Chris Albrecht

Master of Ceremonies


Chris Albrecht is currently the Director of Marketing for Onehub, and in previous roles has been Creative Director for Gigaom and Editor and Staff Writer at Gigaom. He was the MC for most of Gigaom's events and will reprise his role as Master of Ceremonies at the Smart Kitchen Summit.



Ehsan Alipour

CEO, Oliso

Ehsan Alipour is a current President and Chief Executive Officer at Oliso, Inc. As President and CEO of Oliso, Ehsan invented the world's first iron to lift and lower it automatically, the Oliso Smart Iron. After that, Ehsan created the Oliso vacuum sealer, a patened vacuum sealer for sous vide and other forms of cooking. His latest creation is the Oliso Smart Hub cooking system, a smart, connected cooking system to help people become better cooks.  Linkedin

Brendan Anderson

Global Vice President, Marketing & Product Management, Char-Broil

Brendan is the Global VP of Marketing and Product Management for Char-Broil, where his consumer-first approach and focus on digital marketing has fueled Char-Broil’s significant growth in sales and profits. Brendan is responsible for managing base business lines, including the launch of innovative outdoor BBQ products, as well as overall marketing for the Char-Broil and Oklahoma Joe’s brands. He has led the establishment of new global brand equity guidelines, advertising campaign, and long-term new product roadmaps to ignite future growth of the business.

J. Kenji López-Alt

Managing Culinary Director, Serious Eats

J. Kenji López-Alt is the managing culinary director of Serious Eats, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. He lives in San Mateo with his wife Adriana and two dogs, Jamón and Shabu. His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science is a New York Times Bestseller is available wherever books are sold. At nearly 1,000 pages with over 300 foolproof recipes, it's a grand tour of the science of cooking explored through popular American dishes, illustrated in full color with thousands of photographs, charts, graphs, and do-at-home experiments. Twitter

Joe Behm

Founder, Behmor Inc

Throughout his life, Joe Behm has led with three passions: technology, coffee, and community. He first developed a strong background in technology while working in the industry for over two decades. He then founded Behmor, where he combines his technology background with his passion for coffee. Through this combination, his products always adopt state-of-the-art technologies: the Behmor 1600 Coffee Roaster employs a patented smoke suppression technology, and the Behmor Connected Brewer is the first connected brewer to earn SCAA Gold Cup Approval. Advancements like these have won Behmor several awards and recognition worldwide. Joe’s passion for coffee and community led him to start Behmor Inspired, where he travels around the world to meet coffee farmers, and provides roasters and brewers so that farmers can taste the fruits of their labor—often for the first time. Learning how their coffee tastes better with improved soil and growing conditions ultimately means farmers can earn a better living with their product.

Nikhil Bhogal

CTO, June

Nikhil is the co-founder and CTO at June, where he oversees the engineering and design teams behind the product. He was previously the lead iOS developer for Path. Before that Nikhil was an engineer at Apple, where he worked on the first iPhone through iPhone 5, as well as the first iPad through iPad 3. He's an inventor on many of Apple's camera technology patents, including tap to focus, panorama processing, zero shutter lag and lockscreen camera. Nikhil started his career as an engineer at Motorola, focusing on embedded software development for the Razr family of phones. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and little one on the way. In his spare time, Nikhil enjoys cooking, photography, making espresso and building stereos. Linkedin

Paul Bristow

Senior Product Manager, GE Appliances

Paul is responsible for the entire product-line life-cycle from strategic planning to tactical activities for the wall oven, cooktop and warming drawer product lines for GE Appliances.

Steve Brown

General Manager, Jenn-Air

Steve had complete Business Unit accountability for the Jenn-Air Home Appliance Business. As the leader of Jenn-Air, Steve is responsible for creation and execution of the overall business strategy, sales and distribution strategy, marketing strategy, and product strategy. Manage a dedicated national field sales force. Linkedin.

Kevin Brown

CEO, Innit

Kevin is the CEO and Co-founder of Innit Inc. The Innit platform combines personalized culinary and nutritional science with cutting edge information technology to power the emerging Connected Food ecosystem. As CEO and Co-founder of Innit, Kevin is responsible for all cloud infrastructure, mobile applications, and big data aspects of the business.

