The Future of Food Speakers
Name: David Benzaquen
Title: Founder and CEO
Company: PlantBased Solutions
David Benzaquen is the Founder and CEO of PlantBased Solutions, a mission-driven, brand management and marketing agency for consumer products made with plant-based and cultured ingredients. David is a sought after natural products industry expert and has spoken about social entrepreneurship and the growth of the plant-based industry at numerous conferences. He is also an advisor to various food incubators, accelerators, and venture capital funds.
Name: Andras Forgacs
Title: Co-founder and Chief Executive
Company: Modern Meadow
Andras Forgacs, an entrepreneur and venture investor in technology and life science, is the co-founder and chief executive of Modern Meadow, which launched in 2011. Previously, he had also co-founded Organovo, a leader in tissue engineering which pioneered the use of 3D bio-printing to create human tissue for a range of medical applications. Organovo’s bio-printer was named one of the top inventions of 2010 by TIME and the company was recognized by MIT Technology Review on its TR50 list of most innovative companies for 2012. Andras also served as managing director with Richmond Global, an international technology-focused venture fund. Previously, Andras was a consultant in the New York office of McKinsey & Company, focused on biopharma and private equity. Earlier, he was a founding member of Citigroup’s corporate and investment banking e-commerce group where he led a team that developed award winning financial technology products and advised large cap corporate clients on a range of corporate finance challenges. He is also co-founder and chairman emeritus of the international non-profit Resolution Project. Andras is a Kauffman Fellow with the Center for Venture Education and a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Harvard University.
Name: David Lee
Title: COO & CFO
Company: Impossible Foods
David is the COO & CFO of Impossible Foods, a Khosla, Horizons, and Bill Gates-backed company developing a new generation of delicious and sustainable meats and cheeses made entirely from plants. Its mission is to give people the enjoyment of food that comes from animals without the health and environmental drawbacks. With diverse experience in general management, marketing, finance, strategic planning, and M&A, David has a proven track record of increasing shareholder value in both publicly and privately owned companies. Previously as CFO of Zynga, David was responsible for leading the company’s finance and corporate development teams. David helped lead ZNGA from being majority web-based to mobile. David delivered several quarters exceeding topline and bottomline guidance and delivered the first quarter of positive net income since 2013. David earned his B.A. from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Name: Andrew Ive
Title: Managing Director
Andrew is the Managing Director at Food-X responsible for building, innovating and supporting the emerging Food-X ecosystem. P&G brand management trained, while in his Harvard Business School dorm room, he took a new product idea, raised angel funds, established a manufacturing facility in China and a sales force selling his first product line into major US retailers. In his second Silicon Valley based company, Andrew raised $20M+ from VCs to focus on the data challenge between retailers and vendors. Andrew has spent the last twenty years focused on innovation, developing high-growth businesses opportunities and as a business advisor in multiple verticals. Holding an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business, his first product, the X-IT Ladder, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Reach out to Andrew if you want to join Food-X.
Name: Alexis Fox
Alexis Fox is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) at Lighter, a powerful platform that helps the world eat better. Lighter tells people what food to buy and how to throw great meals together based on the recommendations of food leaders. Fox has dedicated her life to fixing our broken food system and has worked in the movement as an attorney, political leader and entrepreneur. She also spent three years as an adjunct Professor of Leadership at Emerson College.