Big Idea Ventures backs PlantSustain to revolutionize plant protection industry

Young plant growing in the morning light and green bokeh background  , new life growth ecology concept

Big Idea Ventures (BIV) has launched its fifth portfolio company through its Generation Food Rural Partners (GFRP) Fund. PlantSustain, the newly established company, is committed to proving and commercializing bio-based research to deliver eco-friendly products and solutions for sustainable agriculture. As the startup describes itself, it is a platform for advancing biological innovation from research to commercialization, aiming to replace chemical pesticides and fertilizers with natural endophytic bacteria and fungi solutions. Leveraging expertise and innovation developed at leading universities and research institutes, PlantSustain enhances plants’ ability to fight disease while increasing nutritional intake for healthier crops and the environment. The company will license intellectual property from universities and commercialize the technology to address challenges in the agriculture and food industries.

“As the demand for less toxic crop protection and fertilizer products increases, GFRP is excited to launch a company focused on commercializing breakthrough endophytic microbe technologies aimed at creating sustainable crop protection and nutrition solutions for farmers,” said Elsa Swanson Sareen, Vice President of the GFRP fund.

The board of directors of PlantSustain has appointed Simon Hill as Chief Executive Officer. Hill is a seasoned global business development leader with extensive experience in scaling and commercializing technologies to global markets.

“The push to adopt more sustainable and cost-effective solutions to agricultural challenges is driving innovation,” said Hill. “Inspired by the strides made by GFRP in alternative protein and sustainable packaging, I am thrilled to lead PlantSustain in working with renowned research institutions and established distribution partners to identify, develop, and commercialize reliable and cost-effective microbial products for more efficient agricultural production.”

The GFRP Fund evaluates intellectual property focused on innovations in the agriculture, food, and protein sectors. The fund invests to create new companies based on research with the greatest potential for broad commercialization. These companies will be headquartered in rural communities, creating living-wage jobs to drive economic growth and development.

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