Stowe Boyd

Director, Gigaom Research


Stowe Boyd is the Director of Gigaom Research. Futurist, researcher, edgling. Boyd's focus is the future of work, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating postnormal era. Boyd coined the terms ‘social tools’ in 1999, ‘publicy’ in 2009, and ‘hashtag’ in 2007. Linkedin/Twitter

Timothy Chen

CEO, Sereneti Kitchen

 Sereneti is making a cooking robot ecosystem that will serve meals that are healthier, yummier, cheaper, while reducing waste of ingredients.

Tony Ciepiel

COO, Vita-Mix

Tony Ciepiel serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Vita-Mix Corporation (Vitamix), a mid-market manufacturer of high performance blending equipment for the consumer and food service commercial markets. The company provides products and services in more than 140 countries around the world. In his role as COO, Mr. Ciepiel is responsible for the profit and loss of the company and oversees the following functional areas: Commercial, Engineering, Household Sales, International, Legal, Marketing, Operations and Product Management.


Ashlee Clark Thompson


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,, where she writes about casual dining in Louisville, Ky.

Ryan Close

Cofounder, Bartesian

Ryan Close is the Co-Founder of Bartesian, the cocktail machine that uses capsule tech to make premium cocktails on demand.  Ryan - a serial entrepreneur + father of three/professional diaper changer - bartended (poorly) throughout his college years, and than spent a decade working to help turnaround struggling private companies via sales processes & partnerships.  Ryan resides in Waterloo, Canada and can be contacted on twitter: @ryannclose or email:

Aaron Cohen

Professor, New York University & Creative Director, Soundwall

Aaron Cohen is the Creative Director for Soundwall, professor of Internet history at New York University and long-time entrepreneur.   He has completed 13 transactions involving the buying, selling or capitalizing of early-stage Internet media companies. He has founded or co-founded 4 startups, and served as CEO for two companies as a non-founder. In the aggregate, Aaron's companies have generated nearly $100mm for shareholders.

Taylor Dawson

Product Evangelist, GE's FirstBuild

Taylor Dawson is Product Evangelist for GE Appliances' FirstBuild Microfactory, an innovation incubator that seeks to validate emerging technologies prior to investing in full-scale manufacturing. In the two years since FirstBuild was founded, Taylor and the FirstBuild team have launched over a dozen new products, including crowdfunding three Smart Kitchen products on Indiegogo. Twitter/Linkedin

Doug Evans

CEO, Juicero

Doug Evans, Co-Founder and CEO, Juicero. Long time entrepreneur and former CEO of Organic Avenue, Doug built the initial Juicero Press in his kitchen in 2013. He believes good health enables the best life ever, and sought out to find a way to empower people to achieve both. Linkedin

Jennifer Broutin Farah

CEO, SproutsIO

As founder and CEO of SproutsIO, Jennifer is committed to realizing a new future for local produce at a personal level. SproutsIO’s highly efficient growth system simplifies the process, allowing anyone to grow their own produce anywhere, anytime, and with a fraction of the resources used by standard practices. Drawing from Jennifer’s own childhood experience growing fruits and vegetables in the suburbs of Detroit, SproutsIO provides an intimate yet high-tech approach to growing, while representing a more thoughtful approach to nurturing and participating in the world surrounding each producer. Inspired by her grandfather’s experience in the automotive industry, SproutsIO is manufactured in Detroit by highly skilled former automakers for an expertly crafted machine. 

David Feller

CEO, Yummly

David is CEO of Yummly.  Yummly is building the smart and personal platform for taste. In a few short years Yummly has grown to over 15 million monthly unique web visitors and the #1 global recipe apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. The Yummly iPhone app was named Best of 2014 by Apple and selected to be a launch partner for Apple's HealthKit. Linkedin/Twitter


Sharon Franke

Director of the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab


Sharon tests every piece of cooking equipment that could possibly find its way into the American kitchen. Everything from a humble wooden spoon to pots and pans to coffeemakers, toasters, and mixers to ranges and refrigerators falls under her scrutiny. Her background: Before joining GHI, she was a chef in restaurants in the World Trade Center. Linkedin

