Generation Food Rural Partners Fund Expands University Relationships

Fund now includes 15 university collaborators

NEW YORK, March 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Big Idea Ventures (BIV), the global leader in early-stage alternative protein and food technology investing has welcomed five new university collaborators to its Generation Food Rural Partners fund.

  • Cornell University Cornell is the federal land-grant institution of New York State, a private endowed university, and a partner of the State University of New York. Cornell’s 1600 faculty include world leaders in engineering, computer science, food science, agriculture and life sciences, and many other fields. This quality and breadth combined with a collaborative and innovative culture is yielding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges and enhancing the lives and livelihoods of people in New York and around the world.
  • The Ohio State University Ohio State’s research and creative inquiry community is creating new knowledge, solving critical societal challenges, and driving the prosperity of Ohio, the nation, and the world. The university is one of the most comprehensive in the nation and one of only a few universities that, in a single location, house 15 different colleges, including seven health sciences colleges, a world-class medical center and a college of agriculture. Named one of the nation’s and the world’s most innovative universities, Ohio State is a leader in research spending at more than $1.2 billion and consistently ranks in the top five for industry-sponsored research. With agriculture as Ohio’s top industry, helping farmers, growers and producers stay efficient and productive is an important goal for researchers in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), where more than $90 million in research is conducted each year. That research is translating into innovation - at the end of the last fiscal year, CFAES 39 new invention disclosures, 18 patent filings, 56 active licensing deals and 7 active startup companies.
  • Rutgers University Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, stands among America’s highest-ranked, most diverse public research universities. Innovation Ventures, the technology transfer office within the Rutgers Office for Research, partners with the Rutgers community to encourage deliberate innovation, protect and leverage Rutgers intellectual property, foster collaboration with industry, and enable entrepreneurship. Rutgers’ cutting-edge research had a record year in 2021, receiving $907.9 million in funding from federal and state agencies, corporations, and foundations; generating $47 million in licensing revenue; and increasing the number of active startups to 87. By transforming its research into products, services and partnerships, Rutgers helps New Jersey’s economy grow and improves lives around the world.
  • University of Maryland — Founded in 1856, University of Maryland, College Park is the state’s flagship institution. Our 1,250-acre College Park campus is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., and the nexus of the nation’s legislative, executive, and judicial centers of power. This unique proximity to business and technology leaders, federal departments and agencies, and a myriad of research entities, embassies, think tanks, cultural centers, and non-profit organizations is simply unparalleled. Synergistic opportunities for our faculty and students abound and are virtually limitless in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas. Our partnerships with federal agencies, national laboratories, and industry fortify our ability to conduct groundbreaking research in a multitude of fields, including: environmental adaptation and sustainability; national and global security; advanced computing, data analytics and visualization; quantum science; transportation analytics; and human health.
  • Washington State University Washington State University (“WSU”) is a public research university committed to its land grant mission to provide research and service relevant to the 21st century. WSU inspires and challenges the next generation of problem solvers with faculty that encourage discovery and spark creativity among civic-minded students. As a leading federal research university, rated in the top 11% of research institutions nationally, WSU drives practical research and education into our communities to support and grow the state’s economy. WSU has campuses in Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Everett, as well as online through the Global Campus, four research centers, and Extension services in all 39 counties.

These new university collaborators join the existing group of GFRP participating schools:

  • University of Hawai’i
  • University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
  • Louisiana State University
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • North Carolina State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • Tufts University
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute

“When we designed this investment platform, our goal was to get 5 universities to collaborate with us. To have secured collaboration commitments from 15 world class research universities is an incredible vote of confidence and a testament to the power of innovation at the university level,” said Tom Mastrobuoni, chief investment officer for Big Idea Ventures.

The GFRP fund team will evaluate intellectual property developed at collaborating universities to identify and evaluate new developments with the strongest commercialization potential. The GFRP fund will then invest in new companies formed around the groundbreaking research. These new companies will be headquartered in rural communities near the collaborating universities.

“The GFRP Fund will ignite research innovation at our partner universities in agriculture, food and protein sciences which will create new companies located in rural America,” added Frank Klemens, Managing Director of the GFRP Fund at BIV. “Rural America has always been the center for innovation in food and agriculture production and this partnership between these world class Universities and GFRP Fund will create the next generational growth in rural America.”

About Big Idea Ventures

Big Idea Ventures (BIV) is solving the world's greatest challenges by supporting the world’s best entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers. Big Idea Ventures develops the most globally strategic funds, delivering significant investor returns while addressing real world challenges. BIV is focused on alternative protein with its New Protein Fund and commercialization of university intellectual property with its Generation Food Rural Partners fund.

Media Contact

Big Idea Ventures | Tom Mastrobuoni | | +1-201-725-3800