Big Idea Ventures LLC has announced the launch of the Generation Food Rural Partners (GFRP), a $125 million target fund that will fuel economic development in rural communities across the United States through the commercialization of food and agricultural technologies, protein innovation and other university intellectual property.

“Big Idea Ventures was founded to solve the world’s greatest challenges by backing the world’s best entrepreneurs,” said Andrew D. Ive, founder and managing general partner. “This new fund will widen our scope to capture breakthrough technologies from world-class universities that will impact the global food supply chain. The goal is to drive job creation and entrepreneurship in rural communities hungry for economic development and have them continue to be the centres of food innovation and production for generations to come.”

The GFRP fund will establish at least five venture centres to facilitate collaboration with multiple leading U.S. universities. BIV venture center staff will work with the universities to identify and evaluate new developments with the strongest commercialization potential and the fund will then invest in new companies formed around the groundbreaking research. These new companies will be headquartered in rural communities near the collaborating universities and the GFRP team expects the first of these new companies to be established in North Carolina.

“We are thrilled that Big Idea Ventures has recognized NC State’s world-class agricultural research capabilities, and this opportunity aligns perfectly with our mission to create prosperity for our state and reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of this university. With our Think and Do mindset, we believe research has its greatest value when it’s at work in the real world creating opportunities and solving problems. We’re delighted to be working with this team from the very beginning,” said Wade Fulghum, assistant vice chancellor for research commercialization.

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