Brian Frank

Startup Advisor and Investor, FTW Ventures

Brian Frank is a product advisor and investor in a number of Food Tech & connected kitchen startups. Some of the companies he works with include Teforia and Nomiku (speaking at the Smart Kitchen Summit), and he is a mentor at leading Bay Area accelerators such as Lemnos Labs and 500Startups.  Prior to moving into Food Tech, Brian has been a serial entrepreneur and senior product executive for successful startups including Posterous (acq. by Twitter) and Timeful (acq. by Google) as well as at large corporations such as Twitter, Adobe & Palm. Brian is acting as advisor for the Smart Kitchen Startup Cookoff. Linkedin/Twitter

Jane Freiman

Director, Consumer Test Kitchen, Campbell's Soup

Jane Freiman leads the Consumer Test Kitchen for Campbell's Soup. The Consumer Test Kitchens provides Campbell’s businesses day to day support that grounds the teams in the consumer’s kitchen realities when it comes to food preparation in home. We partner with Product Development as products are being developed to give insights on how the consumer would use the product. The team creates preparation directions that deliver satisfying products preparation in home. As well as develop content using our products that appear in-store, on our websites or partner sites and in cookbooks. The Team works closely with CCID to understand consumer kitchen trends including appliance trends that could either influence new product or recipes for our existing products. The Consumer Test Kitchen collaborates with the Culinary & Baking Institute to inspire and inform the teams on future opportunities and trends for the businesses. Linkedin

Michelle Baden Foss

Vice President, Merchandising and Product Development, Food Prep, Williams-Sonoma

Michelle Baden Foss is responsible for retail, ecommerce and catalog merchandising for the electrics, cookware, cooks' tools, cutlery, bakeware and outdoor departments.

Johnny Grey

Johnny Grey Studios

Johnny Grey is founder of Johnny Grey Studios. Johnny is a globally recognized designer and architect who has influenced home and kitchen design concepts for decades. Johnny has authored and contributed to several volumes on kitchen and home design: Kitchen Culture: Re-inventing Kitchen Design (2004/2005/2007); The Complete Home Design Book (1998); The Hard-Working House (1997); The Kitchen Work Book (1997); and The Art of Kitchen Design (1994). For the last several years, Johnny has been involved with neuroscience research at the University of Salford in Manchester, UK with Professor John Zeisel on the subject of well-being and architecture. In 2008, Johnny won the Simon Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in the kitchen industry. Linkedin/Twitter

Richard Gunther

Director of Client Experience, Universal Mind & Host, The Digital Media Zone

Richard is the Director of Client Experience for Universal Mind, a Denver-based digital consultancy. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and covers consumer technology for The Digital Media Zone. He also hosts Home: On, a podcast about DIY connected home technology. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.. Linkedin/Twitter

Ben Harris

CEO, Drop

Ben is CEO of Drop Kitchen. Ben is an industrial designer who has brought multiple products to mass production in Asia and local production in the UK and Ireland. After graduating from London's Brunel University he cut his cloth in industrial design with Leckey, a global leader in postural management products for those with special needs. He went on to set up Dublin based product design consultancy White Zebra Studios, (winner of two IDI awards). As quick as White Zebra Studios ramped up, he wound it back down again to focus on managing the designing and production of smart, connected products for Adaptics. Linkedin/Twitter

Janet Hayes

President, Williams-Sonoma

Janet Hayes is the President of the Williams-Sonoma brand. She is responsible for merchandising, product development, inventory management, creative services, visual merchandising, brand finance and operations.

Hayes joined Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) as a Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager in October 2007, where she led the Pottery Barn Retail division and provided critical business leadership for product, visual merchandising and inventory management. She was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President of pottery barn kids and PBteen in 2008, and in 2010 she ascended to the role of President, pottery barn kids and PBteen.

Michael Hughes

Director, Hardware, Technology & Design, Indiegogo

As Director - Hardware, Technology & Design Vertical at Indiegogo, Michael works closely with the most promising hardware/technology campaigners to help them run successful crowdfunding campaigns.  In addition, he manages relationships with various ecosystem partners such as accelerators, product design firms, and investors.  Prior to Indiegogo Michael was responsible for sourcing high quality deals for equity crowdfunding platform Onevest.  Before entering the crowdfunding world, Michael was the first employee at co-founder matching platform CoFoundersLab and managed the Boston market for TaskRabbit.  Michael received his BA in Anthropology from Connecticut College and his MBA from Boston University.  Michael is a Boston native but lives in San Francisco.

