Agritech venture forum

Stay tuned for our 2020 Keynote roster!

Sign-up for our newsletter to be the first to know about our latest programming announcements as they are announced! Check out some of our past keynotes below!

2019 Keynote Speakers

How Blockchain is Revolutionizing our Food System

Suzanne Livingston

IBM Food Trust Director of Offering Management

Ever wonder how blockchain is transforming our food system?

As the IBM Food Trust Director of Offering Management, Suzanne Livingston brings transparency, accountability, and traceability to the food supply chain using blockchain. Food’s journey from farm to table is complex, involving numerous actors and transactions. A number of issues, including food waste, food fraud, and food-borne illness, are exacerbated by limited transparency in the supply chain. Blockchain technology can create unprecedented visibility and accountability within complex, multi-party systems by connecting all actors through a permissioned, permanent and shared record of food system data.

Prior to blockchain, Suzanne launched and scaled new offerings for IBM, including social software, cloud collaboration, and the fintech platform for developers. Suzanne leads product management organizations with a collaborative, inclusive approach having been on the front lines of product management, engineering, and user experience. Suzanne founded the MIT Product Management Club, and was a Product Management 101 & 102 Teaching Fellow at Harvard Business School.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn from Suzanne about how IBM’s Food Trust blockchain is tackling these issues and why collaboration is key to industry adoption and success. 

19 Ways to Kill Your Company

Brett Brohl

Managing Director

What are the ways you can screw up your company past the point of no return? Brett Brohl is the Managing Director of the Techstar’s Farm to Fork Accelerator and he’s no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship. Brett is an entrepreneur, investor, and mentor, who has bootstrapped, raised venture capital, taken three companies to exit and has had at least one failure along the way. With no shortage of first-hand experience, his keynote presentation will outline the 19 ways you will destroy your company and how to avoid them.

Brett is driven by making a difference in the world by helping entrepreneurs succeed. The Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator is the first Techstars program focused on the digital side of food and agriculture. Partnered with Cargill and Ecolab, the program is looking for the best entrepreneurs across the entire food value chain, from ag tech, to food safety, waste reduction and trace-ability.

Prior to the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator Brett served as Director of the inaugural Techstars Startup Next Food & Ag in Partnership with Land O’Lakes and as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Techstars Retail Accelerator in Partnership with Target. Brett is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Syndicate Fund, an early stage venture capital fund investing in retail, marketing, food and agriculture. When he’s not engaging the world’s start-up scene Brett can be found hanging with his wife and kids, driving a lobster boat, or pretending to be a tennis pro.

2019 Tech Talk Speakers

A Vision of Smarter Cities Through Agriculture

Henry Gordon-Smith

Founder & Managing Director

“Imagine living in a city that values food security as much as it values wifi.”

Henry Gordon-Smith, Founder and Managing Director of Agritecture Consulting, is on a mission to teach people what happens when we approach agriculture from an architectural perspective.

As the demand for local food grows, innovations in controlled environment agriculture promise to help restaurants and retailers keep up with the preferences of their consumers. All the while investment in indoor agriculture technology and companies continues to skyrocket every year. But as the global food system faces increasing strain, which farming models will pave the way for profitable and resilient food production in and around cities over the next 30 years?

Join industry thought-leader, Henry Gordon-Smith, at #AGRIForum, where he will be discussing the commercial case for vertical and urban farming at a time when food systems and cities are under ever-increasing threat from climate events, population growth, and limited year-round fresh food options.

 

2018 Keynote Speakers

Deploying Capital & Technology in Developing Economies: LM10 Brings Together Capital & Leading AgTech to the Philippines

Nico Bolzico

President

Founded in 2012, Nico Bolzico, President of LM10, is ready to invest and take agribusiness in the Philippines to the next level. By offering their technology, combined with their capital, LM10 believes they can help transform the Philippines into a world-class, agro-export country. Partnering with local players in the Philippines, LM10 is using leading technology, processes, products, and education in order to grow, boost productivity and establish the Philippines as a key player and significant contributor to economic growth.

Transforming Our Food System: Bringing Market-Disrupting Products to Reality

Alison Rabschnuk

Director of Corporate Engagement

As Director of Corporate Engagement at The Good Food Institute (GFI) Alison Rabschnuk is set on changing the way we think about the future of food. This international organization is at the forefront of the next agricultural revolution – replacing animal products with plant-based and clean meat alternatives. Collaborating with scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors, The Good Food Institute is in the business of helping foster ground-breaking food tech innovations that are more delicious, safer to eat, and better for the planet.

Alison brings 25 years of advertising, marketing, and sales experience to GFI having worked with brands including Taco Bell, Levi Strauss, Gap, Kiplinger’s, and Parents Magazine. She works with leading food service companies, supermarkets, and restaurants to help increase the quality and quantity of plant-based products available on the market.

Environmental Capitalism: Driving the Sustainability Revolution

Jason Drew

CEO

Described by Forbes Magazine as the “lord of the flies who would be king” Jason’s company, AgriProtein, has taken the world by storm, leading the way in a new industry called nutrient recycling. AgriProtein, which by headcount, is the largest farming operation on the planet, takes fly larvae that are fed on waste to produce animal feed. Their goal – to secure the future of food while also delivering significant environmental benefits.

Jason was awarded the UN innovation prize for Africa in 2013, and already has fly farm projects underway in the UK, the US, South Africa, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.