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Thomas Jonas

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas believes in asking the big questions but also in finding new and different solutions. When a chance encounter on the beach in Hawaii led Thomas to a lab in Montana where he met Mark, he saw infinite possibilities in the tiny microscopic organism. When others often ask why, Thomas’ curiosity drives him to ask, why not and what if? Why not use the nutritional power of Fy to positively impact the environment and disrupt the food industry? What if Fy could feed people today and for generations to come? And as a former officer in the French Air Force, Thomas knows that even the sky is not the limit.
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Dr. Mark Kozubal

Chief Science Officer

Mark loves exploring science to find groundbreaking ways to benefit mankind. True to his curious nature, he journeyed to Yellowstone National Park and later discovered an extremophile microbe in samples taken from the hot springs. This microbe eventually grew to become our nutritional fungi protein, Fy. As a leading expert in extremophile organisms, it’s no surprise that his deep knowledge has led NASA, the National Science Foundation, the USDA, and the EPA to seek him out. When Mark isn’t researching extremophiles, he likes to mountain bike, backcountry ski, and strum guitar.
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Matthew Strongin

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew is passionate about leveraging technology to deliver a sustained impact on the planet and our society. This enthusiasm led him to Nature’s Fynd after working in venture capital and banking. As a venture investor in early-stage companies focused on agriculture and energy, Matthew experienced firsthand the struggles and rewards of commercializing technologies that both challenge convention and create sustainable solutions that disrupt the food industry in a positive way. He enjoys building towards audacious goals using his innovative spirit— just ask him about completely remodeling his home in his spare time.
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Karuna Rawal

Chief Marketing Officer

As a marketer with award-winning international success, Karuna was ready for the challenge of building a purpose-driven brand from the ground up. That brand? Nature’s Fynd. Karuna’s broad experience in launching new food innovations combined with an intentional focus on how we can create a better food system led her to this position. Building on the company’s unique origins, Karuna is crafting a compelling narrative for Nature’s Fynd. And her own enthusiasm for food extends beyond her kitchen to seeking out amazing tasting vegan food. So if you’re in Chicago, ask her to share a favorite recipe or restaurant she last visited for a flawless recommendation.
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Jim Millis

Chief Technology Officer

Jim’s belief is simple: live modestly and leave the world in a better place than you found it. He does this by preparing food from his own garden and through his work at Nature’s Fynd. With over thirty years of working as an entrepreneurial leader and his expertise in fermentation technology, Jim helped create the breakthrough method used to grow our nutritional fungi protein, Fy. This innovative spirit comes from a family of creators. With a woodshop on his family’s farm and an uncle in the business of wood lathes, Jim also loves woodturning to craft stunning bowls from reclaimed wood.
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Press and Media

Press Release

Sus­tain­able Bio­prod­ucts announces $33 mil­lion Series A financing

Biotech start­up devel­op­ing break­through food technology

CHICA­GO, Feb­ru­ary 4, 2019 — Sus­tain­able Bio­prod­ucts, a biotech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny devel­op­ing a new way to grow edi­ble pro­tein, has raised $33 mil­lion in Series A financ­ing from pre­mier ven­ture cap­i­tal funds and two of the world’s largest food and agribusi­ness companies. 

1955 Cap­i­tal, a Sil­i­con Val­ley-based ven­ture fund found­ed by Andrew Chung, led the round. Among the par­tic­i­pants: Break­through Ener­gy Ven­tures, a $1 bil­lion investor-led fund cre­at­ed to help stop cli­mate change; ADM Ven­tures, the ven­ture invest­ing arm of glob­al food and feed ingre­di­ent provider Archer Daniels Mid­land Com­pa­ny (NYSE:ADM); Danone Man­i­festo Ven­tures, the ven­ture-invest­ing arm of French food and bev­er­age com­pa­ny Danone (EPA:BN); Laud­er Part­ners; and the Liebel­son fam­i­ly office. 

We have wit­nessed incred­i­ble growth in the demand for new pro­teins in recent years and believe Sus­tain­able Bio­prod­ucts has the most com­pelling and effi­cient solu­tion to sat­is­fy this demand,” said Chung, man­ag­ing part­ner of 1955 Cap­i­tal. This demand will not only come from the West, but from the devel­op­ing world where the need for pro­tein will become more severe.” 

Sus­tain­able Bio­prod­ucts’ tech­nol­o­gy emerged out of fun­da­men­tal research into extremophile organ­isms that live in Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park’s vol­canic springs. That work led to the devel­op­ment of an inno­v­a­tive fer­men­ta­tion tech­nol­o­gy, which can grow pro­tein with great nutri­tion­al val­ue and min­i­mal impact on the environment. 

Curios­i­ty and a pas­sion for explo­ration led us to Yel­low­stone, one of the harsh­est ecosys­tems in the world,” said Thomas Jonas, Sus­tain­able Bio­prod­ucts’ CEO and cofounder. By observ­ing how life opti­mizes the use of resources in this chal­leng­ing envi­ron­ment, we have invent­ed a way to make pro­tein that is rad­i­cal­ly more effi­cient and gen­tler on our planet.” 

NASA, the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion, the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA), the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA), the State of Mon­tana and Mon­tana State Uni­ver­si­ty have pro­vid­ed finan­cial and in-kind sup­port to the com­pa­ny. The com­pa­ny cur­rent­ly is based out of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chicago’s Pol­sky Cen­ter for Entre­pre­neur­ship and Innovation.