Vijay Karunamurthy

Nom Co-Founder and CEO

Vijay Karunamurthy started Nom with Steve Chen around their mutual love of cooking, community, and the potential of live video. VJ led the engineering team at YouTube responsible for viewing, uploading and engaging with videos. VJ also cofounded AVOS with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, and founded startups in the financial space. He holds degrees from Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

David Kender

Senior VP of Editorial,

David Kender oversees content at as the Senior Vice President of Editorial. He began as Managing Editor, then Editor in Chief, of's original ancestor,, helping to grow the company from a tiny staff to one of the most influential online review resources. He was named Vice President of Editorial Management in 2008, and began his current role in 2012. In 9 years at, David has helped to launch over 20 product categories and written hundreds of articles. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Villanova University and a Masters of Fine Arts from Emerson College. David is also a writer, publisher, and community organizer in independent comics. Twitter/Linkedin

Charlie Kindel

Director, Alexa Smart Home

As Director, Smart Home, Charlie Kindel leads product development for the Smart Home capabilities of Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon Echo and other devices. Prior to joining Amazon in 2013, Kindel founded several startups in the Seattle area. Kindel also served for 21 years at Microsoft, where he shipped Internet Explorer, Windows NT, Windows home networking, Windows Media Center, Windows Home Server, and Windows Phone 7. Kindel is a graduate of the University of Arizona, and holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering.

Carley Knobloch

Host, HGTV Smart Home

Carley Knobloch is a digital lifestyle expert, on a mission to help people improve their relationship with technology, one tap or swipe at a time. She’s a regular contributor to the Today Show and CNN, and the Technology consultant and host for HGTV’s annual Smart Home. Carley has been featured in Real Simple, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, and Allure magazines. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and myriad tablets. Twitter

Goran Kukic

VP Digital Services North America, Nestlé

Nestle is the largest food company in the world operating in close to 200 countries and employing 340’000 people. Goran leads Nestle’s global efforts around Digital Consumer Innovation from the technology perspective. His focus is on finding innovation partners, startups and established global technology partners alike, around novel digital technologies focusing principally on Digital Marketing and e-Commerce. His current focus is on IoT, voice and AR/VR technologies. Goran has been with Nestle for last 15 years in the area covering various IS/IT roles in Innovation domain.. Linkedin

Yoon Lee

Senior Vice President of Innovation, Samsung

Yoon Lee leads innovation for Samsung Electronics North America. Prior to his current role, Yoon Lee led product strategy for IoT and smart home for Samsung Electronics. 

Tiffany Lo

Video Producer, Buzzfeed/Tasty

Tiffany manages the teams that create content for Buzzfeed's Facebook distribution, including Tasty, the short-form video cooking instruction and discovery site. In January, Tasty broke the record for most video views every by a video publisher with 3 billion views. 


Colin Matthews

CEO, Bernooli

Colin points to his upbringing and "training" in Canada as core DNA and inspiration for inventing the Bernooli Craft Cocktail System. Beyond that, a diverse Silicon Valley tech career in both manufacturing and business development got Colin to a place of wanting to start his own thing. A new curiosity in "connected devices" collided with his love of a great cocktail and led to Bernooli. As CEO, Colin is leading all operating functions and building a world class team to provide consumers with everything they need to truly enjoy a cocktail experience like never before.

Jill Adams McDonough

President, Prevail Strategic Marketing and Communications

As founder and president of Prevail Strategic Marketing and Communications, Jill and her team provide business-building and business-protection solutions to companies ranging from national category leaders to start-ups in the food, retail, home design, office, wellness and beauty, and packaged goods industries. Prior to “birthing” Prevail, Jill was Edelman Worldwide General Manager of the Chicago Consumer Marketing Practice---responsible for developing the top-ranked U.S. food & nutrition agency, as well as Edelman’s Diversity Marketing Practice. She also launched the Marketing Public Relations client service practice of Leo Burnett U.S.A

