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Clay Alexander

CEO, Ember

Clay Alexander is an American inventor and serial entrepreneur who holds over 100 patents worldwide and is the inventor of General Electric's LED light bulb, the GE Infusion™. 

In 2010, Alexander founded Ember, a design-led temperature control brand which is creating a new category of consumer products. Since launch, Ember has been extremely well received in the market, with strong sales that have consistently outperformed forecasts, as well as extensive media coverage. Ember is blazing the path to be the next global household brand.

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Richard Blais

Chef

Perhaps most recognizable as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he went on to train at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli.

Blais has appeared on Top Chef, Top Chef All-Stars, Iron Chef America and Chopped All-Stars as a competitor.  He is a recurring judge on Top Chef and Master Chef and has also judged episodes of Guy's Grocery Games, Cutthroat Kitchen and Cooks vs Cons. Blais has particularly enjoyed his hosting duties for the shows Burger Lab, Cook Your A$$ Off and Food Network's Halloween Baking Championship.

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Shelby Bonnie

CEO, Pylon AI

Shelby has a history of leadership in the industry. He was a co-founder and long-time CEO of CNet, co-founder and CEO of Whiskey Media, Managing Director at Allen & Company, and chairman of IAB. He is a leading innovator in both ad formats and research. In 2006, he was named IAB Publisher of the Year.

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Jerry Callahan

CEO, Heatworks

CEO AND FOUNDER

An inventor at heart, Jerry founded Heatworks the day he realized the water heater he needed didn’t exist. Rather than buy an inferior product, he decided to find a better way to heat water. That has been his focus for the last 12 years. Now with over 50 combined patents, Jerry leads a team of heating, technology and plumbing veterans to continue to build Heatworks' family of products. 

Jerry grew up on Cape Cod, MA, and studied naval architecture at MIT and the Stevens Institute of Technology. After attaining his MBA from University of Chicago, Jerry co-founded Blue Rhino, the world’s leading propane cylinder exchange company.

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Cheryl Clements

Founder and CEO, PieShell

Cheryl is the founder + CEO of PieShell, a new crowdfunding platform exclusively for food- and beverage-focused companies. Cheryl took her 18 years of experience installing the ERP system SAP at fortune 500 companies and her lifetime of helping her family with their own food startups, to create PieShell.

Cheryl spent summers helping her Mom run a pie business, with help from her Dad and brother they made close to 10,000 pies a year. You guessed it, her Mom's company was called The Pie Shell, and she is honored to carry on the name.

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Jason Cohen

CEO, Analytical Flavor Systems

Before starting Analytical Flavor Systems, Jason was the Founder and Executive Director of The Tea Institute at Penn State, which oversees 20+ researchers in 5 fields of study in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Tea. Jason did his research in sensory science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence - eventually developing the Gastrograph system after 3 1/2 years of research. Jason is a professional coffee, tea, and beer taster, and when he is not trying new products, he enjoys rock climbing, ice climbing, and fencing.

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Ashley Colpaart

CEO, The Food Corridor

Ashley Colpaart is the founder and CEO of The Food Corridor, a virtual food hub that connects food entrepreneurs with commercial kitchen space. The Food Corridor is the first and only fully integrated software platform that manages scheduling, compliance, time tracking, billing, and client communication in the emerging shared-use kitchen industry. Additionally, The Food Corridor moderates the Network for Incubator and Commissary Kitchens, a community of kitchens that supports the food industry through sharing data, best practices, and technical resources to build and grow successful shared-use kitchen businesses. Their newest app, The Kitchen Door, provides the largest database of searchable commercial and shared-use kitchens in the country, giving rise to food entrepreneurs across the USA and Canada. 

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Dana Cowin

Host, Speaking Broadly

Dana Cowin, best known for her two decades as the Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine, is a tastemaker, talent scout, consultant, author, lecturer and podcast host. During her tenure at the award-winning magazine (1995-2016), she oversaw every editorial aspect of the brand from print to web to books to social media. She is currently the Chief Creative Officer at Dig Inn and host of Speaking Broadly on Heritage Radio Network.

