Wednesday March 20

PRE-SUMMIT WORKSHOP - Scaling Biotech: Accelerating Commercialization, Optimizing Production & Financing

When: March 20 2024, 13.00– 17.00 PT  

Where: The Store House, Fort Mason Center For Arts & Culture, Landmark Building D, San Francisco, CA 94123 

What: Join Future Food-Tech’s Pre-Summit workshop to participate in more in-depth and interactive discussions digging into scaling biotech for food. From the latest enabling technologies, to feedstock developments, acceleration through AI and building next-gen facilities, the workshop provides a dedicated opportunity for leaders to share challenges and learnings, explore the cutting-edge innovation as well as network with industry peers.


Thursday March 21

Taking A Holistic Approach to Tackling Food & Nutritional Insecurity
  • From feeding those in schools and hospitals to the everyday consumer, how are food industry players working together to overcome nutritional insecurity through innovation and collaboration?
  • How are the ramifications of covid, climate change and market volatility still impacting food security in the US and around the globe? What programs and initiatives are being put into practice to combat these ripple effects?
  • In times of geo-political instability and conflict, how can supply chains be strengthened to ensure that access to food isn’t disrupted when needed the most?
  • What impetus should be placed on government and federal bodies to shape policy and encourage the procurement of healthy and sustainable foods, increasing access to good food?

Session Chair:
Matthew Walker, Managing Director, Food & Agriculture, S2G VENTURES

Isabelle Esser, Chief Research, Innovation, Quality and Food Safety Officer, DANONE
Vincent Martin, Director of the Office of Innovation, FAO
Stacy Dean, Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, USDA
David Lestage, Chief R&D Officer, KELLANOVA

Leveraging AI to Create the Next Generation of Food
  • How is AI already being integrated into food production and business operations to accelerate transformation across the food system? Looking to the future, what new channels can AI and digitalization and other deep-tech open up?
  • What is the potential for food companies to leverage AI to accelerate product development and design more nutritious foods and ingredients?
  • What power does AI have to level the playing field in the food industry? How will large corporations and CPGs stay ahead of the game?
  • From data and ethics issues to costly implementation, what challenges does the application of AI in the food space create?

Session Chair:
Christine Hall, Reporter, TECHCRUNCH

Lanette Shaffer Werner, Chief Innovation, Technology and Quality Officer, GENERAL MILLS
Ranveer Chandra, Managing Director for Research for Industry & CTO of Agri-Food, MICROSOFT
Sajith Wimalaratne, VP of Industrial Biotechnology, CAMBRIDGE CONSULTANTS
Rajesh Swaminathan, Partner, KHOSLA VENTURES

An Address from the FDA

James ‘Jim’ Jones, Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods, FDA

Networking Coffee Break & Live Demo Kitchen

Coffee Break hosted by:

Prioritizing Climate-Smart Solutions to Accelerate the Journey to Net Zero
  • How do companies across the value chain determine their carbon footprint to better understand their impact and the changes necessary to move forward, given the importance of reaching net-zero?
  • What innovations are accelerating efforts to reach net-zero targets? From alternative ingredients for carbon heavy foods, to waste reduction and processing innovation, what are the latest developments?
  • How can sustainability be incorporated into all parts of the supply chain, including manufacturing and distribution?
  • Are standardized frameworks and procedures like LCAs and MFAs the key to calculating accurate footprint and environmental impact more transparently?
  • What platforms and technologies are able to capture quality data to enable accurate reporting of footprint and impact?

Session Chair:
Sara Eckhouse, Executive Director, FOODSHOT GLOBAL

Andy Jarvis, Future of Food Director, BEZOS EARTH FUND
Gary Schuler, Founder and President, GTF TECHNOLOGIES
Andrew Richard, Chief Technology Officer & Founder, COMET
Ashley Kleckner, Senior Vice President, TERVIVA
Max Dougherty, VP, Carbon Business Development, BAYER

Diversifying the Food System with Novel Foods
  • As the need to diversify the food system increases in urgency, what novel products, ingredients and technologies might we expect to see by 2050?
  • How are innovators looking to nature in order to reimagine food production, from inspiring molecular farming approaches to utilizing duckweed and water lentils for next-gen legumes?
  • What will new developments with novel foods and ingredients mean for nutritional health, across the globe and in particular in lower income areas?
  • What innovations and technologies can provide sustainably sourced alternatives, that are also low in cost so not compromising on accessibility or affordability?