Jenny McGrath

Home Editor, Digital Trends

Jenny McGrath is the home editor at Digital Trends, where she writes about and reviews appliances and smart-home devices, not to mention appliances that are smart-home devices.  In her free time, she likes to read and pretends to solve mysteries. Twitter

Bill Mitchell

CEO, Picobrew

Dr. Bill Mitchell is CEO of PicoBrew. Bill is a former Microsoft Corp Vice President is an experienced technology executive with several decades of innovation leadership under his belt. Bill founded and led many of Microsoft's early efforts in consumer electronics including Windows CE PDAs, smartphones, automotive and wearable computing, and helped pioneer Intel's early work in FLASH memory. Bill's a passionate father, home-brewer, pilot, dual-sport motorcyclist and sports photographer. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ASU. Linkedin

Nathan Myhrvold

Founder, The Cooking Lab & Author, Modernist Cuisine

Nathan Myhrvold is founder of The Cooking Lab, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine.  Myhrvold holds several degrees including a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics and master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics from Princeton University, a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA, and a culinary diploma from École de Cuisine La Varenne in France.  In 1999 he retired from his position as CTO at Microsoft and founded Intellectual Ventures where he is currently the CEO.  His latest project Modernist Bread: The Art and Science will be on-sale March 2017

Carmen Nestares

Category Leader, Kitchen, Amazon

Carmen Nestares has led Amazon's Kitchen and Wedding Registry Categories since May 2015. During her time at Amazon, Carmen has already relaunched the new Amazon Wedding Registry program, launched the all-new Amazon Kitchen Store experience and launched a new social media channel for Amazon Wedding. Prior to joining Amazon, Carmen was a Board Member of the US Consumer Healthcare Business Unit at Johnson & Johnson, where she spent the last 12 years. At Johnson & Johnson, Carmen drove strong business results and long-term innovation pipelines both in the US and globally, across multiple categories and iconic Brands such as BAND-AID® and NEUTROGENA®. She also led the first Johnson & Johnson CRM program, Healthy Essentials™, a platform to cohesively market all consumer products including Baby, Beauty, OTC, Personal Care and Nutritionals.

Alejandro Pena



Alejandro is guiding Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS) through what seems to be an inevitable transition from traditional household appliances to enhanced smart experiences. His vision for JCS embraces this shift in consumer expectations and puts them at the forefront of the company’s innovation process.  Linkedin


David Rabie

CEO, Tovala

David has been passionate about food since he went on a health retreat before starting college. As the CEO of Tovala, he’s been working to bring clean food, cooked fresh to homes across the country. In June of 2015, David graduated with his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. At Booth, David worked part-time for Foundation Capital, ran the Entrepreneurship club on campus and spent his summer interning at Google. Prior to Booth, David co-founded the mobile app Draftpedia - the first sports encyclopedia built exclusively for mobile. While it ultimately proved unsuccessful, it gave him a taste for technology and the startup ecosystem.His first taste for small business came before that, when he was responsible for running a bi-coastal chain of frozen yogurt stores. Before that, he spent two years working directly under the CEO of the Veggie Grill – the largest chain of vegan restaurants in the country. 


Phillip Raub

CMO, b8ta

Phillip is currently the co-founder, CMO & Head of Retail at b8ta,  In his role he oversees b8ta's marketing and consumer experience. Previous to b8ta, Phillip held executive roles in Marketing at Nest (Head of Global Channel Marketing), Nintendo (Director of Retail Marketing) and Gap Inc. 

Daniel Rausch


Daniel Rausch is the Director of Product Management for Dash Replenishment Service and the Dash Button programs. Dash Replenishment Service (DRS) enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low—like a coffee maker that orders more coffee beans. By using DRS, device makers are able to leverage Amazon's authentication and payment systems, customer service, and fulfillment network—giving their customers access to Amazon's low prices, great selection, and reliable delivery. Linkedin

Brita Rosenheim

Strategist and Advisor, Rosenheim Advisors

Brita Rosenheim is an experienced strategist and advisor within the food and lifestyle industries. She is recognized as an expert on the food tech ecosystem and is a frequent speaker on the topic. Her monthly Food Tech & Media Report is used by entrepreneurs, participants and investors in the space to understand the quickly evolving landscape.
Before founding Rosenheim Advisors, Brita was an investment banker focused on consumer and media at ThinkEquity Partners, SG Cowen & Co. and Robertson Stephens in San Francisco. Brita also managed PR and marketing campaigns at YC Media, a food-focused public relations and marketing firm specializing in specialty products, cookbooks, chefs, retail and media training in New York City.

