Who we are

The Yara Growth Ventures team brings a clear agri-food perspective and extensive startup and investment experience. The team's promise is to be quick, to be clear, to be helpful, and to be trustworthy.

Our team

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Erkki Aaltonen

Managing Director

20+ years' of experience in corporate VC across multiple sectors. Set up 4 corporate venture capital units, executed 100+ investments, served on 20 boards, and founded 5 startups.​


George Roche

Investment Director

Over a decade of experience in agri-food as a venture builder, innovation consultant, accelerator manager, and founder of 3 startups. Background in biology and the intersection of science and technology in food and agriculture. ​


Dr. Björn Heinz

Investment Director

Experienced VC investor and company builder in agriculture & food, green chemistry, advanced materials, and B2B software. Set-up a corporate incubator, served on 10+ startup & venture boards, background in physical chemistry R&D. ​


Dr. Stian Nygaard

Investment Director

Over 15 years' of experience at the intersection of investment, technology, and business development in the cleantech and process industries. Previous work experience includes positions at SINTEF, the Norwegian Research Council, and Yara. Holds a PhD in Innovation Management from Lund University, and an MBA from the Norwegian School of Economics. Served on over five venture investment and startup boards.

Abdo Drrah

Portfolio Manager

Over 15 years' experience as a PwC UK trained chartered accountant in a wide range of fields and geographies.  Experience includes manufacturing; fertilisers and technology sectors, performing both statutory and performance finance roles.

Dr. George Crane

Investment Manager

Over five years’ experience in the agriculture industry, managing projects on new farming systems, agricultural robotics, and controlled environment agriculture. Completed a PhD in Plant Science, investigating the impact of different farming practices on microbial diversity and soil health.

Emily Jones


3+ years' of experience in the technology industry, focusing on digital innovation, sustainable engineering, drone surveys and applying quantitative techniques to solve real world problems. Academic background in ecosystem management, mathematics and machine learning with scientific field work experience in polar regions.