Session Chair:
Jack Bobo, Director Food Systems Institute, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM

Kevin Miller, Deputy Director of Nutrition Data and Product Innovation, BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
Fiona Bennie,
Managing Director – Sustainability Studio, ACCENTURE

The Future of Nutrition, Backed by Science

Hear from Givaudan on how they are advancing the future of nutrition through science. How can the food sector deliver on the consumer desire for more nutritious food and ingredients, diving into concepts around the microbiome and the gut-brain connection, tackling regulation and claims for functional products and exploring opportunities in the space.

Emilie Fromentin, Head of Explore Health, Wellness and Nutrition, GIVAUDAN

Networking Lunch Break Hosted by Planteneers & Live Demo Kitchen

Lunch hosted by:

Creating Nutrition-Centric Foods through Fortification and Bioactives
  • How are companies taking a more targeted approach to fortification and what innovation can tackle specific nutritional concerns with bioactives?
  • What developments are elevating the impact, digestibility, and performance of fortified products?
  • How are AI and machine learning being utilized to further understand the relationship between bioactives and human health, as well as optimizing formulation and product development?
  • What partnerships across the food space are emerging to increase the integration of bioactives into food and health products?

Session Chair:
Katie Stebbins, Executive Director of the Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute, TUFTS UNIVERSITY

Jim Flatt, Co-Founder & CEO, BRIGHTSEED
Frank Jaksch, Chief Executive Officer, AYANA BIO
Matthew Pratta, Culinary Director, SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET

Developing a Roadmap to Take Alt Proteins to Commercialization
  • As the alternative proteins sector reaches a new phase, how do players achieve the scale needed to reach successful commercial models?
  • What infrastructure is necessary to scale, and what enabling technologies can complement and accelerate this?
  • It’s no secret that scaling is CAPEX intensive, so what funding or subsides will be necessary for scale to be achieved when fundraising is more challenging?
  • What collaborations and partnerships are crucial in order to reach commercialization, and what does a successful partnership look like?

Session Chair:
Steven Winegar, Head of Science, MCWIN CAPITAL PARTNERS

Tony Moses, Director, Product Innovation, CRB GROUP
Francisco M Codoner, CEO, SCALEUP BIO
Maija Itkonen,
CEO & Co-Founder, ONEGO BIO
Ido Savir, Co-Founder and CEO, SUPERMEAT

Deep Dive: Navigating Health Challenges with Personalized Nutrition
  • As the links between health and diet are increasingly on the consumer’s radar, what are the key needs being addressed through personalized nutrition currently, and what are the future trends?
  • What technologies, from AI to wearable hardware, are elevating personalized nutrition platforms by enhancing the quality of the data gathered and improving our understanding of the impact of specific foods on individual health?
  • What are the biggest challenges for personalized solutions to reach mass market? What obstacles need to be overcome?

Hadar Sutovsky, VP Corporate Investments, ICL GROUP & GM, ICL PLANET STARTUP HUB

Ari Tulla, CEO & Founder, ELO HEALTH
Kyle Dardashti, Founder & CEO, HEALI

Networking Roundtable Discussions

Delegates break into small groups to discuss the most critical issues facing the food-tech industry. Each table is hosted by an industry expert, and delegates can choose the topic most relevant to their business.