Wilson Rothman

Personal Technology Editor, Wall Street Journal

Wilson is the Personal Technology Editor. In the past, he covered tech for Time, the New York Times and others, and was Features Editor at Gizmodo, the gadget blog. He came to the Journal from NBC News, where he was the Tech & Science Editor.

Charlotte Skidmore

Director of Energy & Environmental Policy, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

Charlotte Skidmore joined AHAM in 2011 and serves as AHAM’s Director, Energy and Environmental Policy.  Skidmore provides analysis and facilitates policy and strategy development on environmental and technology-related issues such as end-of-life management, sustainability, IoT, connected appliances, smart grid, and green chemistry.  
Prior to joining AHAM, Skidmore served as Associate Director of Environment and Regulation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, directly advising the council chairman on environmental issues such as climate change, renewable energy, and air toxics while collaborating with senior officials throughout the White House Office of Management and Budget, the National Economic Council and the Environmental Protection Agency. She was responsible for the formulation and execution of the EPA’s budget for air, chemical and international issues and OMB’s Report to Congress on Climate Change Expenditures.

Stephen Svajian

CEO, Anova

Steve is the Co-Founder and CEO of Anova. Since its founding in 2013, the company has become one of the most successful startup hardware brands in the Bay Area. Prior to Anova, Steve founded Get Fresh, a full-service marketing agency dedicated to helping early stage hardware brands get their first 10,000 to 100,000 customers. Several years ago, Steve discovered sous vide for the home cook and immediately took an interest in the technique, seeing its potential use cases as a connected device. Steve is passionate about bringing science and technology into the home kitchen to allow anyone the ability to achieve incredible cooking results. Linkedin/Twitter

Michael Tankenoff

Vice President, Retail, Anova Culinary

Michael Tankenoff is responsible for Anova's retail program. Since 2015, Anova has taken their products to market with Apple, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, among others. Prior to Anova, Michael was the Co-Founder and CMO at the Orange Chef Company.  

Philip Tessier

Culinary Director, Hestan Cue & Head Coach, Bocuse d'Or Team USA

Philip Tessier is the Culinary Director for Hestan Smart Cooking and the Head Coach for the Bocuse d'Or Team USA. As Head Coach for Team USA, he led the team to a silver medal, the first time anyone outside of Europe has placed higher than bronze. It was also the first time the United States has ever placed in the 30 year history of the competition.

Mark Valdez

Principal, Playground Global

Mark Valdez serves as Principal at Playground Global. In this role, Mark leads Playground’s venture effort where he is responsible for driving the firm’s investment activities. Prior to joining Playground, Mark was a co-founder of A Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early stage consumer and enterprise technology companies. Previously, Mark was Marc Andreessen’s chief of staff at Andreessen Horowitz and was a member of the investment team at Stanford Management Company, the university’s investment management arm.  He holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is a CFA Charterholder.

Darren Vengroff

Darren Vengroff

Chief Scientist, Hestan CUE

Darren is the leader of the R&D, Science, EE, and Embedded Software teams for Hestan CUE, a division of Meyer.  Darren Vengroff cofounded Meld, a smart kitchen startup, which was acquired by Hestan in 2015. 

Roland Verbeek

Roland Verbeek

Inventor and Cofounder, Spinn Coffee

Investor and experienced development manager, Intellectual Property management, Supply Chain management, Business Strategy, and New Product Placement. Since 1990 focused on coffee related single serve product innovations. Among others working with Nestlé, Starbucks, Chibo, Philips, Ahold, Lidl, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, GE.

