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.


Victoria Spadaro Grant


CTO, Barilla Group

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.


Lisa McManus

Executive Editor, Testing & Tasting

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

Maura Judkis

Food and Culture Reporter, Washington Post

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper and the Onion A.V. Club.

Dražen Drnas

CEO, Gammachef

GammaChef is robotic chef that is capable of preparing any one pot meal. Drnas is coFounder of GammaChef-cooking robot, GoHome real estate search engine and Crno jaje - No.1 daily deal site in Croatia


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.


Basheer Tome

Hardware LEad, Google VR

Basheer is a hardware interface designer with a firm belief that products should feel beautifully designed even after the first button press. He designs new controllers for immersive computing and served as the industrial & interaction design lead on the Daydream Controller, shepherding it from sketch, to breadboard, to CAD, to launch. Through a unique blend of filmmaking tools, electronics prototyping, and form finding techniques, he creates new hardware interfaces that transform purely digital processes into analog methods of interaction


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

Shireen Yates


Shireen Yates is co-founder and chief executive officer of Nima. She has been leading a gluten-free diet for the past eight years due to multiple food allergies. After pursuing an MBA from MIT Sloan, she decided to pursue her passion for helping people lead healthier lifestyles by starting Nima. Founded in 2013, Nima is empowering people to be their healthiest selves by providing information about what's in their food. Its first product is a connected food sensor that tests food for gluten in a few minutes. 

Dr. Matthew Lange


Dr. Matthew Lange is a Food Scientist and Informatician at UC Davis with over 20 years experience building data, information, and knowledge systems for academia, industry, and government operations. As the Principle Investigator for International Center for Food Ontology Operability Data and Semantics (IC-FOODS) at UC Davis, Dr. Lange leads efforts to build the semantic and distributed ledger infrastructure for the Internet of Food. The Semantic Web of Food (SWoF) and Internet of Food (IoF) hold promise to fundamentally alter the way we produce, process, deliver and consume food: giving rise to ecosystems of next-generation knowledge tools that lower technical innovation barriers for creation of novel, traceable, ecologically-friendly foods, products, medicines, and lifestyle regimens: precisely personalized for health and delight, and aggregatable for population and market analyses. The IoF holds potential to provide infrastructure enabling companies to compete to deliver healthier, more sustainable, and more trustworthy foods.

Hans Stier

CEO, Bonaverde

Bonaverde is a Berlin-based company known for developing a roast-grind-brew coffeemaker. Founded by Hans Stier in 2013, the company created The Bonaverde Berlin, the world’s first roast-grind-brew coffee maker that will take you from green coffee beans to coffee in 20 minutes or less, producing the freshest cup of coffee possible-- from crop to cup.

Jay Holzer

Global Head of Development & Production, Tastemade

Jay currently oversees production and development for original and branded shows on Tastemade's global network.  He has over 10 years of experience running production and content teams of every possible size and type from high-volume/low-cost production workflows, million dollar branded content campaigns, award-winning editorial projects, and everything in between. 

Global Director, Conceptual Design, Firmenich

Mikel Cirkus has spent his 30 year career in creative thinking. As a designer, photographer, illustrator and writer, he has a unique perspective on the rapidly changing world of trends, content creation, and execution. He is currently the Global Director of Conceptual Design for the Flavors Division of Firmenich, the largest privately owned company in the fragrance and flavor industry - where creativity is both an essence and a guiding principle. He has worked personally with many of the most innovative people in marketing, R&D, technical applications and brand management, for hundreds of products in nearly every category of consumer package goods, worldwide.   



Tyler Florence

Food Network, Wolf It Down Podcast

After over 20 years as a Food Network star, Tyler has captivated millions of viewers on numerous hit shows, including “Tyler’s Ultimate,” “The Great Food Truck Race,” and “Food 911,” among many others.  But his reach and influence goes well beyond his cooking shows, as he has built a multi-million dollar business with restaurants (Wayfare Tavern, Tyler Florence Fresh), cookware lines, a wine label, and an olive oil blend.
His entrepreneurial spirit has led him to launch such businesses as gourmet baby food line Sprout, cooking app Yumavore (available on iTunes), a new concept in cookbook publishing and, most recently, a podcast detailing his culinary adventures and other issues/stories in the food world. He also works closely with smart kitchen companies like Innit to develop user-friendly and innovative content. 

