About Nick Cooney

Nick Cooney founded and serves as Managing Partner at Lever VC, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on alternative protein startups. The alternative protein sector includes both plant-based meat and dairy companies (Nick’s past investments in this space include Beyond Meat, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Sunfed Meats, and Good Catch Foods) as well as clean meat companies (Nick’s investments in this space include Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms, and Avant Meats). Through Lever VC and his prior fund, Nick has invested in several dozen alternative protein companies globally, with a combined net value of over $7 billion USD.

Lever VC maintains offices in the United States and in Hong Kong S.A.R., with staff and venture partners in the U.S., Europe, Israel, India, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Individuals and companies interested in learning more about investment and co-investment opportunities, and alternative protein entrepreneurs and companies interested in connecting with the Lever VC team to request consideration for funding, can contact Nick at nick@levervc.com or submit information though the Lever VC website.

Lever VC was launched by fellow partners and Nick Cooney in 2019.

Nick’s investments and articles about Nick are also available on Crunchbase. Initial portfolio companies include The Good Spoon and TurtleTree Labs among others.

Nick serves as Board Member or Board Observer for a number of Lever VC portfolio companies. He is also founder and Board member of the Lever Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to grow the alternative protein sector and public demand for alternative protein products in Asia.

Nick Cooney has been working in the alternative protein space for nearly twenty years. Prior to founding Lever VC, Nick co-founded and served as Investment Committee member and Managing Trustee for New Crop Capital, a private venture capital trust also focused on the alternative protein sector. Nick also co-founded and served as Board Chair for the Good Food Institute, the largest non-profit working to grow the clean meat and plant-based meat sectors globally.

Over the prior fifteen years, Nick worked on policy and consulting initiatives in the alternative protein sector. This work included managing teams in North America, South America and Asia to promote and market alternative protein products to consumers. Nick has also worked with leading retailers, restaurants, food service and packaged goods companies to help them add more alternative protein products and address related protein procurement issues. Nick began his career running entrepreneurship programming at the University of Pennsylvania.

Nick Cooney also writes on the alternative protein sector and related issues. He is the author of Veganomics, a textbook of the alternative protein space, which takes a research- and data-based look at core early adopters for alternative protein products and what motivates their decisions to buy (or not buy) products in this space. He has also written several books on philanthropy and social change marketing efforts. More on his books is available on his Amazon.com author page and his GoodReads author page, with samples on Audible.com, the iTunes store, and on SoundCloud.

Nick’s work has covered by a variety of media outlets around the world, with recent stories appearing on outlets such as CNBC, Just-Food, Upside, Thrive, and Inspirey. He has also written directly for several publications including The Guardian, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Quartz. He has lectured throughout Europe and the United States on the alternative protein industry and how best to grow the sector, including at Harvard, Yale, Google and CraigsList.

Nick Cooney is a native of Philadelphia and he has lived and worked in New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. He splits his time between the U.S. and China (in addition to significant travel in Europe and Israel).

Nick currently resides in the greater New York City area along with his wife Laura and their dog Rosy (herself a huge fan of alternative protein products—especially plant-based chicken wings).

If you want to reach Nick directly, his contact information is available on the contact page of this website. .

Want to connect with Nick Cooney on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter or on Facebook or Instagram? Below are links to Nick’s other online properties.

Nick Cooney’s Social Media And Online Links

Sample Media Coverage On Nick Cooney

I Wouldn’t Bet Against the Plant-Based Meat Space – CNBC

Lever VC Launches New Fund Targeting Alternative Protein – Food Navigator

Nick Cooney Launches the Lever VC Fund – Bloomberg

Covid Just Adds Yet Another Tailwind – Just-Food

Meet Nick Cooney – Thrive Global

Nick Cooney and Lever VC invest in The Good Spoon – Yahoo Finance

Plant Protein Startups Vie to Tap China’s Hungry Market — Thomson Reuters

Mercado chinês atrai startups de proteína vegetal — Organic News Brasil

The Vegan Venture Fund — The Guardian

A Few Minutes With Author-Activist Nick Cooney — GetVegucated

Self Interest Can Make The World A Better Place — Quartz

Nick Cooney, Veganomics — Responsible Eating And Living