Jim Thorne is currently President of Nourish Ventures and Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Strategy for Griffith Foods Worldwide Inc. based in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to the leadership role, Jim was the Vice President, General Manager for Griffith Foods Canada from November 2014 to October 2017, and Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Marketing for Griffith Foods Worldwide Inc. from October 2017 to October 2020.
Jim has over 30 years of experience in the food industry. With an MBA from Queen’s University Canada, Jim has worked for Nabisco, Campbell Soup, and Maple Leaf Foods in a variety of marketing, sales, and general management leadership roles. Prior to joining Griffith Foods in 2014, Jim was President and CEO of Marsan Foods based in Toronto Canada.
Simon brings a wealth of experience in the food, beverage, and household product industries and loves identifying and investing in exciting ideas that capitalize on emerging trends. Prior to joining Nourish Ventures, Simon was managing director of eighteen94 capital, Kellogg Company’s venture capital firm, where he led the investment process, nurtured relationships with partners, and served as a member of the board for companies in the portfolio.
Prior to that, he held investment management positions at Norges Bank Investment Management in London, JP Morgan Chase, and Banc of America Capital Management.
Simon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from King College and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Subra has 20 years of food industry experience with CPG, food ingredient companies and fine dining restaurants from Canada, India & US. His expertise is in culinary, product development, strategic account management, project management & Lean start-up. Subra holds bachelor’s degrees in both Culinary Operations & Hospitality Management and an MBA from ThePowerMBA. Subra co-leads Global Alternative Protein Taskforce for Griffith Foods, focused on establishing Griffith Foods as leaders in taste & texture.
Greg has more than 10 years of industry experience working with products that are considered highly technical & novel. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry from Ball State University & a Master of Science, Food Science from Kansas State University. Greg has successfully commercialized multiple innovation platforms for Griffith Foods US. Greg is also a Certified Culinary Scientist and has passion to develop great tasting new products for his customers.
Chef Dennis pioneered Culinology at Griffith Foods, as the first Certified Research Chef with the company. He brings culinary creativity & food science knowledge to new product development. Chef Dennis graduated from Vladimir State Culinary College, Russia with Honors in 1988. Over the next decade, Chef Dennis mastered food operations in QSRs, Fast Casual & Fine Dining. His desire to learn led him to pursue his Bachelor of Food Science & Master’s in Business Management from University of Illinois. He has more than 20 years of food industry experience with global CPG, ingredient & flavor companies.
Toon gained his first industry experience working for Griffith Foods as a Snack Innovation Technologist. In that role he mastered Innovation Process Management. He successfully led the technical launch of several snack innovations in Europe. Toon holds a Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry from Thomas More College Geel & a Master of Science, Food Technology from University of Leuven. He is passionate about generating new product ideas, optimizing processes and leveraging new techniques to develop the food of the future.
With over 5 years of rich experience in Consulting and Finance, Soham is a dynamic professional thriving at the nexus of finance, strategy, and innovation. Fueled by insatiable curiosity and a passion for uncovering emerging opportunities, Soham brings a unique perspective to his roles.
Before joining Nourish Ventures, Soham’s journey included impactful stints. In Boston, he contributed his expertise to Pegasystems’ Corporate Development team, identifying strategic acquisition avenues. His 3-year tenure with Deloitte’s M&A Advisory team in Bangalore showcased his prowess in assisting private equity, venture capital funds, and strategic investors in pinpointing optimal investment prospects and conducting diligence. He also lent his skills to startups, aiding them in strategic scaling and fundraising endeavors.
Soham’s early career at PwC’s Assurance division further fortified his foundation. His responsibilities encompassed evaluating internal processes and controls for adequacy and appropriateness, alongside developing a deep understanding of Financial Statements.
An MBA alumnus of Babson College, Soham’s academic pursuits harmonize with his Chartered Accountant qualification, demonstrating a blend of practical knowledge and strategic insight.
Raquel leads startup investments and partnerships for Nourish Ventures in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to Nourish, she was a director of ecosystem innovation at Philips (healthcare) and led a startup accelerator at Arcadis that focused on climate change mitigation and sustainable cities design. Her additional background is in corporate strategy and management consultancy, with an academic background in engineering and investment. Raquel is based in Madrid, where she relocated after 13 years living in Amsterdam and London, with a mission to help shape a healthier and more sustainable food system.
Ming Zhu currently leads the investments and partnerships in APAC for Nourish Ventures and is based in Singapore. Prior to Nourish Ventures, Ming was a senior strategy consultant at Innosight, a global strategy consultancy founded by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, where he advised Fortune 500 companies on their growth and innovation strategies. Before that, Ming worked at Crop One, a leading vertical farming company, at its San Francisco and Dubai offices where he served as the regional leader for Crop One in the Joint Venture with Emirates Flight Catering (part of the Emirates Group) in building one of the world’s largest vertical farms and spearheaded Crop One’s business development efforts in the MENA and APAC region. Ming also spent time as an investor with Anterra Capital, an Amsterdam and Boston-based Venture Capital firm focusing on early-stage food & agriculture investments. Ming received his MBA from Harvard Business School and BA in Economics and Music with High Honors from Wesleyan University, CT.
Elaine is passionate about bridging innovation with the food industry and being part of the effort in food sustainability. Elaine began her career in the food industry, specialised confectionery, and chocolate. Over the course of her tenure, she honed her skills in fine-tuning recipes and contributing to efforts related to products regulation across the APAC region. After several years in the industry, she made a career change to join the Venture Capital.Prior to joining Nourish Ventures, she was with one of the global alternative protein venture capital firms, sourcing deal-flow and providing technical consultant towards portfolio partners. Elaine holds a Bachelor of Science, Food Science and Nutrition from UCSI University with Honors. Elaine is passionate about bridging innovation with the food industry and being part of the effort to make the food industry sustainable.