Since 2018 Karen Karp has supported numerous efforts to advance the sustainable development of AgriFoodTech. That year, from her part-time home base in Portugal, Karen began working with BGI (Building Global Innovators), a partnership between MIT Portugal and the Lisbon-based ISCTE university, to help grow its Agrifood accelerator program. Karen supported eight AgriFoodTech entrepreneurs over three years who were part of the Idanha a Nova Food Lab, an EU funded effort to cultivate a “Silicon Valley in the countryside.”
In 2019, with partners AgFunder News (AFN) and The Counter, Karen researched and produced Money Where Your Mouths Are, an investigation and report revealing that just 3% of investment dollars and 5% of deals in AgriFoodTech went to female founders the prior year, a 37% decrease from 2017. Funding has continued to decline since 2020.
Since 2020 Karen has mentored two entrepreneurs in Portugal who are developing processes for converting bio-based sustainable construction materials, made from mushrooms and other fungi and by-products of agriculture and industry, including the founder of Mykor who is co-founder of Rede Construção Sustentável.