Tyler’s insatiable quest for what’s current and interesting in the foodspace has always kept him on the forefront of new trends, gaining him a large social media following and making him an influencer, a role he has always comfortably inhabited.  His compelling video content, which he creates himself, has landed him marketing partnerships with brands including eHarmony, Rocky and Rosie Chicken, See’s Candies, ChefSteps, and Traeger Grill.

In his current role as podcast host, Tyler capitalizes on his relationships with, and access to, the Country’s most influential and talented chefs, makers and writers, using his naturally engaging voice to share their stories with his ever-growing listener base.

Klaus Werner

Executive Director, RF Energy Alliance

Dr. Klaus Werner is the owner of kw tec b.v., a company active in the fields of metrology, automation and consultancy. Currently, he focuses on RF Energy market development as the RF Energy Alliance executive director. Dr. Werner was previously with NXP Semiconductors as the solid state RF Energy markets business development manager. He studied physics at the RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and holds a Ph.D. in Semiconductor Device Technology from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Dr. Werner started his professional career as a process engineer at Philips Semiconductors. Prior to his assignment in the RF power device business, he worked in several engineering and operational management functions.

Chetan Narain

Senior Product Manager, UberEATS

Chetan (Che) Narain is a Senior Product Manager on UberEATS. He started his career as a software engineer at Google, then moved into product management, and left for Uber in 2014 to help start UberEATS. Che graduated with a degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University, which is all about how to do cool things with numbers. And that's the kind of thing he likes to do, so he is using his passion to build products and tech to improve the experience for all restaurants on UberEATS.

Kyle Nel

Executive Director of Lowe's Innovation Labs

Kyle Nel is the founder and executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs, the disruptive innovation hub of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. He leads a team responsible for driving the company’s disruptive innovation vision, strategy and growth. Nel’s longstanding passion for changing human behavior led him to create a methodology, network and global team that is helping propel the company in new directions while promoting learning, excitement and possibility for tomorrow.

Under Nel’s leadership, Lowe’s Innovation Labs has introduced projects such as the Lowe’s Holoroom augmented and virtual reality design experience, the OSHbot and LoweBot autonomous retail service robots, and 3D scanning and printing services at retail. He has cultivated a network of uncommon partnerships, including the collaboration with Made in Space to send the first commercial 3D printer to the International Space Station, and launched a disruptive technology startup accelerator and incubator for Lowe’s in Bangalore, India.

Nel is a member of the XPRIZE Foundation Innovation Board and was recognized on the 2015 Advertising Age “40 under 40” list. He previously held positions in market research with Lowe’s and the Walmart Global Insights Group. He holds an MBA from the AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Mike 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

Chris McGugan

GM of Innovation, Sears & Kenmore

Chris McGugan is the General Manager for Innovation & Kenmore for Sears Holdings.  In this capacity he manages the Kenmore brand and drives innovation across the three core brands for Sears – Kenmore, Craftsman, and Diehard.  Prior to joining the Sears Holdings team, Mr. McGugan was the General Manager for Avaya’s Emerging Products and Technology organization responsible for their forward looking technology roadmap and directed their research and development organization.  

Previously, he was Vice President for Belkin, managing their products and engineering organizations.  Mr. McGugan has held leadership positions at Motorola, Symbol Technologies, and Cisco Systems and is an alumnus of North Carolina State University.  Also, he is an advisor and board member for a number of technology companies around the world.

Jinsoo An

Project Nourished

Jinsoo An is a designer, researcher and technologist from Seoul.

He designs how people interact by deconstructing human behavior, thought process, culture and technology.

He has worked with over 40 top companies across 20 industries and has been profiled in The Huffington Post, NPR, VICE, Wired, among others. Outside of his work, he has collaborated with UCLA Suprastudio, Interaction Design Association and AgroParisTech to help foster virtual reality, wearables, food tech and other novel, multi-sensory experiences.

Rebecca Chesney

Institute for the Future

Rebecca Chesney is a Research Director with the Food Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit strategic foresight group based in Palo Alto. With a background in business, international development, and anthropology, she maps the forces of change that will impact the global food system and works with current and emerging industry leaders to explore possibilities for a more resilient and equitable future. She is a frequent public speaker to audiences around the world and has been featured in Wired UK, IBM's thinkLeaders series, and The Financial Times. Rebecca holds a BBA in Accounting and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University and an MA in the Anthropology of Food from SOAS, University of London.