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Dhairya Dand

Futurist

Dhairya Dand is an award winning inventor and artist who runs ODD Industries a futurist factory+lab in NYC. His work investigates the human body as a medium for computation, new materials as a tool to embody interactions and design as a vehicle for mindfulness.

Past inventions include: bio reactive architecture, elastic computer screens, shape changing gadgets, shoes that tickle and guide, alcohol aware ice cubes, synthetic muscles, programmable hair, emotionally intelligent flowers, sensory apparatus for music learning and educational toys from eWaste, optically invisible fiber-optics among others.

Recent exhibitions at the V&A, Tokyo Design Week, MIT Museum, recognized in the 2015 and 2016 Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list, WIRED Innovation Fellow, INK Fellow, FoST Fellow, ELLE’s ‘Names to know in 2015’, VOGUE’s ‘Cool People’ list, Globe’s ‘Top 25 Innovators’ list.
Previously a researcher at MIT Media Lab, amateur geologist in Saudi, toy designer in Singapore, sensory researcher in Tokyo, political activist in Bombay, MIT Media Lab and Harvard alumnus.

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Arvind 

de Menezes Pereira

CTO & co-founder, Markov Corporation

Arvind is the CTO and co-founder of the Markov Corporation, a startup in Palo Alto, California, which builds devices employing Artificial Intelligence to revolutionize industries that have not seen enough change. At Markov he is responsible for the overall architecture (especially the AI software), and leading a talented team of experienced engineers in researching and developing products such as the Level oven - the first oven that is capable of cooking multiple foods to different target temperatures by using thermal temperatures for feedback - a feat that would not be possible without novel AI controlling some innovative hardware.

Before founding Markov with Leonard Speiser, he worked in various capacities (both software and hardware) at Leonard's previous startup Clover, which has manufactured and shipped hundreds of thousands of POS terminals to various industries including restaurants.

He is excited about the huge positive impact Artificial Intelligence can have on the world. He believes that Markov can be a leader in helping bring AI in a big way to make kitchens of the future much smarter, more intuitive and more fun to cook in.

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Brett Dibkey

VP & GM, INTEGRATED BUSINESS UNITS, WHIRLPOOL

Brett Dibkey was named Vice President and General Manager of Integrated Business Units for Whirlpool Corporation, in May, 2012.  Previously, he was General Manager for the North American Dishwashing Category at the company.

Prior to joining Whirlpool Corporation in 2007, Brett held positions at Pfizer, where he worked in various strategy and business development functions, and at a national consulting firm where he lead a variety of strategic growth engagements for large, multi-national clients, primarily in the manufacturing and financial services sectors.

Brett earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Butler University and his MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Jenny Dorsey

Chef

Jenny is a professional chef and artist based in NYC. She specializes in fusing culinary arts with social concepts and emerging technology, especially AR/VR. She runs an experimental popup series named Wednesdays, is the Co-Host of Why Food? podcast on Heritage Radio Network and is starting a culinary production studio named Studio ATAO. Her work can be found in publications such as Harper's Bazaar, Business Insider, Thrillist and Bustle as well as on Food Network and Oxygen TV - you can find out more about her at http://jennydorsey.co

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Riley Eller

CTO, Unium; Director at Nokia Advanced Wireless Research Center

Riley is a respected technologist and renowned hacker with numerous industry accolades and high profile patents. Previously, Riley worked at Cenzic, inventing significant advancements in vulnerability analysis software, including “fuzzing,” one of the most important tools in security testing today. He was also part of the team that won the DEF CON challenge, the world’s most prestigious hacking competition, three times in a row, and he continues to be engaged in the hacker community as a speaker, thought leader and mentor.

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Alexis Fox

CEO, Lighter

 

Alexis Fox is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) at Lighter, a powerful platform that helps the world eat better. Lighter is powering the meal planning technology used by leading healthcare providers, world-class athletes, global visionaries and some of the most influential celebrities of our day. Fox has dedicated her life to fixing our broken food system. She has worked in the movement as an attorney, political leader and entrepreneur. She also spent three years as an adjunct Professor of Leadership at Emerson College.

