Reimagining Health

We’re a venture foundry propelled by Cornucopian Capital and located adjacent to the University of California, Davis. We collaborate with entrepreneurs and leading scientific and domain experts to launch new businesses that deliver first-in-class health benefits to consumers through food, consumer health, and healthcare offerings.

Team

Aryeh Ganz

Managing Partner

Aryeh is the Managing Partner of Barnstorm, leading the Foundry’s operations and stage-gated process for company building. He founded and is the Managing Partner of Cornucopian Capital, a private capital firm making impact-driven investments in early stage food and health technology companies. Aryeh is also the leading principal of SAGEN Trust Company, Inc., a private family office established after his family’s 2000 sale of Slim Fast Foods that has made numerous successful investments in early stage and growth companies across multiple industries. Aryeh graduated from UC Davis in 1993.

Matt Dittrich

Incubation Manager

Matt’s aspiration at Cornucopian Capital is to help empower the revolution of Medicine 3.0 — by incubating breakthrough businesses and investing in extraordinary teams that can uplift healthspan for a great diversity of people. For over a decade, Matt has worked in venture capital ecosystems as a founder, incubator leader and startup operator after beginning his professional journey consulting technology firms and venture investors at Bain & Company. Matt attended Whitman College where he served as student body president before earning an MBA with honors at Yale University. He is a 5th generation farmer (wheat/wind), has explored across 4 continents, designs houses, mentors students and periodically takes long walks on the beach.

Justin Siegel

Advisor

Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

As a Partner of Barnstorm, Justin leads the Foundry’s exploration process for discovering science and technology commercialization opportunities. He also serves as the Faculty Director for the Innovation Institute for Food and Health, an Associate Professor in the Department of Genome Center, Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine, and as the Ciocca Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis. Justin has founded numerous companies, including Bio Architecture Labs, PvP Biologics, Digestiva, and Peak B. He received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis (‘05), and obtained his PhD in Biological Physics, Structure, and Design from the University of Washington (‘10).

Giovanni Battistini

Entrepreneur in Residence

Food and Health Innovation

Giovanni (Gio) is the Managing Director of Better Gambit, a NYC based innovation venture creation and advisory firm, and the CEO and Founder of Phenotap, Inc., a venture-backed early-stage company developing a non-invasive, continuous ketone monitoring device.  Gio has over 30 years of experience at the intersection of business and technology, in startups as well as Global 500 companies, having previously led strategic open innovation initiatives as SVP of Open Innovation at Ferrero and Global VP of the Taste Modulation Business Unit and Flavor Innovation Discovery at Firmenich.  He is an investor and advisor to various technology startups.  Gio holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Università di Pavia and completed an Executive Program in International Business Management at Stoa in partnership with Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Harold Schmitz

Advisor

Food and Health Innovation

As a key advisor to Barnstorm, Harold guides the Foundry’s exploration process for discovering science and technology commercialization opportunities. He is also a co-founder and General Partner in The March Fund, and a Senior Scholar in the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis. Harold currently serves as an advisor to the Bio Innovation Institute established by the Novo Nordisk Foundation as well as to the AI Institute for Next-Generation Food Systems. Harold has deep domain expertise in the global food industry gained from 25 years with Mars, Incorporated, including serving as the company’s Chief Science Officer.

Phil Johnston

Advisor

Life Sciences Talent

Phil brings decades of expertise in executive recruitment and leadership and plays a key role in supporting Cornucopian’s talent acquisition and company building capabilities. He is currently a Senior Partner at Spencer Stuart based in San Francisco and specializing in Biopharma, CEO/Board recruitment and Leadership Advisory Services.  He started his career at American Hospital Supply Corp. (AHSC), now Baxter, rotating through multiple roles.  Post AHSC, as VP of Human Resources, Phil helped launch two early stage software companies, later acquired by Lucent. In addition to his client facing work, he led all Western regional offices of Spencer Stuart before transferring to Singapore as Managing Director of Southeast Asia. Phil attended University of Minnesota, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) in Psychology and a Master’s in Industrial Relations at Carlson School of Management. He is also a Hudson certified executive coach.

Erich Veitenheimer III

Advisor

Biotech IP

Erich has decades of diverse corporate, university, government and law firm experience in life sciences. In 2022, he retired as a Senior Partner at Cooley LLP, where he built their patent counseling and prosecution practice over 15 years, and founded VEIT3IP LLC, a solo practice supporting life science clients in developing and implementing cost effective strategies to protect, enhance and grow their intellectual property. He previously held positions as a Biostatistician for DeKalb-Pfizer Genetics, Senior Corn Breeder for DeKalb Genetics Intl., and Primary Examiner in biotechnology within the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. During his career, Erich has worked with clients in nearly all facets of the life sciences sector, with a focus on agricultural biotechnology, plant breeding, food science, alternative foods, probiotics, prebiotics, medical foods and plant-based pharmaceuticals. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding & Plant Genetics (major) and Statistics (minor), from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.S. in Agronomy from Washington State University. 

Carl Schramm

Advisor

Health Policy

Carl is a globally recognized expert in entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth.  He has founded and and helped finance multiple startups and authored numerous works, including most recently, Burn the Business Plan; What Successful Entrepreneurs Really Do.  He is chair of the technical board for Apple’s Global Programming Academy, a founding board member of the International Intellectual Property Commercialization Council, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of the Templeton World Charities Foundation and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  A former CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s most influential organization promoting entrepreneurship, the Economist once called Schramm “The evangelist of entrepreneurship.”  While on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Carl received two consecutive Career Scientist Awards from NIH.  He holds the George Eastman Medal from the University of Rochester and five honorary doctorates.   Carl earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin, his J.D. at Georgetown, and is currently a University Professor at Syracuse.

Contact Us

If you’re passionate about building food, beverage, or consumer health businesses to advance health, contact us at build@barnstormfoundry.com.