Ryan Bethencourt

Ryan is a co-founder and CEO at Wild Earth, the leading healthy, plant based dog food company in the US and brings years of experience in leading, building and advising high-growth food and biotechnology companies. Ryan is also a Partner at Babel Ventures, silicon valley based biotech VC firm and a faculty member at Singularity University, focused on harnessing biology as a technology to solve some of our world’s most intractable problems.

Ryan was previously co-founder, former Program Director, and Venture Partner at IndieBio and has invested in over 110+ early stage biotech, food and technology startups as an Angel and Venture Capital Pre-seed and Seed investor (usually cutting the first check) with a combined market value of over $3 Billion. He was previously head of life sciences at the XPRIZE Foundation and spent a decade developing human therapeutic with large companies like Pfizer, Merck, Amgen, Genentech. His work at the interface of science and business has been covered globally.

Some of the more notable and impactful companies Ryan has invested in and helped build include, Future of Food (Endless West, Memphis Meats, Shiok Meats, EVO Foods, Clara Foods, Geltor, Miraculex, Finless Foods, The NotCo, SugarLogix, Plantible and Veggie Victory), Medicine (SyntheX, QIDNI labs, Neuroqore, Venomyx Therapeutics, Protera, Mendel.ai, Bioaesthetics,Prellis Biologics, DNAlite, QuantumCyte, InterVenn Bioscience, Foreverlabs, Gene and Cell Technologies), Biological Computation (Koniku, Catalog Technologies), Consumer Biotech (NERD Skincare, Amino labs, Mycoworks, Animal Biome, GALY, Vitrolabs, Zbiotics), Environmental (Pembient, Bioinspira, UBA Biologics).

Ryan has a BSc degree in Biological Sciences (Molecular Genetics) from Warwick University, a joint Masters in Bioscience Enterprise (MBE) from Cambridge University and MIT. He’s also been a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Candidate at the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh before pivoting to build startups.

Sample Topics

Feeding the Next 3 Billion: Biotech and the Future of Food

With a rapidly growing global population, our world is surpassing its natural carrying capacity, which begs the critical question: how will we feed the next 3 billion people born over the decades ahead?
This is just one factor that’s triggering the largest transformations of the food and agriculture industries since humanity first domesticated plants and animals over 10,000 years ago.
This talk dives into the future of food, explores the prospects of cellular agriculture and clean meat, and discusses how embracing GMO technologies can help grow more food and possibly even save our planet.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn about the powerful opportunities biotechnology is creating within the 15 trillion dollar protein and meat markets.
  • Understand the difference between cellular and acellular agriculture.
  • See how organizations and startups are innovating with clean meat, fermentation technology, and vertical farming.
  • Discuss the current scientific and regulatory challenges ahead of us as new food industries blossom across the globe.
  • Explore ways to prepare for the end of food scarcity, the rise of food abundance, and the massive entrepreneurial opportunities still ahead.

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