Clay Alexander.jpg

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.

Richard Blais.jpg

Richard Blais


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.

shelby bonnie.jpg

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.

Jerry Callahan.jpg

Jerry Callahan

CEO, Heatworks


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.


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.

P140194_Brett Dibkey.jpg

Brett Dibkey


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.

Jenny Dorsey.png

Jenny Dorsey


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

Spadaro Grant.png

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..

John Ha - Bear Robotics.jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 2.31.12 PM.png

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.

robin liss.jpeg

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, a leading consumer technology and home appliance review publication. She led as a startup and sold it to USA TODAY in 2011 where she expanded to the largest home appliance review site on the web.

30_Fukata square.jpg

Fukata Masa

Director, Game Changer Catapult, Panasonic

Fukata Masa was appointed as Director in Panasonic Canada in 2010 and managed and executed product and marketing strategy in Consumer Products Division.  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.

Appointed as Director in BeeEdge Co.,Ltd. a joint-venture business incubation company with Panasonic and Scrum Ventures LLC, a US-based venture capital firm


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

Christopher Payne Doordash.jpeg

Christopher Payne

COO, DoorDash

Payne has been Chief Operating Officer of Door Dash Inc., since January 2016. Mr. Payne served as Chief Executive Officer of Tinder, Inc. from March 2015 to September 2015. He served as Senior Vice President of North American Marketplaces at eBay Inc. from September 2010 to December 2014. He founded Positronic, Inc., and served as its Chief Executive Officer from July 2007 to December 2008. Previously, he served as a Vice President at Amazon from 1998 to 2001. He served as a Vice President at Microsoft from 2001 to 2007. Mr. Payne holds a B.A. in U.S. History from Dartmouth College.

John Pleasants.jpg

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.


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!

Cynthia Yeung.jpeg

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.