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

Mitchell Klein

Mitchell Klein

Executive Director, Z-Wave Alliance

Mitchell Klein joined the Z-Wave Alliance in September 2015 with over 30 years of experience as a results-driven leader in the CE and smart home industries. As the director of business development for Universal Remote Control for eight years, Klein was a key member of the senior team that grew URC from a remote control company to a smart home integration system supplier to the CEDIA channel. He transformed the company into a dealer-focused system supplier by developing multi-level strategies for new products and dealer training. Mitchell is a CEDIA Fellow and committee chair and has been a feature columnist for Technology Integrator, Systems Contractor News, and Residential Systems; a blogger on, a guest on AV Nation video podcasts and a speaker at CEDIA, Infocomm, NSCA and CEA.

Merril Gilbert

Merril Gilbert Co

“You think it, we can make it”

As a food and beverage industry expert, Merril leverages her 25 years of experience across the entire value chain to help food and beverage companies develop and launch innovative new products and grow categories. Merril’s clients are both start-up and established businesses in the restaurant, hotel, retail, and specialty F and B manufacturing industries. Merril is a connector. From concept to implementation, she brings together all the pieces required to get a product on the shelf, a restaurant up and running, or business plan in front of investors.

Allen Weiner

The Spoon

Allen Weiner is an Austin-based freelance writer focusing on applications of new technology in the areas of food, media and education. In his 17-year career as a vice president and analyst with Gartner, Inc., the world’s largest IT research and advisory firm, Allen was a frequent speaker at company and industry events as well as one of the most-quoted analysts in the area of new media. With an extensive background in publishing and publishing technology, Allen is noted as the founder of The Gate (, the nation’s first daily newspaper on the web. Born in Philadelphia, Allen is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Temple University.


Stacey Higginbotham

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.

Moe Lastfogel

Moe Lastfogel

Publisher, Retail Observer

Moe Lastfogel joined The Retail Observer magazine in June of 2007 with over 26 years of experience to date in both the commercial and residential appliance markets. As the Director of Sales and Marketing for the magazine for the past 10 years, Moe and his team have taken the magazine to the forefront of the residential appliance and design markets. As a results-driven leader in sales, marketing and product knowledge, he has helped to transition the company from a regional news rag to one of the largest publications in the international market space for Independent Retailers and Specifiers in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics, Home Furnishings and Kitchen & Bath products. Moe is a Board Member for the ADL National Consumer Technology Industry Dinner and works with various trade shows, trade associations and buying groups to further the education that The Retail Observer offers its readers.

Amanda Gold

Gold Culinary

Amanda Gold is the principal at Gold Culinary, a culinary consulting business focusing on content production, recipe development and media strategy. A 12-year veteran food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, Amanda spent the last few years reporting on the emerging food-tech scene in the Bay Area, and consults with both large corporations and smaller startups, crafting innovative content and test-driving both CPGs and smart-kitchen devices. Among her other projects, she is currently producing "Wolf It Down," a podcast featuring celebrity chef Tyler Florence. 

Gabe Blanchet

Gabe Blanchet


Gabe Blanchet is Co-founder & CEO of Grove, where he's on a mission to get people growing and gardening. With experience building electric cars to designing lunar rovers to joining GrabCAD as an early employee, Gabe loves to
pursue big ideas by recruiting talented people to work together. 

Gabe Blanchet co-founded Grove, Inc. in 2013 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer leading the company on it's mission to get more people growing and gardening. Mr. Blanchet was named to both the Forbes 30 under 30 and the Kairos Society 50 Emerging Global Entrepreneurs to Watch. Previously, he led business development and customer learning at Boston startup GrabCAD, which was acquired for $100M. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT.

Michael Natkin


Michael helped bring dinosaurs and Terminators to the big screen at Industrial Light and Magic, and he spent 13 years as a senior software engineer working on Adobe After Effects. His cookbook, Herbivoracious, was a finalist for a 2013 James Beard Foundation award. Michael was the first software engineer at ChefSteps, where he helps the team find amazing new colleagues, execute on current projects, and explore the future of software in the kitchen.

Tristan Rousselle


Aryballe Technologies

Tristan is the CEO of Aryballe Technologies.