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Brian Frank

Founder, FTW Ventures

Brian Frank is the founder of FTW Ventures, an early-stage investment and advisory firm for leading Food + Tech startups, major corporations and top tier investment firms. He's an investor in Square Roots, Spoiler Alert, Proper Foods, Nomiku, Geltor and an advisor/mentor with Farmers Fridge, Dishcraft Robotics, Food-X, Techstars Farm-to-Fork, Food Tech Angels & Nutrition Capital Network.

He's appeared on Bloomberg West, been profiled in Edible Magazine, keynoted at the Fancy Food Show and has spoken at many major conferences on how technology will transform the Food System.

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Masa Fukata

Director, Game Changer Catapult, Panasonic

Masa Fukata was appointed as Director in Panasonic Canada in 2010 and managed and executed product and marketing strategy in Consumer Products Division.  He also led new business development projects for future growth opportunities at Panasonic Appliances Company since 2015.  Masa started internal innovation accelerator Game Changer Catapult for Panasonic in 2016, an initiative to transform ideas into reality to make the people’s wish through open innovation for a better life, a better world.

Masa also serves on the Board of Directors for in BeeEdge Co.,Ltd. a joint-venture business incubation company with Panasonic and Scrum Ventures LLC, a US-based venture capital firm.

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Betty Gold

Senior Editor/Kitchen Product Analyst, Good Housekeeping

Betty Gold is a Senior Editor and Kitchen Product Analyst at Good Housekeeping magazine. She oversees the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she evaluates and writes about every type of cooking tool and food-related item on the market for GH's magazine, website, and social media channels.

Betty also tests and approves kitchen products seeking the Good Housekeeping Seal and covers gift guides, trends, and food news. Betty joined Good Housekeeping in 2013 after interning with Bon Appetit, the James Beard Foundation, Food Network Magazine, and the Martha Stewart Show. She is a graduate of New York University’s Food Studies program.

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Victoria Spadaro Grant

CTO, Barilla

Victoria is the CTO for the Barilla group. She is responsible for driving innovation, fuel growth for the global business, and secure competitive positions through strong quality pillars..

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Dana Gunders

Next Course, LLC

Dana is a leading national expert on food waste reduction and was deemed "the woman who helped start the waste-free movement" by Consumer Reports. For almost a decade, she was a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and one of the first to bring to light just how much food is wasted across the country through her 2012 report Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.

Dana is the author of Waste Free Kitchen Handbook, has testified in Congress, and is behind the Save the Food campaign (a national media campaign that has generated over $60M in donated media to date). Dana’s work to reduce food waste has been covered on CNN, NBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, NPR, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Dr. Oz and many other outlets. After leaving NRDC in January 2018, Dana now advises companies and others on food waste reduction via her new business, Next Course LLC. When not worrying about it professionally, she spends far too much time trying to get her two small children to throw less food on the floor.

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Stacey Higginbotham

Stacey on IoT

Stacey on IoT is a news publication covering the Internet of Things.

Stacey Higginbotham has been covering technology for major publications for 15 years. She is an expert and influencer when it comes to the internet of things and technology in general. She has a bi-monthly column on the smart home in PCMag called “Get Smart With Stacey.” Her work has appeared in Fortune (where she was Senior Editor), MIT Tech Review, Gigaom and Worth magazine. She is also a co-host on This Week in Google.

This site is a companion site to Stacey’s Internet of Things Podcast and her weekly newsletter Stacey Knows Things.

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John Ha

CEO, Bear Robotics

John Ha is the CEO of Bear Robotics, Inc.  During his tenure, he has overseen the development of an AI-driven robot able to perform running and bussing tasks in a restaurant.  Before this role, he was a Senior Software Engineer and Technical Lead at Google and Adjunct Professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).  He holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Seoul National University and Ph.D. in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.

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Pablos Holman

Inventor

Pablos is a futurist, inventor, and notorious hacker with a unique view into breaking and building new technologies.

Pablos is consulting worldwide on invention and design projects that assimilate new technologies – making wild ideas a bit more practical and vice versa. He helped create the world’s smallest PC; 3D printers at Makerbot; spaceships with Jeff Bezos; artificial intelligence agent systems; and the Hackerbot, a Wi-Fi seeking robot.

Currently, Pablos is working for Nathan Myhrvold at the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory where a wide variety of futuristic invention projects are underway including a fission reactor powered by nuclear waste; a machine to suppress hurricanes; a system to reverse global warming; and a device that can shoot mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers to help eradicate malaria.

