an early-stage San Francisco venture fund investing in breakthrough hardware, software and biotech solutions for the massive, worldwide food system. They believe in feeding people better by leveraging responsible science and technology to improve the quality, access and enjoyment of food. FTW Ventures was founded by Brian Frank, a serial entrepreneur turned investor, who now serves as General Partner. Prior to launching the fund, Brian spent 20 years defining product strategy in leading web, mobile and social technology companies, both large and small. Brian also has extensive experience in the food sector, and serves as the Food & Ag Tech Network Leader for Village Global, as well as a mentor to various accelerators and VC firms such as Techstars Farm-to-Fork Accelerator, the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, the World Food Programme, and AB InBev 100+ Sustainability Accelerator.
First Quarter: Onsite experiential learning with FTW Ventures in San Francisco
Start date flexible: following selection, join FTW Ventures for the first quarter in San Franciscoin Fall 2019 (including $7,500 travel and accommodation allowance).
Explore FTW Ventures’ strategic ecosystem and extensive network of assets in evaluatingand vetting competitive investment opportunities.
Learn what kind of companies and technologies are considered investable and engage withexpert consortium members to understand opportunities in food/agriculture innovation.
Gain invaluable knowledge about what investors look for in entrepreneurs.
Second Quarter: Transition back to UC Davis, splitting time between research and virtual engagement with FTW Ventures
At UC Davis: upon second quarter return to Davis, continue to support FTW Ventures effortsin evaluating startups and selecting investable ventures that address selected challenges inthe food system, as well as preparing publications that align with research conducted or areasof interest for private or public distribution.
The fellow will work closely with FTW Ventures staff through virtual means, but support is provided for regular in-person meetings as needed.
Third and Fourth Quarters: De-risking technology/product/process concept
The selection committee considers applications in accordance with the following criteria:
Resume doctoral research: for remaining two quarters, practice applying FTW Ventures’learnings to conclude research activities, exploring the greatest impact and best route to market.
Enrich learning: through on-campus Entrepreneurship Academy and businessplan development, identify potential investors and research the target landscape.
Support from: monthly face-to-face meetings with the IIFH (virtual or in-person as needed).
In conclusion: provide a brief report on the results and impact of the fellowship, and present atthe annual Innovator Summit.