Tristan earned his Cellular and Molecular Biology PdD at University Grenoble Alpes in 1999. He then co-founded PX Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, where he held the CEO position until its acquisition by Laboratoire Aguettant in 2012. In 2014 together with a group of entrepreneurs and Technologists he co-founded Aryballe Technology, a start-up specialized the development and commercialisation of Artificial Noses for Industrial and consumer applications

Dror Sharon

CEO, Consumer PHysics

Dror has extensive experience in business leadership positions in VC-backed hardware and optics start-ups and as an early stage technology investor. Prior to Consumer Physics, Dror was VP Business Development at ColorChip,  Director of Sales & Marketing at the OmniGuide and an associate at Gemini Israel Funds, Israel’s leading seed and early stage Venture Capital firm. Dror holds an MBA from The MIT Sloan School and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion Institute

Dan Viza

Marketing Director, RF Heating

Dan Viza is the Marketing Director for NXP Semiconductor’s RF Heating business. NXP is
delivering semiconductor based cooking solutions that enable OEM’s to create entirely new
appliances that deliver chef quality results with convenience, through real time, closed loop,
programmable cooking making use of solid state RF energy and connected services. Dan has
previously held Corporate Development and General Management positions while at Freescale
and NXP, and led successful commercial launches of hardware and software products in
robotics, automated test systems, motion sensors, and automotive radar. Dan earned an
engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and his MBA from the University of
Edinburgh in the UK.

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. 

Steve Abrahams

Microsoft, Product Lead for Skype Consumer Apps and Experiences

15+ years director-level product development experience at internet startups and public companies, driving product roadmap, designing, building and managing mobile applications, large scale software and internet-based products and services. Deeply passionate about creating customer-centric experiences that maximize a business potential and improve people's lives. I strive to work with a team of smart, energetic and hungry professionals that share my values and love for great user experiences.

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


Michael Wolfe

president & Ceo, Aerogrow

Mike is the President & CEO of AeroGrow International.  AeroGrow is the manufacturer and distributor of the world's leading indoor hydroponic gardening systems - the AeroGarden line of Smart Countertop Gardens.  Mike assumed this position in April of 2011 and leads a 40-person team at AeroGrow's headquarters in Boulder, CO. Mike has extensive experience in consumer product sales, direct-to-consumer selling and database management. Mike has two adult children and lives with his wife in Niwot, Colorado. LinkedIn

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



Keith Barry

editor-in-chief, home & Auto,

Keith Barry has been writing about technology for a decade. For the past six years, he’s led home appliance coverage for, a division of USA Today. As Editor in Chief for home, outdoor, and automotive content, he works with Reviewed’s test labs in Cambridge, MA to evaluate the latest consumer products—from the newest smart ovens to the most basic side-by-side refrigerator. In addition to his work at Reviewed, Keith has also written for Wired, CityLab, Car & Driver, and AtlasObscura. Linkedin


Beth Moncel - Budget Bytes.jpg

Beth Moncel

Creator, budget bytes

For the past eight years, Beth has been sharing budget conscious recipes and teaching basic kitchen skills through her blog, She loves helping people find joy in the everyday task of cooking, and discover the independence that comes with learning how to prepare meals at home. With a bachelors degree in Nutritional Science, Beth focuses on using simple ingredients to create inexpensive, satisfying, and well balanced meals that are approachable to the everyday person. Twitter

Claire King

Claire King

Head of Culinary, Buzzfeed Tasty

Claire King is the Head of Culinary for BuzzFeed's food brand Tasty. She oversees Tasty's content direction and partnerships in the food community, and consults on recipe development. Before BuzzFeed, Claire obtained a Diploma in Food and Wine from Leiths School of Food and Wine in London, and worked at The River Cafe as a junior chef. Originally from Chicago, Illinois and after a stint in LA, Claire currently lives in New York.

Steve Fredette - Toast.jpg


Steve Fredette

President & Co-Founder, Toast

Steve Fredette is President and co-founder of Toast, where he leads product and innovation initiatives. Prior to Toast, he worked on mobile app development before the iPhone came out, creating the first Flickr and apps. At Endeca, now Oracle, he co-founded their mobile commerce business, building the product team and driving sales, marketing, and services to over $10 million in revenue in two years. He also ran the Special Operations team at Endeca, creating new prototypes for various customer and business needs, including Endeca’s business intelligence platform. Steve holds a BS degree from MIT. 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


Rupali Steinmeyer

Managing Director, Metadesign

Rupali Steinmeyer is Managing Director at MetaDesign San Francisco, a global brand consultancy with offices in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Zurich, Geneva and Beijing. For industry leaders and start-ups alike, MetaDesign uses the power of creativity to transform business for the better.