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Jon Jenkins

Director of Technology, Hestan Smart Cooking

Jon has been a startup and technology addict for more than 20 years.  He spent close to a decade at Amazon working on everything from the e-commerce website, to developer tools, to web services, to the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet.  In need of more adventure he moved to San Francisco to become the head of engineering at Pinterest where he grew the tech team fivefold in two years.  In 2014 Jon founded Meld which joined forces with Hestan Smart Cooking in 2015 to bring the concept of guided cooking to home cooks.  In his current role as Director of Technology he focuses on the science of cooking and travels the world to establish strategic partnerships between Hestan Smart Cooking and other companies.

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Daeil Kim

Founder, AI.Reverie

Daeil Kim believes that we can create a future where issues related to food, shelter and health can be efficiently met with the help of AI. Daeil grew up in New York City and received a liberal arts degree at Sarah Lawrence College, focusing on literature. An interest in medicine led him to New Mexico to research schizophrenia and to understand mental illness through artificial intelligence. He then pursued a Ph.D. in computer science at Brown University, focusing on the development of scalable machine learning algorithms. Afterwards, his interests in developing tools for investigative journalism led him to pursue a career as a data scientist at The New York Times. Driven by the passion to create a better world with AI, Daeil created AI.Reverie, a simulation platform to train AI to understand the world and make it better.

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Mike Lee

Founder, Future Market

Mike Lee is the founder of The Future Market, a futurist food lab that explores what our food system could look like in the next 5-25 years through pop-up experiences and conceptual product prototypes. Mike is also co-founder of Alpha Food Labs, an Innovation Lab for next-gen food startups and corporations building products that are better for by People, Planet, and Profit.

Mike’s experience in food design & innovation has covered a wide range over the past 11 years. Prior to Alpha Food Labs & The Future Market, Mike led product development initiatives on the Innovation & New Ventures team at Chobani. At Chobani, Mike focused on building out the Greek Yogurt maker’s savory platform and drove the product design process from research, insights and ideation, to food, flavor and packaging development, and then finally to business planning and production. Mike also founded the Studiofeast underground supperclub, a sister organization to Studio Industries. Studiofeast creates unique dining experiences that use food as a medium to design experiences that range from the artful, to the educational, to the hedonistic. Mike is a frequent and influential speaker on food innovation and has been featured in numerous publications and conferences such as Esca Bona, PSFK, SXSW, Seeds & Chips, EXPO 2015 Milano, The Fancy Food Show, The National Restaurant Association’s Food Innovation Summit, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, FastCo Exist, CNBC, Edible Brooklyn, Food Navigator, and more. Mike is the grandson and son of Chinese restaurant owners in Detroit and was raised in those kitchens and dining rooms. He was trained in Business at the University of Michigan and Design at the Parsons School of Design. He now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Robin Liss

CEO, Suvie

As Co-Founder and CEO of Suvie, Robin brings her deep experience from covering the appliance industry, reviewing appliances, and analyzing smart home products. Robin is the founder and former CEO of Reviewed.com, a leading consumer technology and home appliance review publication. She led Reviewed.com as a startup and sold it to USA TODAY in 2011 where she expanded Reviewed.com to the largest home appliance review site on the web.

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Thomas

Mastrobuoni

CFO, Tyson Ventures

Tom is the Chief Financial Officer of Tyson New Ventures, the corporate venture capital division of Tyson Foods. In this role, he is responsible for sourcing investment, valuing and monitoring the portfolio. Prior to joining Tyson, Tom was the Chief Financial and Compliance Officer at Advance Vixeid Partners, a growth equity firm affiliated with Advance Publications. Prior to AVP, Tom was the Chief Financial and Compliance Officer at RedBird Capital Partners, Senior Vice President of Finance at The Electrum Group, and the Chief Financial and Compliance Officer at Augusta Columbia Capital Group.

Tom has fourteen years of experience in alternative asset management and received a BS in Accountancy from Villanova University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds the Chartered Global Management Accountant designation from the AICPA. Tom is a member of the AICPA, the New York State Society of CPA's and serves on the State Society's Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee.

