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Mentor: Johan Boot

StartLife Mentor

Holding a PhD in protein chemistry, Johan Boot has over 25 years of experience in food and food ingredient innovation. He has a broad knowledge of innovation process management, strategy definition, portfolio and cross-functional project management and business development for novel products for the business-to-consumer and the business-to-business food industry.

For over two decades, Johan worked at Unilever, both in central R&D and in operating companies, mostly in global roles. He lead large innovation project teams across functions and cultures in Europe, Asia and the Americas, providing him a proven track record of commercially successful product innovations and an extensive global network. Also later at Griffith Foods, a global family-owned food ingredient company, Johan was responsible for implementing innovation process management.

Johan was also Vof the newly founded Hampton Creek Foods (now EAT JUST); a company that develops plant-based and cultured meat products for retail and foodservice outlets. Together with the company’s founder, he laid the foundation for this successful venture capital-funded startup in San Francisco.

Today, Johan is an independent consultant helping companies and startups in accelerating the protein shift and stimulating the circular economy.

Skills and field of expertise

    • Innovation project management
    • Strategy definition
    • Protein functionality
    • Business development
    • Value-based selling

Offer and interest (startups)

Offer:
Combining my technical and business expertise in both corporate and startup business environments, I can help startups define commercially viable ideas, translate these into product concepts and subsequently bringing these successfully to the market. My strength is creating fully integrated technical and commercial teams and ecosystems.

Interest:
Startups that are instrumental in accelerating the protein shift: working on plants, algae, seaweeds or insects as novel protein sources. Startups that develop new ways of upcycling food side- and waste streams. Bringing these from the idea stage all the way to the scaleup stage.

Favorite quote

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

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