Crusonia Forum—MIA 2022: Investing in the Food Is Health Revolution is an invitation-only event bringing together innovative food, agriculture and health companies with institutional investors and other industry stakeholders. The day includes panel discussions on agriculture, food and health investment, insights on the future of food, and presentations from a dozen related companies.
Why? The global food system is in the middle of a once-in-a-generation disruption, while at the same time more and more attention is being paid to the long-term health effects of the foods we eat. There is a straight line between today’s heavily processed, sugar loaded diets and these health outcomes, not to mention chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more. With this complexity comes an opportunity for entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors.
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
Ambassador Kip Tom
U.S. Dept of State
Javier Lozano Garza
Clínicas del Azúcar
University of California, San Francisco
Hollie Harris Phillips
Appalachian Regional Healthcare
The Nature Conservancy
Miller School of Medicine
Partnership for a Healthier America
Kevin Van Trump
Larry De Maria
Thursday, Feb 24, 2022
The Sacred Space
105 NE 24th Street
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Hotel Recommendations >
(subject to change)
PART I: INVESTING IN FOOD IS HEALTH: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Healthy, Fresh, Tasty Breakfast
Paul Noglows, Founding Partner & Executive Producer, Crusonia
The Next Investment Arbitrage: Food Is Health
In the United States alone we spend $1.7T annually on food and another $1.9T on nutrition-related healthcare costs. We’re essentially doubling the price we’re paying while making the problem exponentially worse. At the same time, global demand for protein is on track to double by 2050 and demand for healthy food is accelerating, but there is no more available farmland to provide it.
In each investor’s lifetime there might get one, maybe two, long arbitrage opportunities. Major secular shifts in large existing markets, at the nexus of demand, innovation and infrastructure realignment. The macro forces of a growing global middle class, limits on food production, and increasing need for sustainability are setting up opportunities where innovation in biology will be a productivity multiplier for savvy investors. Fueled by hangover supply chain fears from the pandemic and awash with capital, are markets poised for a shift in agriculture and food that could dwarf the tech opportunity in the 1990s?
Carter Williams, Managing Principal, iSelect Fund
The Future of Health Isn’t in a Pill, it’s on Your Plate
Food is the most powerful drug in our world, for both good and bad. It can improve the expression of thousands of genes, balance dozens of hormones, optimize tens of thousands of protein networks, reduce inflammation and optimize our microbiome – all based on what we have access to and the choices that we make around what we eat. It’s the raw material of our bodies.
Conventional medicine waits for disease to occur and relies heavily on prescription medications to manage symptoms rather than getting at the root cause of illness. A metabolic approach, however, addresses the causes of these imbalances and treats them with food and other means – including sleep, stress management, exercise, toxin exposure and more – to improve or even reverse disease. Yet we’re in the middle of a metabolic health pandemic, with 88% percent of adults classified as metabolically unhealthy and the diabetes and chronic disease burden shifting to younger and younger age groups. It’s time to talk about what we’re eating, how it’s produced, and what effect those foods are having on our metabolic health in order to stop feeding disease and start fighting it.
David Perlmutter, MD, FACN is a board-certified neurologist, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and five-time New York Times bestselling author.
Karen Koffler, MD, IFM Certified Practitioner, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Robert Lustig, MD, MSL, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Casey Means, MD, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Levels
Moderator: Joan LaRovere MD, MSc, MBA, clinical leader, physician, cardiac expert and social entrepreneur, Operating Partner, iSelect
Investing in Food Is Health: The View from the Farm
The farm of the future may soon look very different from what our ancestors practiced, and the changes are happening now. Young, tech savvy farm entrepreneurs are applying technology in new ways to boost yield, reduce input costs and create healthier foods that cost less and are accessible to the world. These next generation farmers are taking a systems view of their market and redefining not only what’s possible in agriculture but what farm investment can accomplish today.
Michael Doane, Global Managing Director, Food & Freshwater Systems, The Nature Conservancy
Brett Sciotto, CEO, AimPoint Research
Moderator: Kevin Van Trump, Owner, Van Trump Report & CEO, Farm Direction
Investing in Food Is Health: The View from Wall Street
Today’s tech giants like Google, Amazon and others weren’t always titans – in the early days many of them flirted on the edge of failure as they were simultaneously redefining and creating an industry. The same thing is happening right now in plant-based proteins. A few early players are emerging, but the market that these nascent companies are creating will have lasting power that will come into its own in the coming decades. At the same time, established ag and food companies are actively trying to redefine themselves to stay competitive in a rapidly changing landscape. Investors that want to be involved need to consider the lessons of the Dot Com era – the largest rewards go to those in the room where big things are happening.
