Reimagining Food + Health

We’re a venture foundry located adjacent to the University of California, Davis, collaborating with entrepreneurs and leading scientific and domain experts to launch new businesses that deliver first-in-class health benefits to consumers through foods, beverages, and consumer health offerings.


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.

Justin Siegel


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).

Elizabeth Schmitz


Elizabeth (Liz) supports the Foundry’s exploration process for discovering science and technology commercialization opportunities. She is also the President of T.O.P., LLC, a Davis, California based consulting firm advising on science and technology strategy at the interface of food, health, and sustainability. Liz received a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from Cornell University, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Food Science from University of Illinois, and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She gained industrial research and management experience in the consumer products sector while working at PepsiCo, Nestle Carnation, and Colgate-Palmolive. Liz has been an active member of the Yolo Food Bank Board of Directors since January 2016.

Wesley Wilson


Wesley serves as Chairman of the Barnstorm Advisory Board, building a network that connects researchers, experts, and entrepreneurs. He also serves as a General Partner at Cornucopian Capital and as Executive Chair of the Innovation Institute for Food and Health at UC Davis. He has worked in leadership roles in retail, food, consumer goods, public health, and agriculture at organizations including the World Economic Forum, Walmart, Mars, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and NASA. Wesley also advises the Artificial Intelligence Institute for Next Generation Food Systems. He receive his Masters in Public Affairs focused on technology and public policy from The University of Texas at Austin.

Harold Schmitz


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.

Carl Schramm


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.

Phil Johnston


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.

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