Despite their products being so ubiquitous anywhere you live in the world, and an integral part of so much of what we eat, the B2B egg, dairy and food sectors are among the least digitised out there. What this has opened up is a lot of space for startups to make a big impact.
Schreiber Foods is one of the largest dairy products producers in the world, supplying stores, restaurants and other food providers all over the world. Almost exactly a year ago, The Wisconsin-based food giant launched its corporate venture capital fund, focusing primarily on next generation supply chain and sustainability.
Today I speak to Blair Tritt, director of corporate ventures and partnerships at Schreiber Foods, who is responsible for overseeing Schreiber Ventures. We talk about where the technological gaps and opportunities are for startups to capitalise on, the process of coming up with Schreiber Ventures’ thesis in the midst of the pandemic, and the interplay between the unit’s investment, venture clienting, and partnership activities. He also touches on what it was like launching Schreiber Ventures just as the venture market was shifting to it’s downturn in late 2022, and why it was so useful to begin with a strategy of investing initially in LP positions in other funds, before making direct investments, which the unit is looking to now begin doing.
Barely a year old, this is a very young CVC unit navigating many of the same questions marks – both internal and external – that so many other corporate investment outfits have to deal with, and has been described by Liz Arrington, the director of the GCV Institute, as a “poster child for how to be thoughtful about planning for an impactful strategic programme.”
I think a lot of investors at that early stage will have a lot to take away from what Blair has to say.