Larry De Maria, Co-Group Head–Global Industrial Infrastructure, William Blair
Brian Holland, Managing Director & Senior Analyst, Cowen
Ben Theurer, Senior Analyst, Barclays Capital
Moderator: Rebecca Ellin, Vice President, Research Analyst, Baron Funds
A Systems Approach to Food is Health
The statistics are alarming. Diabetes is deadly—and preventable through education, nutrition and exercise. Javier Lozano applied his research learnings from studying corporations like McDonalds that serve hundreds of millions of customers worldwide to facilitate the development of quick service diabetes clinics across Mexico with a membership model that administered over 500,000 screenings in 2021. Javier will speak to his experiences creating these facilities, the progress that’s been made and his larger aspirations. Geof Rochester leads the discussion about the economic impact, treatment solutions and healthcare strategies to address significant rates of diabetes in the US and Mexico, stemming from the food is health narrative. Dr. Scott Harrison joins the discussion to share how his healthcare system in Central Appalachia is adapting care and implementing programs to address the disease by treating the underlying causes through education, diet and nutrition. They will also address what integrated systems are lacking to fully benefit their patients.
Javier Lozano Garza, Co-Founder/CEO, Clínicas del Azúcar
Dr. Scott Harrison, Regional Chief Medical Officer
Moderator: Geof Rochester, Director, App Harvest and Founder, GRC Advising
Food Is Health: A Global Challenge
As of 2022, there are 3 billion people around the world expected to move into the middle class in the coming decade. As a result, tastes will change, demands will change and there will be a new push for higher quality, more nutritious foods. The global food system will have to change. There is an economic opportunity here as well – Africa, Pakistan and Asia are just some of the places where the new food system will be defined. Working with U.S.-developed technologies, the rest of the world will build the food system of the future.
Ambassador Kip Tom, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, Chairman of Tom Farms
Nancy Roman, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America
Moderator: Paul Noglows, Founding Partner & Executive Producer, Crusonia
Locally-sourced Farm-to-Table Lunch
Prepared by Plant Miami served outside in the Garden and Guava Grove at The Sacred Space Miami
PART II: THE NEW FOOD SYSTEM: MEET THE SOLUTION PROVIDERS
The New Food System
The global food system will change. Maybe a little. Likely a lot. It will still have farms, grain elevators, soy and tractors. But biology and data will transform how farms operate, the nature of seed, the use of synthetic biology, the source of protein, the measures of health, and the deliver model of care. As the world population shifts from 7.8B to 9.8B by 2050, a lot will stay the same, but a few specific technologies enable shifts in productivity that allow current infrastructure to meet demand. And each of these elements of change in the system represent their own investment arbitrage.
An afternoon of concise 10 minute max company presentations by grouping on the main stage. When not presenting, companies/CEOs will be available over the course of the afternoon at designated spots in and around The Sacred Space.
1:00 PM – Sambazon
1:10 PM – Farmer’s Fridge
1:20 PM – AeroFarms
1:30 PM – MyLand
1:40 PM – Networking & Meet the Companies Break
2:00 PM – Levels
2:10 PM – Benson Hill
2:20 PM – Vestaron
2:30 PM – Kula Bio
2:40 PM – Networking & Meet the Companies Break
3:00 PM – AcreTrader
3:10 PM – Soli Organic
3:20 PM – Vessel Health
3:30 PM – Genome Medical
Investing in Food Is Health: Rethinking the Capital Stack
To date, the limitations seen in agriculture and food companies is a function of their connections to venture capital. These innovators need access to land, capital to build facilities and connections to broader global markets for their goods. While VC has done a good job updating what’s possible in terms of farm productivity and technology, it’s time for new capital providers to take these gains to the next level.
Matt Crisp, CEO & Co-founder, Benson Hill
Sanjeev Krishnan, Chief investment Officer, S2G Ventures
Carter Malloy, Founder & CEO, AcreTrader
Moderator: Carter Williams, CEO, iSelect