Rupali has consulted clients on strategic brand-building, design and communications trends, inter-cultural relations, and storytelling. They include Fisher&Paykel, Bosch Schueller, AT&T, American Airlines, Citibank, Haier, Midea, Munich RE, OPPO, Siemens, and Zhejiang Daily Press Group. Her experience in the mobility vertical for Audi, Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Group China, HMC, Beiqi Motors, TVS Motor Company and Continental Truck Tires, together with the time she spent at Bombardier have equipped her with a broad expertise in mobility-related communications. Amongst the most visible brands she has worked for are those in retail (kitchen appliances, car dealerships, consumer electronics). Many of the brand engagements that she worked on have been recognized with awards such as reddot design, iF communication design, German Design Award, and Rebrand 100. 

Rupali regularly speaks at conferences. The stories she shared at the TEDx Talk in Beijing, and the Creative Morning in Berlin are amongst her favorites. Rupali also engages students on a variety of business and communications topics (Pune University, Tsinghua University, Communications University of China, University of Maine, Syracuse University). 

Andrew Headshot.jpg

Andrew Deitz


Andrew Deitz discovered the joy of the kitchen at the age of 7 cooking bacon and eggs for breakfast for his parents.  His parents savored the luxury of sleeping late but the temptation of breakfast was too great for Andrew.  He ate the half dozen eggs and 6 pieces of bacon before his parents got to the kitchen table.  

Andrew sees food at the center of community, health, and environment.   He is driven by curiosity to find new solutions – and inspiring others to have the courage to adopt them.  During Andrew’s career he has helped build 3 successful startups. He has gained a web of experience as an entrepreneur transforming academic research into commercial software products, growing an executive search practice, and as a researcher in Oak Ridge National Labs.

Andrew Deitz is a board member for which provides a trusted certification making it easier to find REAL food made with simple, whole ingredients and CEO of, a smart appliance and platform for growing food onsite.


Erik Wallin

Cofounder, Northfork

Erik is a retail food professional with +10 years of experience in sales, marketing and operations of the retail food sector from international food producers such as Danone, Barilla and Arla Foods. As an entrepreneur Erik has founded peer-o-peer transportation platform BagHitch with he exited in 2016. 

As the Director of Sales and Marketing based in Stockholm Sweden, Erik is developing existing customers and potential partnerships along with entry into new markets. Also closely working with the product team for excellent user experiences, developing new insights, helping consumers purchase food online with a higher degree of satisfaction and inspiration whilst saving time and money.

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


Josh Shabtai

Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ Director of Lab Productions and Operations

Josh Shabtai is Lowe’s Innovation Labs’ Director of Lab Productions and Operations. Drawing on his past lives as videogame designer, start-up founder and advertising creative director, Josh leads a global team whose mission is to make the future real today: developing, testing and ultimately scaling LIL’s narrative-driven productions across the Lowe’s network. Through real-world applications, his team explores the outer edge of various technologies and use cases, including virtual reality-based education, retail computer vision; in-store robotics programs; real-time manufacturing; and mixed reality design.
Josh has always been obsessed with fusing the digital and physical worlds in novel ways. Prior to joining Lowe’s Innovation Labs, he co-founded an augmented reality videogame studio, lm/nl, where he directed the best-selling AR title Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner for iOS; co-created the $100m+ selling toys-to-life platform Telepods; and transformed Band-Aid brand bandages into augmented reality Muppet shows with Band-Aid Magic Vision. He has previously served as creative director at IPG’s Media Lab and ad agency, JWT, and holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Boston University.

Cristian Ionescu-Catrina (original).jpg

Cristian Ionescu

Senior Manager, Smart Home, Renesas

Cristian Ionescu-Catrina is a senior product manager at Renesas leading the Home Appliance Segment. Cristian has more than five years of experience in the home appliance industry with a sound understanding of market, industry trends, and technologies. Cristian holds a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications from Military Technical Academy, Bucharest, Romania.


David Zito

Co-founder and CEO, Miso Robotics

David Zito is the co-founder and CEO of Miso Robotics, Inc. He is a 20-year technology startup veteran and passionate entrepreneur who is driven to develop innovative products that improve the daily lives of individuals. Prior to Miso Robotics, Zito served as senior vice president of product and marketing at online homework resource Cramster, which was acquired by Chegg. Before that, he served as CTO and Head of Product at TrueX Media. Zito also brings expertise from Yahoo, Idealab, and PayMyBills, which is now a service of Quicken. Zito is also credited as one of the inventors of the flameless candle, which is now more than a $1 Billion category. He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Caltech and lives in Pasadena, CA.

