26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Reese Schroeder, Tyson Ventures

Reese Schroeder has been a managing director at Tyson Ventures, food producer Tyson Foods’ corporate venture capital unit, since June 2017. A year later, he was put forward by his peers and included in GCV’s Rising Stars roster and the Powerlist. He is a 16-year industry veteran in the corporate venturing realm.

Schroeder had been a managing director at Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, the corporate venturing arm of US-based communications equipment maker Motorola Solutions, for 13 years from 2004, and he was nominated to GCV’s Powerlist from 2012 to 2014 then again from 2016 to 2017.

In 2016, he was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award by GCV because of “his outstanding, enduring success at the helm of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, but also in recognition of his invaluable support of the wider venturing ecosystem”.

After more than two decades with the Motorola corporation, Schroeder embarked on a new career path within the CVC industry, joining Tyson Ventures as a managing director, where he oversaw the unit’s inception.

He said for the Rising Stars profile in 2018: “I was very happy in my role at Motorola, and I think they were still very happy with me. But the Tyson opportunity came along, and it was an honour for me to be part of the founding team of a corporate venture group. It was also an occasion to enter a totally different world, moving on from 20 years in the communications industry to foodtech, which I found very intriguing.”

Tyson Ventures was set up by Tyson Foods in 2016 with an initial corpus of $150m to finance “companies developing breakthrough technologies, business models and products to sustainably feed a growing world population,” the corporation pledged at the time.

Schroeder told GCV for his Powerlist nomination this year: “We have made seven investments since our charter was approved on October 9, 2017. Five of these investments are public and two are not yet.”

Tyson Foods, in turn, seeks to implement solid strategic collaboration with Tyson Ventures’ portfolio companies. For example, in August last year, Tyson implemented Connect, a platform developed by food safety software developer FoodLogiQ. Tyson employs its manage and monitor features to enhance its supply chain and supplier management, as well as issue tracking and reporting.

FoodLogiQ was a deal led by this year’s Rising Star Tom Mastrobuoni, chief financial officer at the unit, who was nominated by Schroeder last year.

Schroeder added that apart from the partnership with FoodLogiQ, others are under way.

Other portfolio companies of Tyson Ventures likewise have innovative food-related technologies, such as:

  • Future Meat Technologies, Israel-based cell-based meat production system developer;
  • Tovala, US-based smart oven producer;
  • Beyond Meat, US-based vegetarian meat developer which filed late last year to go public on the Nasdaq and whose 6.6% stake is owned by Tyson Ventures;
  • Memphis Meats, US-based animal cell-based cultured meat producer

Tyson Ventures is active in the foodtech conference scene, too. Schroeder explained: “We participated in a number of conferences last year. This year, we will be sponsoring Future FoodTech in San Francisco and Seedcon at University of Chicago. I will also be speaking at The Hatchery in March, the new food accelerator and meeting place in Chicago.”