Kathy Shelton, former Executive Vice President and the first female Chief Technology Officer at FMC, joins Radicle Growth as a Venture Partner to provide thought leadership and support early-stage companies in the alternative crop protection category.
SAN DIEGO, Calif., November 9th, 2023 –Radicle Growth, a company-building platform for early-stage ag and food technologies, is thrilled to announce that Kathy Shelton, former Executive Vice President and the first female Chief Technology Officer at FMC, joins Radicle Growth as a Venture Partner to provide thought leadership and support early-stage companies in the alternative crop protection category.
As Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at FMC, Kathy drove growth initiatives and supported product introductions in over 100 countries. In this role, Kathy worked closely to understand the local challenges to growers around the world and to help growers achieve the highest productivity from the land they farm. The revenues at FMC when Kathy joined in 2017 were $2.53 billion, and when Kathy left at the end of year 2022 were $5.8 billion. That increase was due in large part to the portfolio of crop protection chemicals, which Kathy oversaw as the Director of Crop Protection Technology DuPont and shepherded at FMC.
In her tenure as Chief Technology Officer, FMC was awarded Best R&D Pipeline in 2018 and 2020 and Best Biological Product in 2020 at the Crop Science Forum & Awards. With her team, she delivered a diverse portfolio of molecules for crop protection that includes the highest-selling insecticide in the world, the first new mode of action herbicide in 35 years, as well as a portfolio of biologically based products.
Prior to her time at FMC, Kathy spent 25 years at DuPont in several roles.
“I am committed to helping innovators understand markets and their customers, find market fit, and grow their businesses,” Kathy noted. “I admire Radicle Growth’s leadership and their way of working, entrepreneurial approach to developing their own business, and ability to mentor and develop early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.”
Kathy got to know Radicle Growth as a judge for The 2022 Radicle Inclusion Challenge, where she appreciated the thesis-driven process for the Radicle Challenge and how it has contributed to Radicle’s success to date. Throughout her career, she has been a champion of diversity and inclusion, and she is bringing that same passion and energy to Radicle, which excels at reaching underserved entrepreneurs around the globe.
“Kathy is a tremendous leader, dedicated to diversity and inclusion as much as innovation to transform food and ag systems across the planet,” commented Neal Gutterson, Radicle Growth Partner and CTO. “Kathy and I worked together at DuPont, where we brought together our respective science organizations from Pioneer and Crop Protection. It is a great pleasure to have her join us at Radicle, helping develop the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs and innovative companies.”
Radicle Growth partners with domain experts such as Kathy to better understand the history, current market dynamics and emerging technologies that could affect the most critical areas in food production. Now, the need for healthier farming methods grows louder. Chemical fertilizers and insecticides have helped farms meet the growing demand for food worldwide, but not without consequences. Climate change, regulatory pressure, and consumer demands are requiring farmers and the entire value chain to develop new and improved solutions for crop protection. With the world demanding a greater food supply and a cleaner environment, alternative solutions (such as biologicals, new molecules, digital tools, and new business models) are evolving in new and exciting ways in an effort to protect crops worldwide. Kathy’s domain expertise and many years of crop protection experience make her the perfect partner to drive thought leadership for Radicle in this area.
“Connecting with domain experts has been a critical part of Radicle Growth’s success to date, and Kathy’s demonstrated track record in agriculture and specifically crop protection is impeccable”, says Kirk Haney, Managing Partner at Radicle Growth. “It’s an honor to have her supporting Radicle Growth and our portfolio companies.”
As a Venture Partner at Radicle Growth, Kathy will also participate in the Radicle Growth Advisory Board, bringing her experience and perspective to potential investments as well as mentoring leaders of the Radicle Growth portfolio companies.
Kathy also serves on the Delaware State University Foundation and the Science History Institute to continue to inspire and encourage students to choose and thrive in STEM careers.
Damaris Mozo for Radicle Growth – firstname.lastname@example.org
About Radicle Growth:
Radicle Growth selects innovative, early-stage companies for investment, ensuring that disruptive AgTech & Food Tech companies reach their full potential. In addition to providing seed-stage capital, Radicle Growth provides a fertile environment for visionaries in the ag and food space to flourish. Their proprietary platform is one of a kind in the ag and food industry, filling a huge void in the market by identifying the most innovative technologies and accelerating them with a range of value-creation initiatives. To connect and learn more about Radicle Growth follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.