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 10.50.14 AM.png

Joshua Sigel

COO, Innit

Josh Sigel is an internationally-recognized thought leader and innovator in the food technology, retail food, and consumer products distribution industries. With over 15 years of senior level technology and operations leadership experience, Josh has worked with some of the nation’s largest retailers and distributors leading transformational technology initiatives. Josh is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Innit, where he leads the company developing the world’s first platform for the connected kitchen within the rapidly growing IoF (Internet of Food) industry.  A leading authority on food omni-commerce, he is passionate about the future of the connected kitchen and believes continued innovation in this space will help people eat and live better. Sigel also serves as an advisor and investor in a number of food technology start-ups. Prior to joining NMFG, Josh was the National Vice President of Digital Media at United Natural Foods [NASDAQ: UNFI], the largest organic and natural food distributor in North America


Wilson Rothman


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.

Brita Rosenheim

Partner, Better Food Ventures and The Mixing Bowl

Brita Rosenheim brings 15 years of investment, M&A, and strategy experience within the food and food tech verticals. She is recognized as an expert on the food tech ecosystem and works with start-ups, entrepreneurs, and institutions. Her analysis on the Food Tech & Media sector is regularly used by participants in the space to understand the quickly evolving landscape.
Before founding her advisory firm Rosenheim Advisors, Brita was an investment banker focused on the consumer and media industries at ThinkEquity Partners, SG Cowen & Co. and Robertson Stephens in San Francisco.

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.

Mike Lee.png

Mike Lee

Founder, Futuremarket

Mike Lee is the founder of Studio Industries, a food product design & innovation studio, and the Future Market, a futurist food lab that explores what our food system could look like in the year 2065 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 10 years. Prior to Studio Industries & 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 product platform (Chobani Meze) 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 PSFK, SXSW, Seeds & Chips, EXPO 2015 Milano, Fancy Food Show, 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.

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.

Emma Persky.png

Emma Persky

TEam Lead, Google Assistant Recipe & Cooking Experience 

Emma currently leads the Google Assistant recipe and cooking experience team. Prior to recipes, she focused on natural language processing and answers. Before joining Google, Emma was a software engineer for companies including Hashable, Ebay, and Trampoline Systems. Emma holds a Bachelors in Engineering in Computing from Imperial College London

Talia H.jpg

Talia Halperin

General Manager of Commerce, Buzzfeed's Tasty

Talia Halperin is the General Manager of Commerce for BuzzFeed's Tasty, overseeing all commerce related programs and initiatives for the brand. Previously, Talia developed and oversaw pediatric mental health clinics in underserved areas, paving a clear path towards a career managing commerce and content. Talia is based in New York.

Kevin Yu.png

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

Jonathan Cobb - Ayla.png

Jonathan Cobb

COO, Ayla Networks

Jonathan comes to Ayla from the Bay-Area office of ARRIS, a UK company where he was senior vice president of consumer solutions. Previously, Cobb was president, software and services, at Pace, a public UK consumer-electronics company that ARRIS acquired in 2016.

After graduating from Cambridge University with a master’s degree in computer science, Cobb began his career at IBM, then moved into executive consulting, operations and professional services roles at several companies, including Motive, ON Networks, and 2Wire. He lives in Los Gatos.

Joe Britt.png

Joe Britt

CEO, Afero

Joe F. Britt, Jr. founded Afero, Inc. in 2014 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Joe Britt co-founded Danger, Inc. in 2000 and served as its Chief Technology Officer since December 1999. He was responsible for the intellectual property and software aspects of Danger's technology. Joe Britt has more than 14 years of experience building consumer products. Prior to founding Afero, he spent several years at Google working on Android hardware. He served as Senior Vice President of Software of Danger, Inc. since December 1999. He spent over four years at WebTV Networks, which was acquired by Microsoft in 1995. As the first non-founding employee, he was responsible for the architecture and creation of the system software used in the WebTV set-top boxes. From July 1995 to December 1999, he served as a Senior Software Engineer at WebTV Networks. Prior to joining WebTV, he served as a Senior Software Engineer at Catapult Entertainment, from June 1994 to July 1995. Prior to Catapult, he served as a Software Engineer at the 3DO Company from October 1993 to June 1994. Joe Britt was involved in the design of every hardware product shipped by WebTV and has been awarded 13 patents as a result of his work. . He graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, and holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Hans Kablau - WPC.jpg

Hans Kablau

Chairman, Wireless POwer Consortium Kitchen Working Group

Hans Kablau is the chairman of the Wireless Power Consortium's Kitchen Working group. He is also a director of standardization at Philips.  

