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January 26, 2023 | Tom Ballard

New license brings funding opportunity for ag entrepreneurs

Big Idea Ventures has 21 partner universities, including three in the SEC.

Big Idea Ventures (BIV), a global leader in early-stage food technology and alternative protein, has announced that its Generation Food Rural Partners (GFRP) fund has received its Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

As a result, BIV and GFRP will begin evaluating intellectual property developed at collaborating universities to identify new developments with the strongest commercialization potential. New companies will be created around the groundbreaking research, and these new companies will be headquartered in rural communities near the collaborating universities or end-user customers.

“GFRP will combine the innovations that are being created at our 21 partner universities and the market need for innovations in the agriculture, food, and protein sciences to create companies that will solve customers’ needs,” said Frank Klemens, Managing Director of the GFRP at BIV. “Placing these new companies in rural America allows GFRP to create the next generational growth of food and agriculture production in rural America.”

Several Southeastern Conference institutions are among the 21 partner universities. They include the Universities of Arkansas and Missouri and Louisiana State University. North Carolina State University is also a member.

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