Taste Labs, Breakout Sessions and Start-Up Arena pitching are all running alongside the Main Stage Panels on March 16-17.

Throughout the two days, in addition to plenary sessions, you can have your say in small group breakout discussions, meet 1-1 with an investor or food brand, or try novel foods and meet the founders in the Taste Lab.

Which sessions will you join?

Thursday March 16


CEO Succession: From Idea to Enduring Legacy

With CEO succession in the spotlight for many organizations, leadership advisor Egon Zehnder will interview experts who have lived through the succession process, sharing lessons learned and best practices from industry leaders. By understanding the intricate details of this process, founders and CEO’s, successors and investors alike can learn how to plan long-term so that the vision they hold today will ultimately take root and outlive them.

Alejandro Folmer, Leadership Consultant and AgroFood Leader, EGON ZEHNDER
Jason Hecker, Leadership Consultant and AgroFood Leader, EGON ZEHNDER
Logan McDougal, Leadership Consultant and AgroFood Leader, EGON ZEHNDER


Taste Lab: COMET

Join COMET for a unique tasting experience of their gummies featuring COMET’s Arrabina Prebiotic Dietary Fiber. A small serving of only three gummies supplies a bifidogenic prebiotic effect thanks to Arrabina dietary fiber’s low inclusion level. Attendees can try COMET’s gummies and a control gummy with no Arrabina to see how their fiber disappears in the application providing both a prebiotic effect and sugar reduction.

Rich Troyer, Chief Executive Officer, COMET
Loula Merkel, Chief Business Officer, COMET


The Evolution of Novel Foods: Redefining Your Space for Regulatory Success

During this breakout session, we will discuss the evolution of food and how we make it. The session will be led by Cooley LLP partner Sonia Nath, who previously worked at the FDA as a litigation and enforcement attorney. She will discuss FDA implications and what you need to know to ensure these regulations do not hinder your company. You will hear also from companies developing innovative food products, including Darko Mandich from MeliBio.

Sonia Nath, Partner, COOLEY LLP

Darko Mandich, CEO, MELIBIO

Powerful Partnerships: Aligning Start-ups, VCs and Strategic Investors for Scaling, Strategy & Success

Simon Burton, Managing Director, NOURISH VENTURES

Alan Hahn, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, MYCOTECHNOLOGY
Lisa Curtis, Founder, KULI KULI FOODS
Jasmin Hume, Founder & CEO, SHIRU
Chuck Templeton, Managing Director, S2G VENTURES


How Rescued Food Is Transforming the Supply Chain

Join Carissa and Christine as they explore how a small idea, rescuing food on farms, could mark a monumental shift in how the industry sees the supply chain of food. By thinking about food differently, in shelf-stable powders, we’ll discover an opportunity to save money, pay growers fairly, and reduce climate impacts of feeding our growing population. This interactive session will dive into the data, let you taste rescued-ingredient smoothies, and inspire discussion on the government, producer, and industry partnerships required to make it happen.

Christine Couvelier, President, TRENDI
Carissa Campeotto, Co-Founder and CMO, TRENDI


Taste Lab: Aqua Cultured Foods

Join Aqua Cultured Foods for a unique tasting experience of their products. Aqua Cultured Foods is developing seafood alternatives with a realistic appearance, taste, and texture plus high nutritional value — considered a holy grail in alt-protein — to mitigate global challenges such as overfishing, climate change and sustainably feeding the world’s expanding population. Aqua’s products (whole-muscle cut, sushi-quality tuna and whitefish, calamari, shrimp, and scallops) will be ready for consumers’ plates this year.

Anne Palermo, CEO & Co-Founder, AQUA CULTURED FOODS
Brittany Chibe, Co-Founder & CGO, AQUA CULTURED FOODS
Bob Schultz, Director of R&D, AQUA CULTURED FOODS


Precision Fermentation: Emerging Technologies and Infrastructure Solutions to Support Scale-Up

Join leaders from across the value chain to dig into what the future looks like for precision fermentation, the role of partnerships to accelerate R&D and the technologies emerging to reach scale and overcome obstacles of limited capacity.

