FoodBytes! San Francisco, June 2015
Part pitch competition, part networking event, FoodBytes! is dedicated to connecting these disruptive startups with investors, executives and industry leaders to help them grow their businesses.
No Food Wasted
Back to the Roots
Director of Business Intelligence, Hampton Creek
Sofia Elizondo is the Director of Business Intelligence at Hampton Creek, a company that is unleashing the nutritional power of plants to make better food for everyone, everywhere. Prior to Hampton Creek, she worked at the New York and San Francisco offices of the Boston Consulting Group. At BCG she was part of the Strategy Institute and spent a year as Special Advisor to the United Nations. She has worked with several startups in Silicon Valley including Samasource, Apartment List and Remoov. Sofia graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is most excited about the upcoming wasabi flavored Just Mayo.
Dean and Executive Director, The Food Business School
Will Rosenzweig is Dean and Executive Director of The Food Business School at The Culinary Institute of America. He is also managing partner of Physic Ventures, the first venture capital firm dedicated to investing in health, well-being and sustainable living. Over the past 20 years, he has been involved in leading, growing and investing in more than 25 entrepreneurial ventures. Will was the founding CEO of The Republic of Tea and a member of the senior leadership team at Odwalla. In 2010, Will was honored by several Nobel Laureates with the Oslo Business for Peace Award, “”the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business.” In 2013-14 Will served as Chairman of the national Vitality Commission on Health and the Prevention of Chronic Disease. He recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Tea, where he was Minister of Progress and co-author of the bestselling The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business (Doubleday 1992, 1994), which was named one of the 100 best business books of all time. Will has served on the faculty at the Haas School at UC Berkeley since 1999 where he teaches MBA courses in Social Entrepreneurship and New Venture design. He holds the title of Social Impact Fellow at Berkeley-Haas. He has also served as visiting faculty at London Business School, Stanford and UC Davis.
Global Strategist Consumer Foods, Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory, Rabobank
Cyrille has been working at various capacities at Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR), Rabobank’s global F&A Knowledge Provider. Currently he is the global strategist for the Consumer Foods sector, providing insights and strategic dialogue around key issues in the sector. He and his team have written extensively about issues such as the dynamic consumer behavior with respect to food, the challenges food retailers face and the impact these have on the food processors and game changing technologies in the food sector. He often speaks at conferences, most recently at the Cambridge Open Innovation Forum (for Food and FMCG companies) and SnackEx, the largest Snacking conference in the world. Cyrille started his career as a sell side equity analyst covering technology stocks before moving to the buy side. As a fund manager he focused on investing in listed companies that have a competitive advantage through innovation. First he was at ING Investment Management and later he worked at M&G Investments. Cyrille holds an MSc in Financial Business Economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Rob is the cofounder of AgFunder, an online investment marketplace for the $6.4 Trillion global agriculture industry. Rob has been published in TechCrunch, Harvard Business Review, Financial Post, and Nature journals. Rob has been invited to speak at dozens of global conferences on agriculture, technology, and capital raising. In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Rob to their list of ‘Up-And-Comers’, and the White House has extended special invitations to White House sponsored events. He is a judge for the National Ag Innovation Prize and sits on the advisory committee of the Ag Innovation Showcase. Rob has been interviewed by CNBC, Forbes, FastCompany, Entrepreneur, and Reuters. He has five degrees, spanning Philosophy, Computer Science, and Computational Biology, including a PhD from Yale University.
I never imagined myself being around a series of food executives and meeting the people I have. This forum has been fantastic for me as an opportunity to meet different leaders in this particular field.
FoodBytes! is an awesome gathering of passionate food innovators – inspiring, educational, and fun! It was an excellent opportunity to meet new food innovators and learn from their experiences. Back to the Roots was honored to be selected as the People’s Choice, and FoodBytes! helped open the door for new opportunities.
We (Tiny Farms Inc.) had amazing experiences with the San Francisco FoodBytes! events. Unlike the traditional tech startup world, there isn’t a well developed ecosystem for nurturing early stage agtech businesses, so it was great finding ourselves in a whole room full of investors and founders specifically focused on food and agriculture. We’ve also enjoyed getting to know the Rabobank team, who have been both enthusiastic supporters and a great resource.