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Pongamia: Reimagining Agriculture

Day Zero

Pongamia: Reimagining Agriculture

In this episode, Rishi Sikka, M.D., Partner at Lifeforce Capital and a Professor of the Practice of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University School of Public Health, speaks…
November 15, 2022

Pongamia: Reimagining Agriculture

Meet Naveen Sikka:

Naveen Sikka is the founder and CEO of TerViva, a food and agriculture technology company that is building a more sustainable plant protein and vegetable oil supply chain. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Elemental Excelerator and a Fellow for Unreasonable Impact Americas. Previously, Naveen worked as a management consultant at Gemini Consulting and TPI. He received a bachelor’s from Columbia University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. 

 

Key Insights:

TerViva is bringing a new crop to the global market: pongamia. 

 

  • Food as Medicine. TerViva is centered around pongamia, which grow well in poor quality soil and is climate resilient. TerViva is breeding the plant to create a domesticated version that has more consistent crop yields and is creating consumer products from the plant’s proteins and oil.
  • Optimism during Recession. Traditional capital from Wall Street will be harder to access for climate tech companies. However, Naveen points to a silver lining. People and companies around the world recognize climate change as an existential threat. Incumbents are willing to invest and partner with startups that make the world more sustainable. 
  • Stay Focused.Naveen advises founders to find the intersection of what you believe in from a mission perspective and what the market is interested and able to fund. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

This episode is hosted by Rishi Sikka, M.D. He is a guest host for Day Zero and is a Venture Partner at Lifeforce Capital and Professor at Brown University School of Public Health.

 

Relevant Links:

 

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A Diverse Skill Set Peter McCanna is chief executive officer (CEO) at Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not- for-profit health system in Texas. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care, as well as an array of virtual and in-home services.