  • Bridging the Gap: Financing Strategies for Scaling Food Production
    Host: Rob Steele, Managing DirectorBANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH
  • Creative Financing: Powering Innovation Beyond Venture Capital
    Host: Laine Clark, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager, THE GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE
  • Are Your Ingredient Stacks Fit For The Future?
    Host: Rob Dongoski, Partner, KEARNEY
  • Taking Plant-Based to the Next Level: Innovation, Nutrition & Partnerships
    Host: Takoua Debeche, Chief R&D Officer North America, DANONE
  • De-Risking Scale for Fermentation-Derived Foods
    Host: Francisco M Codoner, CEO, SCALEUP BIO
  • Championing Innovation & Partnerships to Strengthen the Food Ecosystem
    Hosts: Scott May, Head of MISTA, GIVAUDAN, Rachel Mansencal, Head of Apply, Science and Technology, Taste & Wellbeing, GIVAUDAN
  • Cracking the Code: Accelerating the Move to a Sustainable and Nutritious Diet
    Host: Michel Mellema, Global Innovation Program Director Re-Imagine Protein, IFF
  • Scaling Up: Navigating Manufacturing & Infrastructure Challenges
    Host: David Ziskind, Market Lead Food & Beverage, STANTEC
  • A Blueprint for Powerful Partnerships
    Host: Lou Cooperhouse, Founder, President & CEO, BLUENALU
  • Co-Creating Solutions for the Global Challenge of Micronutrient Deficiency & Malnutrition
    Host: Kevin Miller, Deputy Director of Nutrition Data and Product Innovation, BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
  • Leveraging Alternative Protein Solutions To Overcome Food Security Challenges
    Host: Jagriti Sharma, Global Leader, R&D Food Specialty, ICL GROUP
  • Attracting Capital: Crafting the Perfect Pitch & Process to Unlock VC Financing
    Host: Ashley Hartman, Managing Partner, BLUESTEIN VENTURES
  • Collaborating With Culinary Experts to Enhance Private Label and Prepared Foods Offerings
    Host: Matt Pratta, Culinary Director, SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET
  • The Ozempic Effect: How GLP-1 Boosting Drugs Are Pitting Big Food Against Big Pharma
    Host: Bharat Vasan, Partner & COO, THE PRODUCTION BOARD
  • Designing and Building a More Sustainable Food Ecosystem
    Host: Roy Johnson, Business Strategist, BLACK & VEATCH
Networking Coffee Break & Live Demo Kitchen
Overcoming the Obstacles in Advancing Cell-Based from Vision to Reality
  • As the sector matures and the cell-based space moves from vision to reality, how can companies maintain momentum in the face of scalability and fundraising challenges?
  • How are enabling technologies being implemented to reduce cost and time to market from growth factors to scaffolding, and what role can hybrid products play to improve performance and consumer adoption?
  • How can cell-based innovators achieve differentiation, whilst also forming a united front around messaging, the consumer, and the external industry?
  • What do the recent regulatory approvals for Upside and EatJust in the US mean for others striving for regulatory approval? How might this impact the pathway for regulatory systems in other countries?
  • To what extent does changing politics impact the future of cell-ag and biotechnology in food? What has been the impact of the previous biomanufacturing executive order thus far, and what governmental assistance is still needed to level the playing field?

Session Chair:
Deepti Kulkarni, Partner, COVINGTON & BURLING

Daan Luining, 
Co-Founder & CTO, MEATABLE

Investor Projections & Predictions for Food-Tech in 2024 & Beyond
  • What does the year ahead look like for companies across the food sector as the dust settles after a period of investor cautiousness?
  • With dry powder out there to deploy, what are investors looking for when expanding their portfolios and what differentiation is important to see?
  • What areas of the food-tech space hold promise and excitement, and what solutions are investors looking for?
  • What kind of financing, other than VC dollars, is needed to help sectors such as alternative proteins continue to mature and reach scale?

Session Chair:
Scott Horner, Regional Managing Director, North America, DSM-FIRMENICH VENTURING

Steve Young, Managing Partner, MANNA TREE PARTNERS
Ryan Shadrick Wilson, Founder and CEO, BOARDWALK COLLECTIVE
Richie Gray, Vice President and Global Head of Snack Futures, MONDELĒZ INTERNATIONAL
Sebastien Pascual,
 Director, Agri-Food Investment, TEMASEK

Close of Day One & Networking Drinks

Friday March 22

8:00am - 8:45am
Women’s Networking Breakfast: The Role of Women in the Food Revolution

To kickstart Day 2 of Future Food-Tech, join Isabelle Esser and the Danone team as they host a breakfast briefing to explore the important role that women play in the food revolution.

