Meet the AgFunder Team

AgFunder was founded in 2013 by Michael Dean and Rob Leclerc. Based in Silicon Valley, we're one of the most active foodtech and agtech VCs globally. Through our media and research arm headed up by Louisa Burwood-Taylor, AgFunder has become the global epicenter for agri-foodtech investing with a global community of over 75,000 members and subscribers. This gives us one of the best connected networks to help support our portfolio companies. Robin Chauhan heads our technology team that's built our knowledge base of nearly 30,000 agrifood tech startups. Robin and his team are also building Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms to help our investment team exhaustively patrol for new investment opportunities.

Michael Dean, LLM
Michael Dean, LLM
FOUNDING PARTNER

Michael is an entrepreneur and investor with a background in agriculture, finance and law.

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Rob Leclerc, PhD
Rob Leclerc, PhD
FOUNDING PARTNER

Rob is a leading expert on food & agtech with a PhD from Yale University.

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Tom Shields
Tom Shields
VENTURE PARTNER

Tom has started two tech companies with over $100m exits and was MD at a $300m early-stage VC fund.

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Louisa Burwood-Taylor
Louisa Burwood-Taylor
HEAD OF MEDIA & RESEARCH

Louisa is a journalist and editor with experience covering Asian, European, and US financial markets.

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Robin R Chauhan
Robin R Chauhan
HEAD OF ENGINEERING

Lead developer, data scientist, program manager. Robin specializes in Machine Learning, SaaS platforms, e-commerce.

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Yanniv Dorone, PhD
Yanniv Dorone, PhD
INVESTOR

Yanniv is a PhD candidate at Stanford. He was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30: Science and Healthcare Europe 2019 list.

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Sam Clarke
Sam Clarke
SENIOR DEVELOPER

Experienced full stack developer with background in Microbiology and Toxicology.

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Quinten Eggink
Quinten Eggink
INVESTOR

Quinten studied math and economics and interned at SOSV's biotech accelerator IndieBio before joining AgFunder.

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John Denniston, JD
John Denniston, JD
INVESTMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

John is a former Senior Partner at Kleiner Perkins and is Chairman of Shared-X which is closing the Yield Gap in Emerging Markets

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Paul Matteucci, MBA
Paul Matteucci, MBA
INVESTMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Paul Matteucci is a Partner at US Venture Partners and founder of FoodCrunch.

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Leonardo Fonseca
Leonardo Fonseca
EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE

Leo was a CFO for various GE Industrial and Financial Services businesses in the US, Europe and Latin America.

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Lauren Manning, LLM
Lauren Manning, LLM
JOURNALIST

Lauren is a Food & Ag Attorney, and Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Arkansas and a Cattle and Sheep Rancher.

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Jessica Pothering
Jessica Pothering
EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT

Jessica is a business and finance journalist with over 10 years editorial experience

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Richard Martyn-Hemphill
Richard Martyn-Hemphill
LONDON CORRESPONDENT

Richard has written for the NYT, Bloomberg, Political, and the Economist

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Dianne Mae Omoso-Pribhdas
Dianne Mae Omoso-Pribhdas
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Dianne is a super skilled executive assistant with over the 10 years of experience in customer service, administrative support, and marketing.

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Sofia Ramirez
Sofia Ramirez
ADJUNCT PARTNER

Sofia is a business professional with broad experience in AgriFood technology

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Justin Bruch, MBA
Justin Bruch, MBA
ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN

A leading agronomist, Justin has managed large-scale farms on four continents and is a frequent speaker at global Ag conferences.

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Brad Farquhar
Brad Farquhar
SENIOR ADVISOR

Co-founder and CFO of Input Capital Corp., the world's first agriculture streaming company.

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Adam Hanft
Adam Hanft
SENIOR ADVISOR

An internationally-known marketing and branding expert, Adam is founder and CEO of Hanft Projects, a boutique, special-opps brand strategy firm.

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Manuel Gonzalez, MBA
Manuel Gonzalez, MBA
SENIOR ADVISOR

Manuel is Founder of Global RIFF and Former Head of Innovation at Rabobank

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Ivo Petrov
Ivo Petrov
SENIOR ADVISOR

Former Director at Cargill & Portfolio Manager at BlackRiver

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John Simon, Ambassador
John Simon, Ambassador
SENIOR ADVISOR

Served as US Ambassador to the African Union, Special Assistant to the President, and Executive VP of the Overseas Investment Corp.

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Patrick Vizzone, MBA
Patrick Vizzone, MBA
SENIOR ADVISOR

Patrick is the Asian Head of Institutional Banking at National Australia Bank and is a Board Member of COFCO's China Agri-Industries Holdings.

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