Big Idea Ventures (BIV), a global leader in early-stage food technology and alternative protein, has announced that its Generation Food Rural Partners (GFRP) fund has received its Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) License from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). GFRP, formed under the USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP), will invest in enterprises that will create growth and job opportunities in rural areas of the United States, with an emphasis on smaller enterprises. This is part of the Made in Rural America initiative which aims to help rural businesses take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new markets abroad.
The GFRP fund, in partnership with BIV, will evaluate intellectual property developed at collaborating universities to identify new developments with the strongest commercialization potential. New companies will be created around this groundbreaking research and will be headquartered in rural communities near the collaborating universities or end-user customers.
“Our partnership with Big Ideas Ventures through the Rural Business Investment Program is an opportunity to support agriculture and rural communities,” said Zach Macholan, Equity Portfolio Manager at Farm Credit Services of America. “We believe the strategy of commercializing university-developed intellectual property will introduce innovative products and technology to the market for the benefit of farmers and ranchers.”
Tom Mastrobuoni, Chief Investment Officer at BIV, said, “We are excited to bring to life an innovative approach for the next generation of food and agriculture technologies while driving real impact in our rural communities.”
Frank Klemens, Managing Director of the GFRP at BIV, added, “GFRP will combine the innovations that are being created at our 21 Partner Universities and the market need for innovations in the agriculture, food, and protein sciences to create companies that will solve customers’ needs. Placing these new companies in rural America allows GFRP to create the next generational growth of food and agriculture production in rural America.”
This license from the USDA will allow BIV and GFRP to invest in innovative food technology and alternative protein companies, creating growth and job opportunities in rural areas of the United States. The fund will focus on commercializing university-developed intellectual property, introducing new products and technology to the market for the benefit of farmers and ranchers, and creating jobs in rural America.