Founder & CEO, Beyond Meat
Ethan Brown founded Beyond Meat in 2009 to create new plant-based proteins that are virtually indistinguishable from animal products. As a child, Brown gained a deep appreciation for the natural world from his father, a professor, farmer, and conservationist. He began his career in the clean-energy industry and spent eight years at Ballard Power Systems, the world’s leading PEM fuel-cell company. Concerned about the impact of animal-based foods on climate change, he wondered if technology could be used to create better meat substitutes. After several years of collaboration with University of Missouri scientists, and with investment from The Obvious Corporation (cofounders of Twitter) and Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins, Beyond Meat was born. The company’s high-protein Chicken-Free Strips are now sold nationwide. Beyond Meat was recently hailed by Bill Gates as one of three innovative companies reinventing the future of food.