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.


Eric Norman - Cinder.jpg

Eric Norman

CEO, Cinder

Eric Norman is the CEO of Cinder.

Norman learned Japanese as an adult and worked in product development at the worldwide headquarters of the gold standard of manufacturing company (Toyota).

In 2012 founded Cinder. 


Ashley Daigneault

Contributor, The Spoon | Account Director, Caster Communications

Ashley currently leads all marketing, PR and coordination efforts for the Smart Kitchen Summit and has worked with Mike on this labor of love since its inception. She contributes to The Spoon and has worked in communications (mostly in tech) for over a decade. She is currently on the senior team at Caster Communications, a PR firm on the east coast serving clients in smart home, consumer tech, food, travel and B2B industries. She is either working, reading or playing with her four-year-old son. Ashley holds an MBA from Marylhurst University in Portland. Twitter

Patrick Bonnett - National Innovation Centre for Ageing.jpg

Dr. Patrick Bonnett

Deputy Director of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University

Patrick is Deputy Director of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University. He has worked widely across the applied research and innovation arenas for the past 32 years in organisations ranging from small technology start-ups to internationally recognised translational research laboratories.

His experience encompasses planning and opening new businesses and government agencies, overseeing the design, establishment and management of innovation centres and Science Parks and delivering economic growth via innovation.

Over recent years he has developed a particular interest in deep collaboration co-location models where innovation and research assets sit alongside 'users' of such expertise to drive open innovation, commercialisation and economic growth.

Patrick is a member of the Satellite Applications Catapult Advisory Board and served as a Board member of the UK Science Park Association for five years.

Khalid Aboujassoum .jpg

Khalid Aboujassoum

Founder & CEO at Else Labs

Khalid was a member of Qatar’s national team for swimming. He grew up in a household where a microwave never made it as an appliance in their kitchen.

Khalid travelled abroad to pursue a computer engineering degree in Canada. Struggling with time between being at school, studying being a home husband and a father to his only daughter at the time, him and his wife never had the time or the know how to cook. He always wished for a “thing” that can take care of healthy, rich and delicious food with a push of a button, without him or his wife being involved. Thats when the idea for an automatic device that cooks started lingering.

After he graduated, he started Else to reinvent cooking at home by building Oliver, the smart and automatic cooking appliance that cooks pre-programmed recipes made by chefs. Khalid holds a B.A.Sc in Computer Engineering with Engineering Management & Entrepreneurship from the University of Ottawa.

brian witlin.png

Brian Witlin

CEo, Yummly

Brian Witlin is a serial entrepreneur and design leader who has co-founded and led four companies to successful acquisitions. Brian is the current CEO of Yummly (recently acquired by Whirlpool Corporation).

Prior to his tenure at Yummly, Brian served as the CEO and Founder of ShopWell, the first truly personalized nutrition resource on the iPhone and the web (acquired by Innit).

Brian lectures at Stanford University's Hasso Platner Institute of Design, serves as a startup advisor to a number of companies including Directly, Zeel, DiamondMMA, Upside, and IDEO's Entrepreneurship Initiative. He has also formerly held EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) positions at IDEO and StartX. He writes on the subject of entrepreneurship and startups on his blog DesignDoing and guest writes on occasion on VentureBeat.

Previously, Brian co-founded Golaces, LLC, a product company (acquired by a publicly traded footwear company) and LeverWorks, a software development consultancy (acquired by LEO Media - now Quasar Strategies).

Brian holds an M.S. in Engineering and Design from Stanford University and a B.S. in Business and Economics from Lehigh University. He is a classically trained artist/draftsman, an aspiring mixed martial artist, and has a love for his hometown Chicago-style hot dogs and deep-dish pizza.

Cto, wellio

Erik has spent his career attempting to make a positive impact on the world through mathematics. He is currently a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of wellio - an early stage startup applying Artificial Intelligence to the intersection of food and human health. His contributions include defining the technology vision and developing a nascent specialist AI that learns about food, cooking and nutrition from large volumes of unstructured web data augmented combined with input from human subject matter experts.