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Lisa McManus

Executive Editor, Tasting & Testing, America's Test Kitchen

Lisa McManus is executive editor of equipment testing and ingredient tasting at America's Test Kitchen, home of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines. She researches and writes about kitchen gear and food, and she’s the on-screen Gadget Guru for America’s Test Kitchen. Lisa joined America’s Test Kitchen in 2006, after working as a newspaper food editor and a magazine and newspaper journalist in Boston, New York, and Palo Alto, California. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

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Karsten Ottenberg

CEO, BSH Home Appliances

Karsten Ottenberg is CEO of BSH Appliances (BSH Hausgeräte GmbH), Europe's largest home appliance manufacturer.

Ottenberg served as Vice President Marketing & Sales Automotive Europe and General Manager Marketing & Sales Germany; two years later in 1999, he was promoted to Vice President for Sales Operations Europe. Also in 1999, Ottenberg took on the position of General Manager for Business Unit Identification, with global responsibility for the company’s smartcard and RFID chip activities. He was named Senior Vice President Global Marketing & Sales Consumer & Multimedia Division in 2002. In 2005, after a total of 18 years with Royal Philips Electronics, Ottenberg left the Dutch company and became Chairman of the Management Board of the international technology corporation Giesecke & Devrient GmbH, based in Munich. He also served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of secunet Security Networks AG in the years 2005 to 2013.   Ottenberg has been the Chairman of the Board of Management of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH in Munich since July 1, 2013.

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Zach Pace

Team Lead: Alexa Smart Home Kitchen

Zach Pace leads the Alexa Smart Home Kitchen team, which is empowering better cooking through simple, natural control of kitchen appliances. Prior to joining Amazon, Zach led key user experience initiatives at Microsoft, including device incubation, wearable app development, and core personality efforts for Windows and Cortana.

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Christopher Payne

COO, DoorDash

Christopher Payne is the Chief Operating Officer at DoorDash, a technology company that connects customers with their favorite local and national businesses in more than 850 cities across the United States and Canada. Starting with restaurants, DoorDash is building the infrastructure and logistics platform to allow any local merchant to deliver their merchandise and expand their business. 

Prior to joining DoorDash in January, 2016, Christopher led the North American business at eBay, ran the development of MSN Search (now Bing) and mapping (Virtual Earth) for Microsoft, and led Amazon's expansion beyond books into video, electronics, wireless, PCs, and software. He holds a B.A. in US History from Dartmouth College.

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John Pleasants

CEO, Brava

John is a long-time Silicon Valley executive and a veteran of the consumer technology industry.  He was CEO of Ticketmaster and its subsidiaries from 1999-2005, as both a public company and a leading division of IAC/InterActiveCorp.  After a stint as COO of Electronic Arts, he joined Brava co-founder Dan Yue at Playdom, where John served as CEO and oversaw Playdom's 2010 acquisition by Disney.  There, he served as Co-President of Disney Interactive Media Group, spearheading the development and launch of Disney Infinity and achieving the division's first-ever multi-quarter profitability.  He joins Brava from Samsung, where he was EVP of Media Solutions.

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Ben Pote

Director of Culinary, Global Product Innovation at Starbucks

Bridging the gap between culinary operations and innovation, Ben brings over a decade of hospitality industry experience to the Global Product Innovation team at Starbucks as Director of Culinary. In San Francisco, Ben led development and growth for Souvla, a multi-unit fine casual Greek restaurant concept. Prior to that he spent time as the Culinary Operations Lead for The Culinary Edge, a nationally-renowned boutique culinary consulting firm, and the kitchens of the Hillstone Restaurant Group and the Florence Group. 

When he’s not cooking at home, Ben enjoys exploring Seattle’s restaurant scene, as well as camping, foraging, and taking in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with his wife and dog. 

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Raja Ramachandran

Co-founder, Ripe.io

Raja is a the co-founder of ripe.io; a technology company creating the blockchain of food to help the food supply chain achieve transparency, efficiency and improved value to solve problems around traceability, food safety, quality assurance, regulatory compliance. Raja, a serial entrepreneur, was most recently on the founding team and headed product development at R3CEV, the world’s largest financial institutions consortium, to build and deploy distributed ledger and blockchain solutions. Raja has had 20-year career working at Bank of America, Citi, Silicon Valley Bank and Wells Fargo. Raja is passionate about connected technologies and how they can be utilized to revolutionize ways to create a more sustainable and healthier food business.

