189: Manuel Gonzalez on Innovation in Food and Agriculture.
Pitching food and agriculture related business ideas to potential investors.
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Manuel is the North America Head of StartUp Innovation, where he leads the growth of their start-up platform build through FoodBytes! and new Accelerator, Terra. At the same time, he focuses on developing plans around how relationships with startup firms can benefit corporate clients. Manuel has been Head of the San Francisco Office of StartUp Innovation at Rabobank since 2012, where he led a process that greatly strengthened relationships with corporate clients in the Western Region of the US.
He joined Rabobank in 1996 as a project manager. In 2003, he was named Head of Credit, and a year later became Head of Credit and Legal. Manuel was appointed Deputy General Manager in 2007, and just a year later promoted to General Manager in 2008.
Under his leadership, the Mexico franchise significantly strengthened business performance, achieving considerable increases in revenue, cross-sell and net income. Manuel was instrumental in building a strong local investment banking team, and in fostering a high-performance culture focused on enhancing client relationships.
In This Podcast: Manuel is someone who works to help people with food-and-ag related business ideas connect with investors and start the process towards funding those ideas. He tells Greg about the FoodBytes business pitch event that is focused on food and ag, as well as Terra and Rabobank with their focus on innovation in this business field. His take on how to deal with failure is something every person who runs or hopes to run their own business should hear.
Listen in and learn about:
- How he started working at Rabobank and is using his training to focus on food and ag
- Some of the new things they have run into in their field
- Innovation in the financial industry
- The mission of Rabobank and how this focus on improvement in their central key
- How they are working to connect food entrepreneurs and investors to help support success
- What the Terra group is about
- An introduction to FoodBytes an entrepreneurial pitching event
- Who is involved in the FoodBytes events
- The next event is March 16th in San Francisco
- Some of the success stories
- Love the Wild – one of the previous Food Bytes participants
- How Terra engages with its customers
- How making that 30 second elevator pitch is part of making the pitch to investors at FoodBytes
As well as:
- His failure – how he believes perfection is the enemy of action; the time his company failed and how he learned how to keep moving forward, and how he is using that experience to relate to entrepreneurs
- His success – being able to reinvent himself in Innovation Space
- His drive – his need to build something that matters, that helps people
- His advice – fail forward, don’t be afraid to fail or you will never do something
Manuel’s Book recommendations:
The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton Christensen
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Theil
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think By Peter Theil
How to reach Manuel: