Nick Cooney

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Nick Cooney
Alma materHofstra University (Non-Violence Studies)
OccupationManaging Partner at Lever VC
Notable workHow to be Great at Doing Good, Veganomics, Change of Heart

Nick Cooney (born c. 1981) is a managing partner at Lever VC, an investment fund focused on alternative protein companies.[1]

He co-founded the Good Food Institute and was co-founder and Managing Trustee of New Crop Capital.[2][3] He is the author of three books: Change of Heart (2010), Veganomics (2013), and How To Be Great At Doing Good (2015).[4][5][6][7][8][9] He previously worked for the non-profit organizations Mercy for Animals and Farm Sanctuary and was the founder of the non-profit organization The Humane League.[10][11][12]

Early life and education[edit]

Nick Cooney was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[13] Cooney received a bachelor's degree in Non-Violence Studies from Hofstra University in 2003.

Policy and non-profit work[edit]

In 2005, Nick Cooney founded The Humane League in Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that works to protect animal welfare.[14] Cooney is one of several people who provided information used in the writing of the book Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (2008) by Mark Hawthorne.

Since then, Nick Cooney's work promoting alternative proteins and animal protection has been featured in media outlets including Bloomberg, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Quartz, Upside, Food Navigator, Just-Food, and the Wall Street Journal.[15][16][17][18][19][20] He has lectured internationally at conferences and campuses including Harvard,[21] Yale,[22] in Luxembourg,[23] and in Washington, D.C.[24][25]

Cooney previously worked as campaign coordinator at the non-profit Farm Sanctuary and as executive vice president at non-profit Mercy for Animals. He is currently a director with the non-profit Lever Foundation.[26][27]

Work with The Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital[edit]

Nick Cooney is former board chairman and co-founder of The Good Food Institute.[28][29][30] He is also co-founder and former managing trustee of New Crop Capital, a private venture capital trust that invests in plant-based and cultured meat, dairy, and egg companies.[31][32] These two organizations collaborate to support the plant-based and cultured food companies.[33]

Work with Lever VC[edit]

Nick Cooney is founder and currently Managing Partner at Lever VC, a U.S.-Asian venture capital fund investing in early stage alternative protein companies.[34][35]


  • Cooney, Nick (2010-09-20). Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change. Lantern Books. ISBN 9781590562451.
  • Cooney, Nick (2013-11-22). Veganomics: The Surprising Science on Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom. Lantern Books. ISBN 9781590564288.
  • Cooney, Nick (2015-04-27). How To Be Great At Doing Good: Why Results Are What Count and How Smart Charity Can Change the World. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781119041719.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Plant protein startups vie to tap China's hungry market". Reuters. 2019-03-21. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  2. ^ "Bloomberg - Nick Cooney". Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  3. ^ Gunther, Marc (2016-04-06). "New Crop – the vegan venture fund fighting for animal rights". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  4. ^ "Amazon Author Central: Nick Cooney". Amazon. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  5. ^ "Nick Cooney". Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  6. ^ Nick Cooney – Audio Books, Best Sellers, Author Bio |
  7. ^ Cooney, Nick (2013). Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1-9869-3649-1.
  8. ^ "Nick Cooney Books on Apple Books". iTunes. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  9. ^ How To Be Great At Doing Good by Nick Cooney, Narrated by James Fouhey, retrieved 2020-10-04
  10. ^ "Nick Cooney - LinkedIn". 4 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Nick Cooney". Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  12. ^ "Twitter: Nick Cooney". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  13. ^ Cooney, Nick (2007-09-05). "Activist Profile: Nick Cooney". Vegan Outreach.
  14. ^ "The Humane League Linkedin". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2017-01-07. The Humane League is a 501(c)3 and Certified Best In America by the Independent Charities of America... Nick Cooney, Founder.
  15. ^ "Nick Cooney and Lever VC Invest In The Good Spoon Foods". Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  16. ^ "Nick Cooney Launches the Lever VC Fund". 5 September 2019. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  17. ^ "Investor: I wouldn't bet against the plant-based meat space". CNBC. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  18. ^ "This is how plant protein start-ups are tapping into China's hungry market". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  19. ^ Cooney, Nick (2014-10-23). "Can vegetarianism help to solve NFL's problems with violence?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  20. ^ Yang, Stephanie (2019-12-05). "American Companies Are Hungry for a Cut of China's Fake-Meat Market". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  21. ^ "Legal Battles in the Food Industry: A Conversation with Nick Cooney from Farm Sanctuary". 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2017-01-10. Nick Cooney, founder of the Humane League and then employed by Farm Sanctuary (now working for Mercy for Animals), spoke about his involvement with activism and farm animals.
  22. ^ "Ivy League Vegan Conference". 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  23. ^ "Nick Cooney IARC Speaker Profile". 2013-09-12. His work for animals has been featured in hundreds of media outlets around the United States
  24. ^ "Taking Action for Animals Conference Has Something for Everyone". 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2017-01-10. Their impressive lineup of speakers this year includes Gene Baur, President of Farm Sanctuary; Nick Cooney, Director of Education for Mercy for Animals...
  25. ^ "Nick Cooney [International Animal Rights Conference: 12.-15.9.2013 - Luxembourg]". Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  26. ^ "Research Gate: Nick Cooney". Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  27. ^ "Nick Cooney Biography | Lever VC, Managing Partner | New York City". Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  28. ^ "Sentience Conference". Retrieved 2017-01-10. ...founder and Board Chair of The Humane League, Board Chair of The Good Food Institute, and Managing Trustee at New Crop Capital
  29. ^ Animal Charity Evaluators (November 2017). "The Good Food Institute Review". Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  30. ^ "Nick Cooney Biography | Lever VC, Managing Partner | New York City". Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  31. ^ Gunther, Marc (2016-04-06). "New Crop – the vegan venture fund fighting for animal rights". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-01-10. Besides funding, Friedrich, Cooney and Kerr provide their portfolio companies with access to like-minded investors and to consumers who want to avoid meat
  32. ^ Cooney, Nick (2019-04-09). "What's In A Bio? The New Nick Cooney Biography". Medium. Retrieved 2020-10-04.
  33. ^ Byrd, Emily (March 6, 2017). "Plant-Based Power Couple". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  34. ^ "Plant protein startups vie to tap China's hungry market". Reuters. 2019-03-21. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  35. ^ "LeverVC | Investing in the future of protein". Retrieved 2019-04-08.


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