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Thomas Jonas

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas was most recently president of two business units of MeadWestvaco, overseeing 15 operating plants around the world with annual sales over $700 million. A seasoned global executive, he's held senior leadership positions at Rio Tinto, Alcan, and Pechiney. Thomas graduated from HEC Paris and also served as an officer in the French Air Force.

Dr. Mark Kozubal

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Kozubal is a leading expert in extremophile organisms—organisms that can survive in extreme conditions. He's discovered numerous new species and published extensively in the space, as well as collaborated with top research organizations including NASA, The National Science Foundation, the USDA, the EPA, and the Department of the Interior. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Geomicrobiology from Montana State University and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego.

Matthew Strongin

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew brings extensive experience in start-up commercialization, financing, and strategy to the company. Previously he was an investor at First Green Partners—an early-stage venture capital firm founded in partnership with global private equity firm Warburg Pincus—where he focused on investments in food/agriculture, energy, and chemicals. He began his career in investment banking and holds a degree in physics from Carleton College.

Karuna Rawal

Chief Marketing Officer

Karuna joined Nature's Fynd from Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, where she was President and Groupe Client Lead over a portfolio of their key global clients. She brings over two decades of experience in brand management & shopper marketing across the retail, healthcare, and consumer packaged goods categories. Karuna was also Lead Strategist on the internationally successful #LikeAGirl campaign from P&G brand Always, which won 14 Cannes Lions in 2015, as well as an Emmy for Outstanding Television Commercial.

Jim Millis

Chief Technology Officer

A veteran senior executive with expertise in molecular biology, chemical catalysis, and industrial biotechnology (specifically fermentation), Jim brings a thirty-year career as an entrepreneurial leader. Previously he's held management positions at Cargill's Industrial Bioproducts unit and Draths, a renewable chemicals company. Most recently, Jim served as CTO of BioAmber, overseeing the development, scale-up, and commercial implementation of a fermentation technology.

Fy

A new-to-the-world nutritional fungi protein.

What is Fy?

Inspired by nature.
Rooted in science.

Fy ("fai") is the result of fermenting Fusarium strain flavolapis using our breakthrough technology.

Fusarium strain flavolapis is neither a plant nor an animal; it's a member of the fungi kingdom. Fungi are known for being some of the most metabolically diverse microorganisms on Earth, with the ability to produce a broad spectrum of healthy vitamins, protein lipids, and fiber. They’ve been used in food for millennia, from soy sauce to cheese to beer.

In order to survive in extremely harsh environments, Fusarium strain flavolapis adapted to do more with less. This efficiency, combined with our breakthrough fermentation method, allows us to make our nutritious Fy Protein. It’s made quickly and without the environmental impact of traditional protein. Plus it can be made into a wide variety of the foods you crave.

Our Process

How a tiny
microorganism
becomes a protein
full of potential.

1

Discover

We start with Fusarium strain flavolapis. One specimen isolated from a small sample collected in Yellowstone National Park is all it takes to create a virtually unlimited supply of Fy.

2

Ferment

For centuries, people used fermentation to make delicious bread, wine, and kombucha. Now we’ve created a new twist on this classic process by inventing a liquid surface fermentation technology to grow Fy. We use simple trays in standing towers in a growth chamber where we feed a select blend of nutrients to Fusarium strain flavolapis to trigger high protein formation. In just a few days, the filaments grow and interlace, forming a mat with a texture similar to muscle fiber. It’s sustainable, highly efficient, and elegant. Our method can even take place in space because as long as there’s an appropriately controlled environment, it can happen anytime, anywhere.

3

Transform

From the fermentation trays we use simple food production steps—steaming, pressing, rinsing, and slicing—to get Fy ready. Now it can be transformed into a solid, liquid, or powder and used to create a wide variety of your favorite foods.

4

Eat

And that's it. Delicious, healthy, sustainable. Take our word for it (or just take a bite).

Benefits

Fy is better for the planet.

  • 99% less land.

    Our protein can be made using roughly 99% less land than beef production. In fact, Fy is 3.6x more efficient than animal sources and over 1.8x more efficient than plant sources in generating protein per acre of land. Because of this, we can grow Fy anywhere—from our headquarters in Chicago all the way to space.
  • 99% fewer greenhouse gases.

    Unlike raising cattle for beef, our simple, inspired-by-nature technology produces very little CO2 and no methane which can have a huge impact in conserving energy. And with 50% of the planet’s population projected to live in cities, it’s more important than ever to grow food close to where people live. With our fermentation method we can grow Fy in urban environments.
  • 87% less water.

    One major advantage of our food production is the low water use. We don’t depend on rainfall to grow Fy and don't need to irrigate acres of land, which leads to less water waste. Our fermentation is also less water-intensive than most other fermentation methods.

Products

Open your eyes to the possibilities of Fy.

Nature’s Fynd foods are getting ready to launch. Get excited to taste delicious food you can be proud to eat. Wait till you see what we’re cooking up.