Hear inspirational talks and participate in interactive networking discussions around experiences in the industry, the importance of awareness, leadership and innovation, and the unique role women play in pushing the food sector forward.

Isabelle Esser, Chief Research & Innovation, Quality and Food Safety Officer, DANONE
Katie Stebbins, Executive Director of the Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute, TUFTS UNIVERSITY
Stephanie Culler,
Ryan Shadrick Wilson, Founder and CEO, BOARDWALK COLLECTIVE


Taking Plant-Based to the Next Level with Innovative Strategies for a Maturing Sector
  • As challenges and criticism of plant-based offerings persist, what are companies prioritizing to further improve the taste, performance and reception of plant-based products?
  • With increasing pressure to improve nutritional profiles, how can precision fermentation and novel ingredients be used to optimize taste whilst delivering health benefits and nutritional density?
  • As fungi and mycelium products are gaining momentum, what new products might we see that disrupt the space and stand apart from meat alternatives?
  • How are companies across the sector working to re-engage with consumers, and what new strategies and products are being implemented to reach a wider range of consumers?

Session Chair:
Nick Cooney, Managing Partner, LEVER VC

Sunil Chandran, Chief Science Officer, IMPOSSIBLE FOODS
Martin Habfast, Co-Founder, UMIAMI
Ricardo Delgado, Head of New Technology Investments & Partnerships, UPFIELD
Mirva Lampinen, Ecosystem Director, Food and Beyond, VTT

Designing Healthier Products That Deliver on Taste & Indulgence
  • As demand for healthier products grows, how are companies across the food sector working to create more nutrition rich products, whilst still delivering on taste, texture and experience, without the calories?
  • With growing consumer pushback and media criticism around ultra-processed foods, what are the latest breakthroughs in product development for improving nutritional profiles of foods?
  • What impact does the recent rise of Ozempic and other weight-loss drugs have on the food industry, and particularly on areas such as snacking?
  • How are functional ingredients being implemented across food and drinks products, meeting consumer demand for taste, health and convenience?
  • What regulatory work needs to be considered in this process, and how is collaboration between corporates and innovators valuable in overcoming obstacles?

Session Chair:
Elizabeth Crawford, Senior Editor, FOODNAVIGATOR-USA

Anne Marie Butler, Global Director of Strategy and Innovation, EDLONG
Laura Brown, Director of Nutrition, KROGER HEALTH
Johanna Vazquez, Head of R&D Nutrition, North America, UNILEVER
Seth Crass, Director of Quality Assurance and R&D, OLIPOP
John Krzywicki, Head of Spotlight Foods & VP of Corporate Strategy, CHECKERSPOT

Networking Coffee Break & Live Demo Kitchen
Forging Partnerships at the Intersection of Food & Medicine to Achieve Health Equity
  • What partnerships between the healthcare sector and the food industry could be put in place to better tackle health issues and achieve health equity through food?
  • What innovations around medical nutrition, meal providers and platforms are in the space to help improve health?
  • How can retailers help to reach and engage with people who are nutritionally insecure, and what programs are in place to improve access to healthy and nutritious food?
  • What policy initiatives need to be actioned in order to drive positive change around the interconnectivity between food and health?

Session Chair:
Greg S. Garrett, Executive Director, ACCESS TO NUTRITION INITIATIVE

Pamela Schwartz, Executive Director, Community Health, KAISER PERMANENTE
Sarah Mastrorocco, Vice President & General Manager of Health, INSTACART

Voice of the Industry: Fostering Disruptive Innovation Across Foodservice
  • What do foodservice companies want from food-tech innovators and how can these partnerships address their needs and challenges?
  • How does partnership and collaboration help to connect the dots in terms of consumer needs and products developed? What is necessary to ensure that the consumer is brought along the journey?
  • How can foodservice companies leverage tech innovations for operational efficiency and customer satisfaction?
  • How do data, technology, and sustainability shape the future of food-tech partnerships, and what trends can we anticipate?

