New Board Members, Advisors & Major IP Milestones
It’s been a busy summer at Hampton Creek HQ and we wanted to fill you in on some important efforts that will help us achieve our mission of building a food system where everyone is eating well. Today we’re excited to announce five additions to our Board of Directors and three new advisors as well as some major intellectual property milestones.
First, our new Board members. Our aim was to bring on leaders with a powerful mix of experience in international business, agriculture and sustainability who could work alongside our talented team to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the global food system. We’re thrilled we’ve done just that.
New Board Members
— Jim Borel, former Executive Vice President of DuPont. Until his retirement in 2016, Borel led the American conglomerate’s DuPont Pioneer, Crop Protection and Nutrition & Health businesses, representing $15 billion in sales and over 60% the company’s $2 billion annual R&D investment. He also oversaw Sustainability; Safety, Health & Environment; Product Stewardship & Regulatory; and Government Affairs corporate functions as well as the Latin America Region during his four-decade career at DuPont.
— HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures. With holdings on five continents, Prince Khaled stands at the gateway between the Middle East’s evolving economies and the Western world. His investment portfolio includes both established businesses and early stage ventures, across a wide range of industries, that lie at the intersection of economic stability and innovation. A well-known proponent of healthy living, the humane treatment of animals and clean energy, Prince Khaled is also a key figure in the movement away from industrial animal agriculture and toward plant-based and clean meat.
— Sylvia Earle, Founder of Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) / Mission Blue.
Dr. Earle is a legendary oceanographer and field researcher in the areas of ecology and marine conservation. She was the first female chief scientist for NOAA, is National Geographic Society’s Explorer in Residence, TIME Magazine’s first Hero for the Planet, Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Woman of the Year and the 2014 United Nations Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth, among other honors. In 2009, she won a TED Prize for her work to establish marine protected areas around the globe and her life’s work is documented in the Emmy award-winning Netflix film “Mission Blue.”
— Larry Kopald, Founder & President of The Carbon Underground. Through his work at some of the world’s top advertising agencies, Kopald helped launch multi-billion dollar brands like Acura automobiles, Huggies diapers, Oracle and McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. A lifelong environmentalist, he founded The Carbon Underground to reverse climate change by accelerating the restoration of farms, ranches and grasslands enabling the soil to draw down carbon from the atmosphere. Kopald is a Senior Fellow at USC’s Marshall School of Business, served on President Obama’s White House Panel on Social Innovation and served on the boards of Greenpeace, Oceana, the National Marine Sanctuaries and 1% For The Planet.
— Cliff Coles, a former Heinz, Del Monte and R.J. Reynolds/Nabisco food safety leader who brings with him 50 years of food industry experience. Coles, now President of California Microbiological Consulting Inc., has managed safety audits in North America, South America, China and Europe, and as a technical expert, has provided assistance to companies and countries around the world. Coles also serves on an expert U.S. Food and Drug Administration food safety panel and is a founding member of the Food Industry Microbiological Roundtable, an organization of top industry microbiologists.
Beyond our Board, we’ve added three individuals to our growing, diverse roster of advisors — further deepening the collective expertise we can call upon as we set out to achieve our 5-point plan to create a more just food system for all.
— Peter Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation; Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Singularity University; and Co-Founder of Human Longevity Inc., a company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan. He is also author of the bestselling books “Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think” and “BOLD: How to go Big, Create Wealth & Impact the World.”
— Jon Vein, entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist who was Co-Founder and CEO of MarketShare, a software company that was acquired by Neustar Inc. for $450 million. Prior to MarketShare, Vein was Chief Operating Officer of Michael Ovitz’s Artists Management Group and APG, and he was Chief Operating Officer of Film Roman, an animation production company that produced award-winning shows like The Simpsons, King of the Hill and Family Guy. Jon holds multiple U.S. patents, is an Emmy winner and was named E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in Los Angeles in 2016.
— Ira van Eelen, the daughter of Dutch entrepreneur Willem van Eelen who pioneered the field of researching meat made from cells instead of live, confined animals. Willem passed away in 2015 at age 91 after dedicating his life to catalyzing interest in and funding for “clean meat” R&D worldwide. Ira has carried on her father’s legacy of innovation and creativity as a commercial artist and proprietor of ToothCamp, a theatrical oral hygiene event for children.
Major IP Milestones
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday officially issued Hampton Creek a groundbreaking machine learning patent for food ingredient discovery. U.S. Patent №9,760,834, titled “Discovery Systems for Identifying Entities That Have a Target Property,” covers the company’s innovative machine-learning enabled discovery platform and methods for discovering new plant-based ingredients.
The patent relates to our combination of one-of-a-kind robotics, proprietary plant databases, artificial intelligence and predictive modeling that comprise a system named BlackbirdTM. The platform dramatically increases our scientists’ rate of discovery and our ability to bring healthier, diversified products to market. It can also help some of the largest food companies in the world make their products better for consumers and better for the planet.
This week, we also announced the acquisition of an extensive worldwide patent portfolio covering foundational “clean meat” technology, including clean meat compositions, food products and methods of manufacture. The patents include U.S. Patent №6,835,390 (“Method for Producing Tissue Engineered Meat for Consumption”); U.S. Patent №7,270,829 (“Industrial Production of Meat Using Cell Culture Methods”); and related patents in regions throughout the world including North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
We previously announced the expansion of its R&D platform to solve the technical challenges of scalable, sustainable clean meat with the goal of making the first commercial sale of clean meat by the end of 2018. You can read more on on our clean meat efforts here.
So there you have it, some big end of summer news from Hampton Creek.
As we’ve said before, we believe eating well is a basic right and if a decision — from the people we bring onboard to the technologies we develop to the products we launch — increases the probability of achieving our mission in our lifetimes, we’ll do it. If a decision decreases that probability, we won’t. That’s our operating principle, whether privately held or publicly traded. It’s the common thread running through everything we do.
We’re excited to have you and our new Board members and advisors on this incredible journey.
— Josh Tetrick, co-founder & CEO