Ralph Jerome

Former Chief Innovation Officer, Mars, Inc.

Ralph is a Venture Partner of The March Group, and is a technical advisor to two plant based protein companies Meati and Aqua Cultured Foods. A distinguished Mars Fellow with 31 years of service to Mars, Inc. (“Mars”), Ralph served as the Global Innovation leader of Mars Inc. During that time, he pioneered and led the Corporate Innovation function at MARS to provide business segments with a competitive edge by defeating barriers to sustainable growth. He established a novel approach to innovation which relied on three pillars of capability: outstanding technical networks, state of the art economic valuation and technology translation teams; this created a positive transformational impact on the Mars business. Ralph set up the Mars venture capital capability and founded an innovation incubator called Mars Edge.

Ralph was previously the Global Vice President for R&D of the Chocolate Segment at Mars; pioneered design thinking techniques to build strong new product pipelines, conducted fundamental research to support product and process innovation, and disrupted the chocolate industry by aggressively pursuing transformational approaches to improve the cocoa supply chain.  Since leaving Mars, Ralph has founded an AI based startup (“Rivalz”) which is focused on addressing the global diabetes epidemic by developing snack foods which are delicious, nutritious and designed to for better blood sugar control. Ralph also leads innovation for a chocolate startup called Vine to Bar which leverages up-cycled chardonnay grape marc to make “paradoxical chocolate” which integrate delight and health.

Ralph has a master’s degree in Food Science from Rutgers University.