Michael Wallace

CEO, Perfect Company

Michael Wallace is co-founder and CEO of Perfect Company, a company positioned to change the way people prepare food and drinks—using smart recipes. The company’s first two products, Perfect Drink for home bartending and Perfect Bake for home baking, have gained broad acceptance with major retailers. Michael’s life as an inventor began in 1980 when he placed second at the International Science & Engineering Fair and received his first patent.  Michael also invented and developed the Power Glove, a virtual reality accessory for Nintendo game systems and the subject of the upcoming documentary “The Power of Glove.” As the CTO and a founding member of Ensequence, the leader in interactive TV, Mike conceived and led the development of the Ensequence OnQ Studio. Mike also co-founded Pure Imagination LLC.  The company’s products, including the highly successful interactive musical toy line Paper Jamz and the Touch Magic learning toy line from LeapFrog, have generated more than $500 million at retail.  Michael studied computer science at Stanford University. Linkedin

Esmée Williams

Vice President, Consumer and Brand Strategy, Allrecipes

Esmée, a leading digital food trends and technology expert, is a member of the core team that facilitated Allrecipes’ growth from early start-up to the world’s largest digital food brand with a global audience of 80 million cooks across digital, apps, print and broadcast media. With two decades of experience in marketing strategy, brand building, communications, and product innovation, Esmee spearheaded the creation of many of Allrecipes’ most successful partner integrations and customized marketing programs.
Prior to Allrecipes, Esmée spent time at Vivendi Entertainment managing home productivity brand marketing; at McCann-Erickson developing communications strategies for the Washington State Lottery, and at Nestlé USA developing communications to support new product launches. She has earned both gold and silver EFFIE Awards for her work.

Michael Wolf

Creator and Curator, Smart Kitchen Summit

Michael Wolf is the creator of the Smart Kitchen Summit, host of the Smart Kitchen Show podcast and founder of NextMarket Insights a research and advisory firm focused on the connected home. He decided to put this conference together because he is fascinated by how technology will change the way we cook, eat and live. Mike has been advising companies large and small in the connected home, consumer technology and Internet of Things market verticals for over 15 years, and today he helps clients have used his advisory services to assist with product development, go-to-market strategy, marketing and advertising, and mergers and acquisition. Linkedin/Twitter

Tom Worley


Tom is Co-Founder and CEO of DADO Labs in Portland, Oregon, where he develops products that improve how people bring great meals, flavorful coffee and family dinners to life. Part of his role includes developing partnerships with household name brands like Char-Broil and Behmor to create dynamic and personal product experiences for their customers. With a passion for amazing food, cooking and technology, making smart products for the kitchen is a dream job.
Before DADO Labs, Tom spent several years as Director of R&D for a consumer electronics startup, Digital Blue, and 12 years at Intel, where he led the development of platforms, systems and products. He enjoys discussing how technology enables the evolving and deepening relationships between consumers and the brands they love.

Chris Young

CEO, ChefSteps, Coauthor, Modernist Cuisine

Chris Young is the CEO and co-founder of ChefSteps, a James Beard award-winning company behind and its companion app, which inspire and teach home cooks new techniques and recipes with high-quality interactive content, techniques, tools, and resources. Prior to ChefSteps, Young was the principal co-author of the acclaimed and worldwide bestselling six-volume work Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. He was also the founding chef of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen, the secret culinary laboratory behind the innovative dishes served at one of the best restaurants in the world.

Kevin Yu

CEO, SideChef

Kevin is a serial tech entrepreneur who relentlessly builds the experiences of the future. He is a unique breed of visionary, a two time TEDx speaker, cultivated by more than 8 years at the world’s leading gaming companies, with his mainstay at Blizzard Entertainment. From political reform to cooking to ecommerce to management, a deep understanding of gamification and original ideation enables Kevin to create highly engaging, systemically transformational, and extremely viral ventures.  Kevin is currently in Shanghai spear-heading product development and international expansion of SideChef, a game-changing cooking app, named 'Best Apps of 2014' by USA TODAY, that reinvents the entire cooking experience. SideChef features a premiere mobile first community platform, combining interactive step-by-step design and user-generated content to bring cooking into the 21st century. Linkedin/Twitter

Kevin Zhang

Principal, Upfront Ventures

Kevin joined Upfront Ventures as an Associate in 2012. Most recently, Kevin was an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised on strategy and operations for technology, healthcare and industrial goods clients in the US and Asia and conducted due diligence for private equity investors. Previously, Kevin worked at Verisk Health, a healthcare IT startup in Boston, focusing on project management, product development, and consulting for strategic accounts.