Internationally recognized entrepreneur and educator and an avid gardener.
Will has spent over 25 years cultivating thriving startups while teaching and mentoring mission-driven entrepreneurs around the world. Will serves as a Senior Advisor to Generation Investment Management, a public and growth equity practice chaired by Al Gore. 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. He is Managing Partner of Ideagarden.
As an entrepreneur and investor, he has been involved in over forty purposeful ventures including Odwalla, LeapFrog, and Revolution Foods. 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 has served on the professional faculty of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, since 1999 where he is a Social Impact Fellow; there, he initiated and taught the first MBA courses in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Venture Development. Will was a co-founder of Haas’s Center For Responsible Business and the Global Social Venture Competition, which has expanded to include more than 40 partner universities. He has been a Price Kauffman Fellow and a visiting faculty member at London Business School and has lectured extensively at leading schools across the country.
Will currently leads Food Venture Lab, a cross-disciplinary graduate innovation course, and Edible Education 101, one of the Berkeley campus’ most popular undergraduate electives focused on food systems and ethics. The course is live-streamed globally and has been led in past years by Alice Waters, Mark Bittman, and Michael Pollan. Will is also co-founder and 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 Pharmaca, Novomer, Gazelle, Yummly, EnergyHub, Watersmart and GoodGuide.
From 2000 to 2004, Will was 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. Will was co-author of the Double Bottom Line Project, seminal work that defined the methodology for measuring non-financial returns in growth ventures. Will was honored with the 2010 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 2013-14 Will served as chairman of the Vitality Institute Commission, a national effort focused on promoting health and wellbeing and preventing chronic disease. In 2015, he founded and was named Dean of The Food Business School at The Culinary Institute of America and in 2016, he was named one of seven people shaping the Future of Food by Bon Appetit magazine.