Bram Pareyt, R&D Director, Research & Services Lab, PURATOS

Chris Landowski, CTO & Co-Founder, ONEGO BIO

Taste Lab: UMIAMI

Umiami invites you to come and taste its plant-based chicken filet in a new version, combining the refined and gourmet side of the chicken filet. A 100% vegan filet, clean label, simple and tasty. Come discover the texture, shape, juiciness, and flavor of their chicken filet!

Martin Habfast, Co-Founder, UMIAMI
Julie Pereira de Rezende,
Marketing Manager, UMIAMI



Friday March 17


Iowa: Commercialization Success Stories from Innovation Leaders

Join leaders from Iowa for an interactive discussion on how regional partnerships can help to reach scale and raise capital. Whether looking to build a commercial facility or conduct R&D, innovation experts with cross-industry knowledge share success stories and insights on food production assets, partners, and programs to leverage capital investment and accelerate business growth. Guest presenters will reveal insight into their investment in Iowa and share how the state’s reputation as a premier destination for agrifood-business proves beneficial.

Kevin Moore, CTO, Biobased Products, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Creating the Next Generation of Food
Join Motif FoodWorks CEO, Michael Leonard, as he hosts a panel of industry leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities in creating the next generation of food. From breakthrough technology development to strategic impact investing to delivering innovations directly into the hands of consumers, the tools and approaches for making tomorrow’s food system are many. However, to make tomorrow’s food system better requires more than a new playbook. It takes an ecosystem. In this engaging session, we will wrestle with the hard questions of what kind of collaboration and bold-thinking it will take to make ingredients and products that are better for the planet, better for our health and add to the consumers menu of viable options.


Brad Jakeman, Former President, Global Beverage, PEPSICO, Co-founder & Managing Partner, RETHINK FOODS
Melissa Sorrells,
Managing Editor, ALT-MEAT
Lou Cooperhouse,
Founder, President & CEO, BLUENALU

11:00-11:45amMaking Healthier Measurable

As companies increasingly focus on driving successful ESG outcomes and reporting on ESG progress, being able to define and quantify what healthier or better for you really means is an important – and sometimes challenging – step. Join nutritional guidance organization Guiding Stars, Ahold Delhaize USA & Giant Food, for an informational session about how their food rating system has not only helped customers make better choices while shopping in-store and online but has been a powerful tool in helping retailers create transparency around healthy sales.

Steven Jennings, Stakeholer Relations – Brand Lead, Health & Sustainability, AHOLD DELHAIZE USA

Lisa Coleman, Director of Healthy Living, GIANT FOOD
Julie Greene, Director of Guiding Stars, GUIDING STARS


Taste Lab: Mush Foods

Join Mush Foods for a unique tasting experience of its products. The menu will include hybrid dishes which incorporate Mush Foods mycelium, reducing animal meat by 50% and introducing tons of delicious flavor.

Shalom Daniel, Founder & CEO, MUSH FOODS


Overcoming Regulatory Obstacles: Securing Approval to get Products to EU and Other Markets

How do you get to sell future foods in the European market? Before a novel food can be sold and consumed in the EU, it needs to be assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and authorized by the EU Commission. In this workshop, we will discuss the EU regulations and concepts you need to know to speed up the process and avoid additional questioning by EFSA. Hear the key differences between EU requirements and other markets like the US about where the grey areas are.

Pauliina Halimaa, Managing Director, BIOSAFE


Taste Lab: Supplant

Join Supplant for a unique tasting experience of products made with Supplant™ Sugars from Fiber that enable replacement of cane sugar across mainstream food categories for the very first time. Lower calorie, lower glycemic, prebiotic and upcycled from agriculture’s most abundant renewable resource (sidestreams such as corn cobs and oat hulls), it can help build a more nutritious, more sustainable and more abundant food system.

Tom Simmons, Founder & CEO, THE SUPPLANT COMPANY

2:45-3:30pmTaste Lab: Conscious™ Greens by Pairwise 

What are Conscious™ Greens? They’re not another boring salad. They’re leafy greens made better. Join us for:

  • A taste of the first CRISPR gene-edited produce in U.S. retail
  • A detailed look at consumer acceptance of gene editing in American markets
  • And the opportunity to speak directly to founders and executive leadership of Conscious™ Foods and Pairwise.

Megan Thomas, VP, Marketing & Communications, PAIRWISE
Haven Baker, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer, PAIRWISE