Sylvio Petto Neto

Sylvio has over 25 years of international experience in the Agribusiness sector and is passionate about technology innovation and business growth opportunities across the Food and Ag supply chain. Originally from Brazil, he grew up on a farm as part of a third generation of an Italian family that moved to Brazil to farm citrus, grains and sugar cane.

He graduated in Agronomic Engineering and started his career working for a venture capital firm investing in Ag/Food companies across Latin America.

He moved to the US in 2002 and after completing his MBA he joined FMC Corporation in Philadelphia as part of their Agricultural Products Corporate Development team working on M&A opportunities in the agrochemical sector.

In 2005 he joined Cargill in Minneapolis and was one of the three founding members of a venture start-up focusing on investing in waste to energy renewable energy generation and carbon emissions reduction across the globe.  From 2008 to 2010, as Head of International Product Development, he led a team to launch the company’s first business to consumer product in Europe (the Truvia tabletop sweetener). In 2010 he joined the Cargill’s Risk Management business unit and helped them to expand their offer of financial hedging solution to farmers and food companies into new geographies and new commodities.

In 2013 he started a new role at Syngenta as Head of Strategy and Business Development for North America where he led the company’s introduction of a specialty corn technology into the North American livestock feeding market. During that time, he was exposed to all sorts of new AgTech startup companies that saw Syngenta as a potential investor.

In 2016, Sylvio started his own consulting company, Green Prairie Consulting, to advise investors in the Food and Ag sector which led him to be invited to join the Executive Team of Wheatsheaf, a large UK based privately owned investment company part of The Grosvenor Estate, that invests across the Food/Ag value chain and manages a portfolio of 25 companies in the food and agriculture technology sectors across Europe, North and Latin America and Australia. While at Wheatsheaf, Sylvio had direct ownership of the North America operations and portfolio of investments and worked directly with portfolio companies to ensure implementation of strategy according to Board decisions. He served on the Board of 4 portfolio companies.

Sylvio is also very active in the AgTech ecosystem serving as a mentor for exciting and innovative startup companies for TechStars “Farm to Fork” Accelerator, sponsored by Cargill and Ecolab in Saint Paul, MN  and Plug and Play Agriculture Technology, sponsored by Microsoft, OCP, CHS and Bremer Bank in Fargo, ND.

Sylvio is a citizen of the US, Brazil and Italy. He holds a BSc in Agronomic Engineering from Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil and an MBA from Dartmouth College.