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Kyle Ransford

CEO, Chef'd

Ransford is founder and CEO of Chef'd, a new food delivery service bringing the best recipes from chefs, restaurants, and food bloggers across the nation to consumers' doorsteps. Chef'd is great for anyone who enjoys cooking, wants to save time planning meals & grocery shopping, or wants to add variety at the dinner table. In an era when meal kit delivery is the fastest growing segment of the food industry, Chef'd is poised to become a leader in the space. Chef'd--Eat better!

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Joe Ray

Writer, Wired

Joe has been writing and shooting food and travel stories for major dailies, news services and magazines around the world for more than fifteen years. 

He is a contributing writer at WIRED, specializing in the smart kitchen. He is also a restaurant critic, cookbook author, recipe writer and tester.

In 2014, he moved to Washington State's remote Lummi Island for a year to write the award-winning "Sea and Smoke," a book and cookbook with chef Blaine Wetzel at The Willows Inn. It was published by Running Press in October 2015.

Joe was also named the 2009 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalist of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. As a food critic, he wrote with Le Figaro's Francois Simon—"The Most Feared Food Critic In France"—on the English-language blog, Simon Says.

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Wilson Rothman

PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL

Wilson is the Personal Technology Editor for the Wall Street Journal. In the past, he was an editor at NBC News and Gizmodo, and covered tech for Time, the New York Times and others. When not editing his three columnists, he's on the hunt for the latest cooking technology to review.

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Deepak Sekar

Founder and CEO, Chowbotics

Dr. Deepak Sekar is the Founder and CEO of Chowbotics, a company that makes food preparation fun by automating tedious, repetitive tasks with robotics. Having started Chowbotics in 2014, Deepak has grown it to 30 employees in 3 countries and raised $8.5M of funding from Techstars Ventures, Foundry Group, Silicon Valley Bank, and the Geekdom Fund.

Prior to Chowbotics, Deepak served as a Director at Rambus and as a Chief Scientist at MonolithIC 3D Inc. He is an inventor of more than 125 patents, of which a dozen are used in every iPhone. Dr. Sekar received his B. Tech from IIT Madras in 2003, MS from Georgia Tech in 2005, and PhD from Georgia Tech in 2007. He enjoys learning about nutrition, food, and public health in his spare time and has a nutrition therapist diploma.

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Michelle Smart

VP of Partner Operations, ezCater

Michelle Smart is VP of Partner Operations at ezCater, the only nationwide marketplace for business catering. Michelle has over 25 years of experience building strong relationships and growing talented teams. She held several SVP roles during her two-decade career at RR Donnelley.

Most recently as SVP of Global Business Solutions, Michelle led the business architecture and operations to design and grow a print management marketplace connecting Fortune 1000 print buyers with thousands of printing partners. Michelle has a B.S. in Business Studies in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Ashlee Clark Thompson

Editor, CNET

Ashlee spent time as a newspaper reporter, AmeriCorps VISTA and an employee at a healthcare company before she landed at CNET. She loves to eat, write and watch "Golden Girls" (preferably all three at the same time). The first two hobbies help her out as an appliance reviewer. The last one makes her an asset to trivia teams. Ashlee also created the blog, AshleeEats.com, where she writes about casual dining in Louisville, Ky.

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Cynthia Yeung

COO, Cafe-X

Cynthia Yeung is the COO of Cafe X, which delivers a superior customer experience that will set the standard for human-robot collaboration in hospitality, one cup of coffee at a time.

Her previous roles have taken her around the world: leading next-gen product for SoftBank Robotics; leading platform for CheckMate, a hospitality SaaS startup that was acquired in 2016; sailing on a ship to 13 countries to launch a social enterprise startup accelerator whose mentors included the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Google VP/White House CTO Megan Smith; and leading product partnerships for various Google Maps and Google [x] initiatives.

Cynthia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Management and Technology program with degrees from both the Wharton School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a Joseph Wharton Scholar.