One of the best things about events like FoodBytes! is the opportunity to have innovative companies and individuals in the same room to hear their thoughts on the state of the food and agribusiness industry. At FoodBytes! San Francisco, guests will have the chance to hear “The Emerging Startup Ecosystem,” a conversation between Rajiv Singh, CEO of Rabobank North America, and Duncan Logan, founder and CEO of RocketSpace.

Duncan’s brainchild, RocketSpace, is a technology campus headquartered in the heart of San Francisco. It provides office space and accelerator-like services to a curated community of startups and global corporations designed to help them bring the future to market. RocketSpace’s ecosystem has fueled the success of more than 750 startups, including Uber, Spotify and Leap Motion, and more than 100 corporate partners, such as Tata Communications, Lufthansa, Schneider Electric and Pfizer. At the age of 24, Duncan started his first company, CITYPRO, which he grew to $8 million in revenue over a three year period, before its sale in 2000. In 2002, he joined MessageLabs, an early SaaS security company, which he helped build until it was sold to Symantec in 2008 for $700 million.

As CEO of Rabobank North America Wholesale, a premier bank to the global food and agribusiness industry, Rajiv Singh heads the bank’s client activities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, which include corporate banking, mergers and acquisitions, specialized structured and bespoke products, food and agribusiness research and capital markets activities, as well as all operational and support functions. Rajiv’s career includes a decade of investment banking experience prior to joining Rabobank, including roles at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston, and senior corporate strategy and execution roles at United Technologies and Nestle. Innovation is both a passion for Rajiv’s and the bank, as is sustainability with Rabobank’s “Banking for Food” strategy which involves finding new and creative ways to feed the world sustainably in the years to come.

The thought-provoking conversation will be moderated by Nick Fereday, Executive Director of Food & Consumer Trends at Rabobank. Together, Rajiv and Duncan will touch on the importance of established companies nurturing innovation by looking beyond their four walls and how organizations can level the playing field in the food industry through increasing access to finance and open innovation. They’ll discuss what the future intersection of food, innovation and finance will look like, from their truly unique perspectives.

For example, a recent report from Rabobank found that the U.S. food industry is facing unprecedented change from the proliferation of small and emerging brands. Importantly, this has created an ecosystem of new platforms such as food accelerators and crowdfunding websites that aim to be the missing ingredient in helping these startup companies achieve success.

The FoodBytes! San Francisco audience will also have the chance to ask questions of these industry leaders. Get your tickets now to be part of this special event!

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