Ryan Rakestraw is a Venture Principal with Monsanto Growth Ventures, a corporate venture capital group investing in technology impacting food, feed, fuel, and farms.
Ryan focuses on companies in precision agriculture, information technology, and engineering applications.
Before starting with Monsanto, Ryan was with Cultivation Capital, an early stage venture capital firm based in St. Louis. During this time, Ryan lead early stage venture investing initiatives in information technology and life science companies. Ryan also founded the Yield Lab, a business accelerator focused on agriculture. Before Cultivation Capital, Ryan was a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman where he helped to design and implement military platforms ranging from undersea to space applications.
Ryan has a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a master’s of science in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins, and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Ryan volunteers with Arch Grants, a nonprofit, economic development organization with a mission to create an entrepreneurial culture in the St. Louis region and also with Employment Connection St. Louis, a United Way organization that helps people with limited opportunities become self sufficient.
Ryan also serves as an adjunct professor of finance at Washington University in St. Louis where he lectures on venture capital and financial modeling for early stage businesses.