Food IT 2015: Macro to Micro

The FOOD IT Conference focused in on the MICRO steps being taken TODAY through information technology and Silicon Valley-type innovation to RE-DO food and agriculture to meet tomorrow’s MACRO challenges.

In conjunction with Stanford’s FEED Collaborative, we organized our second annual Food IT conference at Stanford to bring together Food/Ag-focused start-ups, venture capitalists, IT innovators, and small/mid/large food and agricultural sector players. The daylong event was held at the Arrillaga Alumni Center at Stanford University on Wednesday June 24th, 2015. Check out the videos from FOOD IT here.


Agenda & Speakers

7:45a Appetizer Round of The Blender! See the video.

13 start-ups pitched our VC judges! Top 4 proceeded to the finals after lunch.  Selected Companies:

City Blooms
Dine Market
Food Origins
Manage My Co-op
Sereneti Kitchen
The Not Company
Well Intel

Appetizer Round Judges:

Geoff Eisenberg, Ecosystem Integrity Fund

Mark Kahn, Omnivore Partners

Jonathan Mi, BrightPath Capital

Scott Robertson, DuPont Pioneer

Drew Taylor, Taylor Farms Ventures

Samantha Wai, Innovation Endeavors (Farm 2050)


9a- Setting the Table See the video. And another one.

Matt Rothe, FEED Collaborative & Rob Trice, The Mixing Bowl Hub


9:30a- RE-DO GROWING: IN THE FIELD See the video.

How is IT enabling more precise and agile growing?

Blake Alexandre, Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms

Larry DeMaria, William Blair & Company

Jackson Dohlman, Saratoga Partnerships

Henri Hekman, Dutch Sprouts

AG Kawamura, former CA Secretary of Agriculture

Mike Macrie, Land O’Lakes

Darwin Melnyk, Trimble

Steven Saunders, Plus Group Horticulture (New Zealand)


10:30a- RE-DO GROWING: BEYOND THE FIELD See the video.

How will indoor food and alternative protein producers scale up, and can technology protect wild fish as a protein source?

Kees Aarts, Protix Biosystems

Ryan Cox, HATponics

Nick Halmos, Cityblooms

Nicola Kerslake, Newbean Capital

Dara Olmsted Silverstein, Stanford Dining

Robert Terry, SmartCatch


11:30a- RE-DO“LOCAL” LOGISTICS See the video.

How is IT enabling new models of food transportation and processing and connection between “local” producers and retailers?

Chris Charlesworth, SF/LA Specialty

Sam Klepfish, Innovative Food Holdings

Sam Lippman, Airbnb

David McIntyre, Airbnb

Bill Reed, Estancia Beef

Heather Shaffer, FreshRealm

Naomi Starkman, Civil Eats

Ed Treacy, Produce Marketing Association (PMA)


12:30p- Buffet Lunch

1:30p- Food Geeks Travel Virtually: Innovation hub fast pitch session See the video.

Angus Brown, New Zealand Food Innovation Network

Alessio D’Antino, Future Food Institute (Italy)

Dennis Donohue, Steinbeck Innovation Center

Nabil Kassam, Owner, Coastside Farm

Wendy Millet, Peninsula Food Innovation Group & TomKat Ranch

Harold Schmitz, Chief Science Officer, Mars Inc.

Roger Van Hoesel, Food Valley of the Netherlands

1:45p- The Blender! Main Course Finals See the video.

Top 4 start-up finalists pitch VCs for the Golden Blender Award

Main Course Finals Judges: 

Adam Anders, Anterra Capital

John Hamer, Monsanto Growth Ventures

Nicola Kerslake, Newbean Capital

Gilad Novik, Horizon Ventures

Geoff Smith, Mars Ventures

Andy Wheeler, Google Ventures

Andy Ziolkowski, Cultivian Ventures


2:30p- RE-DO NUTRITION See the video.

How is IT informing our knowledge of nutrition and helping us to deliver nutrition to all?

Jesse Cool, Flea Street Restaurant & Cool Cafe

Elliott Grant, Shopwell

Meiert Grootes, AgroFood Innovation Park, Switzerland

Howard Shapiro, Chief Agriculture Officer of MARS

Justin B. Siegel, Innovation Institute for Food & Health, UC Davis


3:30p- RE-DO CONSUMER/PRODUCER See the video.

Are new approaches enabling smaller food producers to scale more easily, and how are large food companies reacting to consumers’ food-related communication influencing food trends?

Michel Algazi, Foodcentricity

Barbara Brueckner, Mattson & Co.

Timothy Childs, Treasure8 Brands

Maisie Ganzler, Bon Appétit Management Company

Douglas Gayeton, Lexicon of Sustainability

Jeremiah Owyang, Crowd Companies

5pm- Happy Hour and Networking


Photos by: Jonathan Fong