Back to the Roots Ventures

BTTR Ventures or “Back to the Roots” Ventures was formed by two innovative and passionate business majors from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. BTTR Ventures aims to transform coffee ground waste into a growing medium for a highly-demanded, nutritious, and valuable food product – specialty mushrooms. 

Back to the Roots was founded by Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora during their last semester at UC Berkeley in 2009. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages & fresh, local food, they experimented in Alex's fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of tasty oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds.

To grow their business, BTTR Ventures completed two rounds of financing with community lenders that have utilized the California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program.  The financing and loan guarantees have provided the liquidity to increase their workforce and capacity.  They are also enjoying recognition for their work, as they have received a number of community and entrepreneur awards.  

Featured Partners

Northern California Small Business
Financial Development Corporation
California Small Business Loan Guarantee Program