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Our Team

Syngenta Group Ventures is deeply connected to agriculture and represents more than 65 years of venture capital experience. Our team is geographically agnostic and focuses on agriculture and food — from seed through Series C and beyond. Comprised of investment professionals with a diverse range of academic and industry backgrounds, our first-hand venture capital experience is the uniting factor.

We play an active role in the success of our portfolio companies and our breadth of expertise provides targeted insight and strategic financial focus. Learn more about our team and contact us.

Shiri Ailon

Shiri Ailon is the Head of Group Integration, Synergies and Ventures at Syngenta Group. For 15 years, she worked with ADAMA Agricultural Solution, Syngenta Group's leading off-patent crop protection subsidiary, 5 years of which she was Vice President of Corporate Development and China Integration. Shiri led ADAMA’s mergers and acquisitions, the integration of acquired China entities and the successful value creation through collaboration across Syngenta Group. She holds an MBA from Oxford Business School and an LLB from Tel Aviv University, magna cum laude.

Shiri Ailon

Shiri Ailon is the Head of Group Integration, Synergies and Ventures at Syngenta Group. For 15 years, she worked with ADAMA Agricultural Solution, Syngenta Group's leading off-patent crop protection subsidiary, 5 years of which she was Vice President of Corporate Development and China Integration. Shiri led ADAMA’s mergers and acquisitions, the integration of acquired China entities and the successful value creation through collaboration across Syngenta Group. She holds an MBA from Oxford Business School and an LLB from Tel Aviv University, magna cum laude.

Jason Gabriel

Jason Gabriel is a Managing Director for Syngenta Group Ventures and brings over 15 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Third Security, LLC, a $1B+ life sciences venture capital manager for 12 years. Jason began his career in investment banking and has experience in Fortune 500 corporate development and in middle market private equity. He graduated summa cum laude from Millsaps College and received an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Jason Gabriel

Jason Gabriel is a Managing Director for Syngenta Group Ventures and brings over 15 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience. Previously, he was a Managing Director at Third Security, LLC, a $1B+ life sciences venture capital manager for 12 years. Jason began his career in investment banking and has experience in Fortune 500 corporate development and in middle market private equity. He graduated summa cum laude from Millsaps College and received an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Michael Lee

Michael Lee is a Managing Director at Syngenta Group Ventures and has worked in the agriculture and food sector his entire career. After receiving degrees from Durham University, Michael conducted his postdoctoral research in London and co-authored 20 papers on insect biochemistry. Previously, he held positions at Unilever in the Foods R&D and Ventures area. He holds an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Kauffman Fellow and one-time amateur beekeeper.

Michael Lee

Michael Lee is a Managing Director at Syngenta Group Ventures and has worked in the agriculture and food sector his entire career. After receiving degrees from Durham University, Michael conducted his postdoctoral research in London and co-authored 20 papers on insect biochemistry. Previously, he held positions at Unilever in the Foods R&D and Ventures area. He holds an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University, is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Kauffman Fellow and one-time amateur beekeeper.

David Pierson

David Pierson is a Managing Director with Syngenta Group Ventures and has over 16 years of life science investing experience. Previously, he was a Partner at Intersouth Partners, an $800 million life science fund. Before entering venture capital, David held senior positions in marketing, sales, and product development at Johnson & Johnson, Pharmacia and Pfizer with responsibility at the national and regional level in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He holds a B.S. from The United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Duke University.

David Pierson

David Pierson is a Managing Director with Syngenta Group Ventures and has over 16 years of life science investing experience. Previously, he was a Partner at Intersouth Partners, an $800 million life science fund. Before entering venture capital, David held senior positions in marketing, sales, and product development at Johnson & Johnson, Pharmacia and Pfizer with responsibility at the national and regional level in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He holds a B.S. from The United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Duke University.

Shubhang Shankar

Shubhang Shankar is a Managing Director at Syngenta Group Ventures, after having spent two years with the company’s global strategy team. He brings a wealth of expertise around the topics of innovation in small-holder agriculture, robotics in farming and agri-fintech. He is also a member of the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program (Class of 26).  Previously, Shubhang held management consultant positions for eight years at Boston Consulting Group and Kearney. He holds a B. Tech (Electrical Engineering) from IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.

Shubhang Shankar

Shubhang Shankar is a Managing Director at Syngenta Group Ventures, after having spent two years with the company’s global strategy team. He brings a wealth of expertise around the topics of innovation in small-holder agriculture, robotics in farming and agri-fintech. He is also a member of the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program (Class of 26).  Previously, Shubhang held management consultant positions for eight years at Boston Consulting Group and Kearney. He holds a B. Tech (Electrical Engineering) from IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad.

Somia Najid

Somia Najid is the Global Head of Finance for Ventures at Syngenta. She has more than 14 years’ experience in project management, transformation program and finance. Somia joined Syngenta in 2012 and brings broad finance experience from various positions in France and in Switzerland prior to becoming Global Head of Finance for Ventures. She previously worked for the AP Moller-Maersk Group during 5 years after completing the Maersk International Shipping Education Program. She holds an MSc in Management & Finance from Kedge Business School and in International Business from Aarhus School of Business.

Somia Najid

Somia Najid is the Global Head of Finance for Ventures at Syngenta. She has more than 14 years’ experience in project management, transformation program and finance. Somia joined Syngenta in 2012 and brings broad finance experience from various positions in France and in Switzerland prior to becoming Global Head of Finance for Ventures. She previously worked for the AP Moller-Maersk Group during 5 years after completing the Maersk International Shipping Education Program. She holds an MSc in Management & Finance from Kedge Business School and in International Business from Aarhus School of Business.

Alexandra Morales

Alexandra is the Syngenta Group Ventures Finance Associate. She joined Syngenta in 2015 where she has mostly held finance management roles in financial reporting, controlling, working capital project and internal audit. Syngenta offered her the opportunity to work from multiple locations: in the UK, Switzerland and Uruguay. She graduated with a MSc in Corporate Finance from EDHEC Business School and is a CGMA Designation holder.

Alexandra Morales

Alexandra is the Syngenta Group Ventures Finance Associate. She joined Syngenta in 2015 where she has mostly held finance management roles in financial reporting, controlling, working capital project and internal audit. Syngenta offered her the opportunity to work from multiple locations: in the UK, Switzerland and Uruguay. She graduated with a MSc in Corporate Finance from EDHEC Business School and is a CGMA Designation holder.

Michael Steiner

Michael Steiner is a Corporate Counsel for Ventures and Corporate Finance at Syngenta. Prior to joining the Syngenta legal department, Michael worked as an attorney at Skadden, Arps and White & Case and as an in-house counsel at a listed company in Germany focusing on international equity and debt capital markets as well as M&A transactions. He holds a Dr. iur. from University of Freiburg and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School and is admitted in Germany and New York.  

Michael Steiner

Michael Steiner is a Corporate Counsel for Ventures and Corporate Finance at Syngenta. Prior to joining the Syngenta legal department, Michael worked as an attorney at Skadden, Arps and White & Case and as an in-house counsel at a listed company in Germany focusing on international equity and debt capital markets as well as M&A transactions. He holds a Dr. iur. from University of Freiburg and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School and is admitted in Germany and New York.