Session Chair:
Chris Cochran, Founder, GOOD FOOD ADVISORS

Susie Weintraub, Chief Executive Officer, Envision Group, COMPASS GROUP
Jacob Nebergall, VP, Strategy & Innovation, DINE BRANDS GLOBAL
Inigo Garcia, Director of Menu Innovation, MCDONALD’S
Michiel Bakker, VP, Workplace Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability, GOOGLE

Presenting Your Start-Up Arena Winner for 2024!

With breakthrough solutions tackling challenges from climate, alt-protein formulation to gut health, this year’s Start-Up Arena will see more innovators pitching than ever before! After you’ve cast your votes for the winner of each pitching session, the overall winner for Future Food-Tech’s 2024 Start-Up Arena will be announced on the main stage.

Networking Lunch Break & Live Demo Kitchen

Lunch hosted by:

Getting Gut Health Right with Prebiotics, Probiotics & the Microbiome
  • As the importance of a healthy gut becomes more mainstream, what products are emerging that can improve the microbiome and individual gut health?
  • What connections can be made between the gut and other broader health concerns, such as metabolic health, women’s health and mental health, and what innovations are targeting these issues?
  • How can prebiotics and probiotics in products be leveraged to complement each other, replenishing the gut microbiome and improving bioavailability to bolster overall health?
  • Where is food-tech poised to provide an alternative to the likes of Ozempic in terms of safer and most cost-effective appetite control and weight management? What role can prebiotics, gut health and functional ingredients play here?
  • What is needed from a regulation and legislation standpoint to uphold a higher level of standards for health claims, to ensure accountability and build consumer trust?

Sonia Nath, Partner, COOLEY 

Marc Washington, CEO & Founder, SUPERGUT
C. Vivek Lal, Founder & CEO, RESBIOTIC
Stephanie Culler, 

De-Risking & Scaling Up Production in Fermentation
  • What do the challenges look like for fermentation technologies, whether looking at biomass fermentation, solid-state or precision?
  • How can collaboration and out-sourcing help to de-risk production and R&D and improve ROI?
  • What strides are being made to tackle issues of capacity for precision fermentation, from utilizing AI to potent molecules?
  • What do the unit economics look like for fermentation technologies, and how can technology be implemented to optimize this?
  • As the technology scales, what impact does increased scale have on the footprint and sustainability of fermentation, and what light can LCAs shed on this?

Session Chair:
David Welch, Co-Founder and CSO, SYNTHESIS CAPITAL

Yvonne Armitage, Biotechnology Business Unit Director, CENTRE FOR PROCESS INNOVATION (CPI)
Alfredo Espinoza, Director Food & Personal Care, MERRICK & COMPANY
Elizabeth Teigland, Head of New Food Fermentation, TETRA PAK U.S. & CANADA
Scott Hine,
Chief Production Officer, THE EVERY COMPANY

Optimizing R&D & Innovation through Cross-Sector Collaboration
  • How crucial is collaboration to support the innovation ecosystem and scale technologies that are essential for creating healthy, tasty, and sustainable food?
  • How are companies large and small optimizing their internal and external R&D strategies by collaborating with other players from across the value chain?
  • What kind of innovations can enable corporates to become more nimble, and what partnerships are necessary for start-ups to effectively scale and reach commercialization?
  • With no silver bullet, what holistic approaches need to be taken to ensure that the food-tech sector continues to innovate and grow?

Session Chair:
Helena Bottemiller EvichFounder & Editor-in-Chief, FOOD FIX

Florian Schattenmann, CTO and VP of R&D and Innovation, CARGILL
Robert Scott, President, Research and Development NA Zone, THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY
Karina Zimerfeld, Global Vice President R&D Food & Nutrition, MARS
Cathy Doucette, Vice President – Research & Development, TATE & LYLE
Jeff Turnas,
Senior Vice President of Culinary, WHOLE FOODS

Close of Summit