My Food Job Rocks!
Ep. 243 – You Can Do Anything, You Can Be Anything with Ryan Bethencourt, CEO of Wild Earth

Ep. 243 – You Can Do Anything, You Can Be Anything with Ryan Bethencourt, CEO of Wild Earth

This amazing episode is with Ryan Bethencourt, Founder and CEO of Wild Earth, but this guy invests, mentors and influences and has had such an impact in the alt-meat and biotech community. If you’re in the plant-based community and don’t know Ryan, get to know him, follow him on LinkedIn, he is one of the lynchpins in this innovative field and shares a ton of amazing content.

So what has Ryan done so far?  Well, started a company? Several. Invested in innovative technology? Scientist? Yep. Been on Shark Tank? Got an investment on Shark Tank! This guy has done everything!

A big takeaway from this episode is that Ryan was told no all the time. Why? Because he had dyslexia as a kid but after reading some science fiction and then busting his butt working really hard, he kept on breaking expectations and is now a literal limitless human being and has leveraged his weakness into his greatest strength. I know Ryan personally, and I never knew this story! You’ll learn a bit more about his personal life such as why he moved out of Silicon Valley to Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and set up an awesome sustainable food fund with his wife.

Based on the length of the episode and the quality of today’s guest, I don’t have to tell you that you will learn a lot and be inspired in this interview. The best takeaway in this episode is that even if people say you can’t, you can.

Show Notes

Mark Cuban Shark Tank Deal
What do you call yourself when you talk to people?: If it’s simple I say I run a dog food company
I also have invested in/helped build 130 startups
I cofounded Indiebio and I cofounded Wild Earth
The first investor in Memphis Meats, Not Co, Geltor, Clara Foods
Arvind and Po’s Book
Silicon Valley actually has a biotech ecosystem but it was hard to break in.
Once the recession hits, we bought biotech equipment and put them into our garage
SOS Ventures backe dour company called IndieBio and we would provide a lab to scientists
NotCo in the US
Wait, are you an investor and a CEO?: Yes, I’m an AND person. I do both
Sustainable Food Ventures
What Are You?: I’m many things, but you and I have done the “and”. Give yourself permission to do both and it’s ok to fail and don’t listen to the people who say no
I was dyslexic as a child and really had a handicap in school. My parents always believed in me and introduced me to science fiction
Science fiction told me about what is possible and taught me to work harder to make these goals happen
Once I found that computers helped me work faster, I leveraged technology to do great job.
Eventually, after I looked up from the grindstone, I became more knowledgable people
GATTACA – the swimming part
Book: Three Body Problem Series – Chinese Fiction - Three part series
What other cultures can do science fiction well?
Each culture can give us a different lense into science fiction
Silicon Valley – The Rome of Technology
Ryan was always looking at multiple hubs to leave Silicon Valley
Steve Case – AOL Focus on the Rise of the Rest
Research Triangle Hub
Marilis Holme, my wife and I created a new future of food fund in the triangle called Sustainable Food Ventures
It is harder to set up a fund in undeveloped projects but it’s worth it
What is your strategy in developing cities?
Big Idea Ventures
Veggie Victory – Rise of Plant-based Meat in Nigeria
Plant-based Meat is supposed to be 1% of the meat market right now
How do people get money from startups?: Just ask us. We help
Book: Zero to One
Golden Beef- Real Beef but slaughtered free
Tufts University
Golden Rice
Better Meat Co
Motif Foodworks
Why did you start Wild Earth?: Funny enough, no one wanted me to make this company and they wouldn’t want to invest in me on dog food
Dogs eat everything
We are actually getting some interesting data on dogs eating a plant-based diet. We are funding future research
For Wild Earth, it’s not just that we’re plant-based, but we care about our pet’s nutrition
We want Wild Earth to be the leader of plant-based dog food and make an impact with giant companies. The more we can convince large pet food companies join us, the more impactful you can be
Book: Hyper Competition – Managing Dynamics of Strategic Maneuvering
Porter’s 5 Laws are Wrong. They only matter in a  static system, not a dynamic system
The true barrier is constant innovation
Telsa is an example of a constantly innovating product
Book: Elon Musk Biography by Ashley Lance
Moonshots – Elon needs our help to bring the future of food to feed people in Mars
Book: The Future is Faster Than You Think
Peter Diamandas from X-prize
My Food Job Rocks: I get to feed my dog an amazing product that was once an idea and now is a product
Venture Capitalists: generally are risk adverse
Softbank and WeWork
How do we kick people in the pants about climate change?: I believe in humanity in the long term. I believe we can solve a lot of problems. The Tech investors in the West coast might have awoken to the sheer issue with the climate situation
Book: Wizard and the Prophet
How do you inspire scientists to take risks to start businesses to save the world?: Scientists want to make science for the love of it. It’s hard for them to take risks. Give yourself permission to try.
If you have a  good idea, email me at [email protected] – We love to fund idea stage companies

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