Team

In addition to the investment of our financial capital, our team of investors and advisors at Vegan Investors provide value-add to our portfolio companies.  From CPG experts to fractional CFOs, our goal is to help our portfolio companies scale!

Here is a glimpse of some of our 70+ our vegan investors and advisors that are part of the Vegan Investor Network:

Alicia Robb is the founder of Vegan Investors, an investor syndicate that focuses on investing in vegan-led vegan-focused companies.  She is also the Founder and CEO of Next Wave Impact and the Managing Partner of two early-stage venture funds and the Research Director at Cruelty Free InvestingShe was previously a Senior Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation for more than a decade (www.kauffman.org).  Alicia received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has previously worked as an economist with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Office of Economic Research in the Small Business Administration. She is a prolific author on the topics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the co-author six books including A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Businesses and The Next Wave: Financing and Investing Strategies for Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs published by Stanford University Press, as well as Race and Entrepreneurial Success published by MIT PressShe is an active angel investor, a limited partner in four early-stage venture funds, a mentor to various young firms, and an advisory board member for funds, companies, and nonprofit groups, including the Kachuwa Impact Fund, Deming Center Venture Fund, Next Wave Foundation, VegReady, and the Good Food Institute. 

Caroline Bushnell is the Associate Director of Corporate Engagement at The Good Food Institute (GFI), a nonprofit organization accelerating the shift to a sustainable, healthy, and just food system. She advises some of the world’s largest food companies, retailers, and restaurants on business opportunities in the rapidly evolving fields of plant-based and cell-based meat, eggs, and dairy. She also leads GFI’s retail strategy and consults on innovation, marketing, and merchandising best practices for the plant-based foods industry.  Previously, Caroline served as the Director of Marketing for Celestial Seasonings at The Hain Celestial Group. She has over a decade of experience in CPG brand management, finance, and consulting and is a graduate of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Heather Courtney is the CEO and Founder of Alwyn Capital, an early-stage investment firm that focuses on removing animals from the consumer supply chain. She is a seasoned real estate investor who saw the opportunity to align her investment portfolio with her animal rights ethos. Heather has been vegan for 22 years and, in that time, has witnessed the exponential growth of the plant-based food sector and knows the space intimately. Before founding Alwyn Capital, Heather worked as a lifestyle and portrait photographer in New York City for over a decade, helping fashion and lifestyle brands define themselves through visual storytelling. With a background in photography and visual communication, Heather is able to help new companies communicate through visual imagery.

Caroline Love is an advisor and growth consultant working with plant-based food companies, and venture capital funds investing in food. She specializes in areas of guidance from product conception, writing business plans, fundraising and go-to-market strategies, retail and food services sales, operational and supply chain build-out, large-scale machinery purchases, communications and marketing, hiring and HR.  She is an early entrepreneur in the Future of Food industry and 20-year vegan, focused on disruption of systems harming animals, people, and planet.  A passionate “big problem” solver through sustainable and profitable business, Caroline has repeated success of propelling small food companies to the next level with her visionary leadership, strong communication skills, and financial acumen.  Caroline also sits on the board of The Game Changers documentary, executive produced by James Cameron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and other plant-powered athletes.  Previously, Caroline was an early employee at Hampton Creek (JUST) helping build the company for five years as Vice President of Operations and leading the retail sales team. Prior to the food world, Caroline was a journalist working in television news as an anchor and investigative reporter.

 

Donna Mo is a corporate and real estate attorney with over a decade of experience practicing law. Her experience includes assisting in entity formation and governance, private offerings, mergers and acquisitions, loans, commercial real estate leases, and other commercial agreements.  She has been involved in the animal rights movement for over two decades and has assisted various animal rights nonprofits, is a donor of the Animal Law and Policy Small Grants Program at UCLA School of Law, and volunteers for her local animal shelter.

 

 

Verity Noble is a Boulder-based vegan and anti-plastic campaigner. She also started a company in London that won the Yahoo! Finds of the Year 2009 and subsequently she was named one of the top 100 in the Courvoisier Future 500, ‘an elite network of the rising stars in the UK’ so is intimately familiar with the struggles of being an entrepreneur.  She then spent 3 years at the Unreasonable Institute as their VP of Operations supporting incredible entrepreneurs, before founding Simple Startup with her husband where they support growing companies with a variety of finance and accounting services which take them from idea to IPO. She mentors / judges at Techstars, Galvanize, and Watson University, and is part of the Next Wave Impact fund. She has an MBA from IE business school in Madrid, Spain, loves to ski, kitesurf, bike, hike, dance….. (I know, we’re exhausted just reading it) and most of all, adores going on mini-adventures with her kids.
 

Michiel van Deursen is a former tech entrepreneur behind the largest classifieds internet platform in Belgium, as well as an Amsterdam-based internet agency and a tech incubator, Michiel now invests solely in plant-based businesses. His passion for healthy living began while training for an Ironman triathlon, when he learned not only what a plant-based diet can do for personal fitness but also of the wider positive impact on the planet. He was an early investor of The Vegetarian Butcher in the Netherlands, experiencing the massive growth of the plant-based food sector first-hand.

 

Simon Newstead is based in Melbourne Australia. He is a vegan investor and entrepreneur and passionate to support the movement and companies helping us to transition to a more ethical food system.  Simon also is the co-host and founder of the Vegan Startup podcast: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonnewstead/

 

 

Elizabeth Killough is a forward-thinking leader committed to mission-aligned investing as a way to challenge and redefine the role that philanthropy and finance play in our economy. She co-directs the Untours Foundation, an international foundation located in Media, PA. The foundation provides loans and support to green, leading-edge businesses that address social and economic issues, including creating jobs for vulnerable populations. The foundation owns Untours, a unique travel company that is the world’s first B Corp. Elizabeth played a key role in building a Fair Trade movement nationally helping to make Media, PA, the “First Fair Trade Town in the U.S.” now followed by 44 other US cities and towns. She’s been vegan for decades and a long-time activist for the planet and animals. Her past work includes guiding organizational development, advocating change in US policy toward Central America, and addressing domestic hunger. She holds a master’s degree in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.