In Episode 56 of the Investing in Impact podcast, I speak with Sarah Nolet, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Tenacious Ventures, on backing early-stage Agtech companies to tackle climate change.
Listen to more episodes here.
Sarah is the co-founder of Tenacious Ventures, a specialized agrifood tech venture firm that operates with a high-support, high conviction approach. Throughout her career, Sarah has played a pivotal role in cultivating the early-stage agtech ecosystem.
Her contributions range from advising numerous startups and designing accelerator programs to consulting established agribusinesses.
Additionally, Sarah has worked closely with industry, universities, and government bodies to develop and implement forward-thinking initiatives that drive food system innovation.
Beyond her entrepreneurial pursuits, Sarah also hosts the AgTech…So What? podcast. Through this platform, she shares captivating stories of innovators who are actively shaping the future of the food system, offering insights and inspiration to her audience.
She holds a Masters in System Design and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she gained a deep understanding of complex systems and their management.
Prior to that, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Human Factors Engineering at Tufts University, equipping her with a strong foundation in technology and its human-centered applications.
Her contributions to the agtech ecosystem and her commitment to driving positive change have established her as a respected leader in the industry.
About Tenacious Ventures
In an era of increasing environmental challenges and the urgent need for sustainable solutions, Tenacious Ventures has emerged as a leading force in supporting early-stage companies that are revolutionizing the food and agriculture industry.
With a strong commitment to driving carbon neutrality and resilience in the face of climate change, Tenacious Ventures is actively investing in innovative startups that are transforming the way we produce, distribute, and consume food.
In 2019, Tenacious Ventures embarked on its journey and successfully raised A$35 million for its inaugural fund in 2021.
This achievement was made possible through significant cornerstone commitments of A$8 million each from two influential entities: the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Grok Ventures, the private investment firm owned by Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes.
Since then, Tenacious Ventures has been actively deploying its funds and supporting a diverse range of innovative companies that are driving positive change in the food and agriculture sector.
The firm has recently initiated the fundraising process for its second fund. The firm aims to raise a total of A$70 million ($47 million; €47 million) for this fund, demonstrating its commitment to supporting innovative startups in the agricultural technology sector.
Among the notable investments made by Tenacious Ventures from its first fund, Fund I, are:
- Cecil: An innovative natural capital platform that enables sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems. Cecil’s unique approach aligns economic incentives with environmental outcomes, promoting the conservation and enhancement of natural resources.
- Goterra: A pioneering waste management start-up that revolutionizes the processing and conversion of organic waste. Goterra’s innovative technology provides sustainable solutions for waste management while simultaneously creating valuable outputs such as nutrient-rich compost and livestock feed.
- SwarmFarm Robotics: A cutting-edge autonomous agricultural vehicle platform that streamlines and optimizes farming operations. By harnessing advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, SwarmFarm Robotics enhances efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in the agriculture industry.
- Nori: A US-based carbon marketplace that offers a unique platform for the exchange and monetization of carbon credits. Nori empowers farmers and landowners to earn revenue by implementing sustainable land management practices that sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Vow: A pioneering cellular agriculture company that focuses on producing high-quality, sustainable, and cruelty-free animal products without the need for traditional farming. Vow’s innovative approach leverages cellular technology to cultivate meat, dairy, and other animal products, minimizing the environmental impact of conventional livestock farming.
- RapidAIM: A digital crop protection platform that employs advanced technologies, including sensors and data analytics, to enable early detection and monitoring of pest infestations in crops. By providing real-time insights, RapidAIM empowers farmers to make informed decisions and implement targeted pest control strategies, reducing the reliance on chemical pesticides.
- Nowadays: A forward-thinking sustainable protein company that leverages plant-based sources to create delicious and nutritious alternatives to traditional animal products. Nowadays focuses on developing sustainable protein options that are both environmentally friendly and meet the growing demand for plant-based food choices.
These investments reflect Tenacious Ventures’ commitment to driving innovation, sustainability, and positive environmental impact within the food and agriculture industry.
Through strategic partnerships and financial support, Tenacious Ventures is playing a vital role in shaping a more sustainable and resilient future for the sector.
I'm Rafael, Co-founder of regenr8 and an Impact investor working to replace old-world thinking in venture capital and accelerate regenerative business ecosystems that lead to the regeneration of our planet.