Michael Lavin, Founder & Managing Partner, Germin8 Ventures: Michael Lavin runs the investing and fund management activities of Chicago-based Germin8 Ventures, a multi-stage, strategically oriented venture capital firm investing in transformative food and agricultural technology. Founded in 2017, the company quickly gained attention with multi-million-dollar investments in two Israeli companies: FieldIn, a farm management software startup, and CropX, an irrigation and sensor technology company. He has a family history in the food business: His grandfather founded OSI Group, described its website as “the premier global supplier of custom value-added food products to the world’s leading foodservice and retail food brands.” Lavin interned at OSI Group before starting his professional career as an investment banking associate with Mesirow Financial Consulting.