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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.

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.