Whether agritech or agtech, agricultural technology is an area that hasn’t quite hit the heights of some other areas of technology venture capital. In this episode, Paul Rous of Regenerate Ventures discusses how and why that is changing, with a more promising future ahead.
Paul starts by talking about the history of agtech, talking about why it hasn’t taken off as it might and what the barriers have been. He then moves on to how the world is changing, with agtech getting increased attention from both entrepreneurs and funders and how this is changing the area radically.
We also dig into some of the themes that Paul has seen. He highlights the difference in attention that the consumer side of food has received versus the “upstream” end. We also talk about the agricultural industry, its structure, regulation and how changes in these are now helping agtech develop.
Finally, in our favourite questions, Paul puts forth some strong views on the current state of ESG in the EIS fund and VCT industry and what needs to change there.
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The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M Christensen
Paul Rous is a Founder and Managing Director of Regenerate Ventures, the UK’s only agricultural-focused venture capital fund. He is also a Co-Founder of the UK’s first agritech accelerator ‘Shake Climate Change’ and has been a consultant on digital agricultural innovation for international companies. Paul has been involved in investment, innovation and agriculture for over a decade, having founded two venture capital funds, Fuel Ventures and Blackfinch Ventures. He has also been involved in the launch and scale of tens of companies and had over five successful exits. After serving as an Officer in the Army and at Goldman Sachs, he took an active role in the family’s multi-generational arable farm in Suffolk. Paul has an MBA from Imperial College London and is a PhD Candidate at Cranfield University.