ABOUT US

Increasing yields sustainably is what drives us at BioLumic.
Our technology uses a ground-breaking culmination of photobiology, engineering and data science. We have a team of plant scientists, agronomists, engineers and data scientists based in the United States and New Zealand working every day to maximise the power of UV.

 
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Management

 
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Warren Bebb, Chief Executive

Warren Bebb is an experienced marketer and business development professional, including overseas posts with NZ’s biggest multi-national. He has spent the last 13 years working in start-ups and brings considerable early stage market development and commercial expertise to the company.

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Dr Jason Wargent, Founder & CSO

Dr. Wargent is a world leading applied plant UV photobiologist who has focused his career on the responses of plants and horticultural systems to UV light. Dr. Wargent has published major studies describing the agronomic benefits which UV light can provide.

 
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Dr Yaniv Gal, Chief Technology Officer

Dr Gal has played a key role in building world-leading technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, medical imaging, medical devices and related multidisciplinary fields. His most recent roles include: AI Director at Ohmio Automotion, Research Program Manager at Compac Sorting Equipment and an advisory board member for various NZ startups.

 
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Jason Phillips - Senior Engineer

Jason Phillips is a mechanical engineer experienced in fields as diverse as biogas systems, stirling cycle machinery, superyachts and agricultural engineering. Jason is at home in the start-up environment having previously run a venture in the renewable energy sector. His background hails from the NZ dairy industry, he remains active in a governance role on his family dairy farm. Jason is passionate about delivering elegant engineering solutions for pioneering business cases.

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Leyla Bustamante, R&D Mgr - Science

Dr. Bustamante has extensive research management experience coordinating multidisciplinary groups to achieve high-calibre research outputs. She has spent 10+ years developing professional expertise in top-tier institutions, including one of the world's top 20 research institutes. Dr Bustamante implements innovative research strategies in line with BioLumic’s long-term growth objectives.

Our Board

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Dr Adrian Percy, Chairman & Director

Adrian Percy, PhD, currently serves as the CTO of Finistere Ventures, a global technology and life sciences venture capital investor. Adrian provides strategic, technical and regulatory support to Finistere’s broad portfolio of agtech and foodtech companies. Adrian frequently acts as an agricultural industry representative as an advisor or independent director to companies through his own consultancy company, Nomad Technology Consulting.

As part of his 16 year tenure at Bayer, Adrian served as the Head of R&D for the Crop Science division of Bayer as part of their executive committee. In this role, he had responsibility for internal and open innovation activities in the areas of crop protection chemistry and biologicals, as well as seeds and traits.

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Mark Houghton Brown, Director

Mark is a pioneer of sustainability in business, leading the way in practical large scale organic farming and building successful eco brands. He has senior experience in governance and is Chair of Organic Farm Holdings, of Clean Planet (environmentally friendly cleaning) and of Plantier Developments (organic & natural cosmetics). He is Chair of Nelson Angels Inc - which invests in innovative & progressive start-ups, and also operates in renewable energy markets, and has a fresh focus on Directed Lasers on plants and Artificial Intelligence applications to Aquaculture.

 
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Dr John Bedbrook, Director

Dr John Bedbrook received a PhD in Molecular biology at Auckland University, was a Fulbright Fellow to Harvard Medical School, a Cabot Fellow to Harvard University and an EMBO fellow to The Plant Breeding Institute Cambridge England. Dr Bedbrook founded and/or ran several agricultural biotechnology companies, including Advanced Genetic Sciences, DNA Plant Technologies and was President of Maxygen Agriculture. He was the CEO of Plant Science Ventures, a venture firm investing in biotechnology startups. After DuPont bought Verdia Inc. in 2004, Dr Bedbrook became Vice President of R&D for DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition, and subsequently Vice President of DuPont Agricultural Biotechnology.

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Kirk Haney, Director

Kirk Haney is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Radicle Growth. Under Kirk’s leadership, Radicle secured top-tier financial and corporate investors including Finistere Ventures, AgTech fund, OurCrowd, Bayer Crop Science and Corteva. Radicle is partnering with great entrepreneurs to bring disruptive innovations to market while leveraging the Radicle Platform to accelerate them.

Previously, Kirk served as President and CEO of SGB, an agricultural biotechnology company, from 2007 to 2014. Prior to SGB, Kirk was the Chairman and President of Green Millennium, the largest sustainable forestry project in the Americas. Kirk also serves on many portfolio company boards.

 
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Dean Tilyard, Director

Dean is Chief Executive of The Factory and Sprout Agritech, a New Zealand start-up advisory and accelerator specialising in early stage agritech investment. Dean has experience with multiple start-ups and technologies and is a founding member of the New Zealand Angel Association where he received the Association’s inaugural Kotahitanga Award. Dean has founded an angel investor network, two seed investment funds and is a Venture Partner for Finistere Ventures.

Dean is also a director of Levno (on farm IoT) and Invert Robotics (robotic inspection). Dean has a BA(Hons) in Economics and Geography from Otago University.

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Arama Kukutai, Observer

Arama Kukutai is a co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures. Arama has been a company founder and entrepreneur in the Agribusiness sector with over 20 years’ experience. He served as Executive Chairman of PKW Farms, a successful agribusiness and diversified investment entity involved in dairy farming and aquaculture activities in New Zealand, Asia and Australia. Arama also led the New Zealand government’s Trade & Investment agency in North America, following which he emigrated to the USA. He has led the creation of Finistere’s global network in AgTech which includes offices in Tel Aviv, San Diego and Silicon Valley, and Dublin, Ireland.

 
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Richard O’Gorman, Observer

Richard leads the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, a Rabobank sponsored VC fund investing in early stage innovations in the space primarily in Western Europe and USA. Richard has been with Rabo Private Equity since 2018 focused primarily on Rabobank’s international food and ag venture capital and private equity initiatives. Prior to that he was self-employed in retail and manufacturing and previously worked as an interest rate derivatives trader. Richard’s role with BioLumic is an Observer on the Board.

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Mary Dimou, Observer

Mary is the Director on the investment team at Canopy Rivers, the largest cannabis and hemp-focused venture capital vehicle in the world. In collaboration with Canopy Growth, Canopy Rivers identifies cannabis and hemp companies looking for financial and operating support. Her expertise covers the life sciences and agri-technology fields.

Mary is a former ag-tech entrepreneur and held senior-level positions in portfolio management, venture capital, and foreign direct investment for the Canadian government, private capital, and private operating companies. Mary is trained as a nutritional scientist focused on nutritional genomics and biochemistry.