Tony Simpson’s career spans more than 24 years in trading, operations, corporate leadership and investing in agriculture, animal health and bioenergy. Tony was a Managing Director for the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) from 2009 through July 0f 2015where he led the organization’s investment efforts in agtech, animal health and bioenergy. He led KBA’s investments in companies such as Aratana Therapeutics, Green Dot, SmartVet, and Advanced Animal Diagnostics. He was also responsible for KBA’s participation in the USDA Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership and for KBA’s support and funding for research associated with the National Bio and AgroDefense (NBAF) facility.
Before joining the KBA, Tony spent 11 years in the fuel ethanol industry. He was a General Manager with Broin Management (now POET Biorefining), where he led the business start-up of two major green-field ethanol plants in Albert Lea, Minnesota and Caro, Michigan. For both companies, Tony led the organization of the business structure, hiring of the management and operations team, and the initial start-up of the facility. He also led each company through subsequent equity drives, refinancings and expansion efforts, adding both capacity and new businesses to each company. Later, he led ED&F Man’s U.S. ethanol division, where he was responsible for both business development and operations management of facilities in Caldwell, Idaho and Kingston, Jamaica. Tony started his career as a grain merchandiser with ADM, and was later the General Manager of ADM Milling Company’s Minneapolis “A” mill, where he had responsibility over all commercial and operational functions of an 11,000 cwt/day flour mill and bakery ingredients facility.
Tony serves as a Principal Advisor to the Larta Institute, where he mentors early-stage agtech, energy and animal health companies on the development and execution of their commercialization strategies. He also serves on the board of directors of Green Dot Holdings, Advanced Animal Diagnostics, and SmartVet. Tony chairs the Selection Committee for the Food and Ag Track of InvestMidwest and serves on the Selection Committees of the Animal Health Investment Forum and the Ag Innovation Showcase.
Tony holds an Economics Degree from Millikin University, an MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, and completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.