Top 50 Rising Stars 2022 (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): George Roche, senior investment manager, Yara Growth Ventures

George Roche is a senior investment manager at Yara Growth Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of Norway-based crop nutrition and agriculture company Yara International, where he focuses on sustainable agriculture, food products and the microbiome.

He first joined Yara International’s digital farming team in 2018 as senior manager for platform strategy and business model innovation, before moving to Yara Growth Ventures in early 2021.

Erkki Aaltonen, head of Yara Growth Ventures, said: “Geroge has been part of the Yara Growth Ventures team since day one to help me to launch the group. He joined from Yara’s digital farming team where he worked in venture building so he had a lot of experience talking to Yara’s customers – farmers and advisers – around the world.

“He has been able to parlay that experience and lens for evaluating startups – this year has been really focused on deal sourcing and execution. By the end of the year, we will have done two fund investments as a limited partner – AP Ventures and SP Ventures – and four to five direct startup investments, including Boomitra, an agriculture carbon marketplace co-invested by Jerry Yang and Tom Steyer. Moving forward, I am looking to help George develop as a board member for our portfolio companies.”

Regarding his remit, Roche said: “Having already worked in Yara doing corporate innovation in our digital unit, it was clear to me the value that could be added with a corporate investment team.

“I really enjoy working with founders to grow their businesses, networking with folks and making connections, and turning ideas into reality.”

Before he joined Yara, Roche spent time as business development consultant and digital marketing consultant at Innit and AnimalBiome, respectively.

Fernando Moncada Rivera

Fernando Moncada Rivera is a reporter at Global Corporate Venturing and also host of the CVC Unplugged podcast.