Future of Food
Dean and Executive Director, The Food Business School
William B. Rosenzweig has spent more than twenty-five years integrating the practices and perspectives of an entrepreneur, venture investor, and educator. He is regarded internationally as an expert in cultivating and transforming impactful ideas into thriving enterprises.
Will was founding CEO (and Minister of Progress) of The Republic of Tea, an award-winning specialty tea company that is credited with creating the premium tea category in the United States. As an entrepreneur and investor, he has been involved in Odwalla, Trinity Springs, Winetasting.com, Yummly, and Brand New Brands, a functional food incubator he founded in 2004.
In November 2014, Will joined forces with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to launch The Food Business School (FBS), the CIA’s new center for executive and graduate education. As Dean and Executive Director of The Food Business School of The Culinary Institute of America, Will is working with industry experts to create specialized programs that enable and empower entrepreneurs to design, deliver, and lead transformative innovations that address the world’s most pressing food challenges—and its greatest business opportunities.
Will is co-author of The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business, which was named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time. His work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Sound Money, Business Week, USA Today, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Will is also founding managing partner of Physic Ventures, the first venture capital firm dedicated to investing in keeping people healthy, where he has supported innovative early-stage companies including Revolution Foods, Pharmaca, Recyclebank, Novomer, Gazelle, EnergyHub, Watersmart, and Yummly. Based in San Francisco, the firm’s strategy is to capitalize on major economic, social, and political trends that shape health and sustainability.
Since 1999, Will has served on the faculty of the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, where he initiated and taught the first MBA courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Venture Development. Will continues to serve as Chairman of the advisory board to the Global Social Venture Competition. He has been a Price Kauffman Fellow and a visiting faculty member at London Business School.
From 2000-2004, Will was also a team member for the Rockefeller Foundation’s ProVenEx Fund, the first Foundation sponsored “impact” investment vehicle seeking “double bottom line returns” in for-profit businesses.
In 2010, Will was honored with the Oslo Business for Peace Award, which represents “the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business.” He was the only American selected among seven global honorees by a committee of Nobel Laureates.
In 2013, Will was named chairman of the Vitality Institute Commission, a national effort focused on promoting health and well-being and preventing chronic disease.
In 2014, Will was named on the Purpose Economy 100 list of leaders who are “the first to research, develop, and shape markets that foster community, expression, and impact.” In 2016, Will was recognized as one of the 7 shapers of the future of food by Bon Appetit magazine.
He serves on advisory boards for The Culinary Institute of America, a Gates Foundation funded project on Sanitation, and SustainAbility, a London-based think tank. Will is a sought after speaker and also an avid gardener, and blogs at www.ideagarden.com.