NYSTAR and Upstate Capital present The Future of Food, an event to highlight the food and agtech industry and innovation in Upstate New York. This event brings together members from established food and beverage companies, suppliers, investors, and dealmakers together with entrepreneurs and startups. The event will be held online on June 10.
What to expect at Future of Food 2021:
Startup pitches for new products, services and companies Conversations with business owners and CEOs building food & agtech businesses Discussions with industry experts and investors in food, beverage, and agtech
Agenda & Speakers
Invitation only: CEO Roundtable with Jeremy Shure, Grasshopper Bank
Future of Food Startup Showcase – preview the startups here
Hosted Networking with Investors
Conversation with Max Clegg
Max is a principal investor and corporate development professional and domain expertise in agriculture, food, and energy. Max leads Louis Dreyfus Company’s (LDC) Corporate Venture Capital program. He’ll join Upstate Capital for a conversation on how LDC, a global merchant firm with more than 20,000 employees, looks at innovation, which sectors are interesting in transportation and logistics, and his advice for entrepreneurs considering corporate venture capital.
Leveraging Technology to Drive Manufacturing Process Improvement and EBITDA Gains with Tim Raven (Worximity) and Jim Ilaria (TooJay’s Deli Restaurant)
Tim Raven is Managing Director and leads Worximity’s US practice. Worximity offers smart factory solutions for mid-market manufacturers. He is an operations, finance, and digital manufacturing expert with over 25 years’ experience working with privately held and sponsor-owned mid-market consumer and industrial products manufacturers.
TooJay’s Deli Restaurant
Jim Ilaria is a growth focused CEO and Private Equity Operating Partner. Industry experience includes: Restaurants, Franchising, Multi-unit operations, Casual Dining, Food Manufacturing, CPG, Industrial. His functional specialties include growth platform development, strategy, operational excellence and turnarounds.
Hatch Here: Finding the Right Incubator for your Startup with Colby Creedon (NYSTAR)
Colby is the Commercialization Fellow at Empire State Development (NYSTAR). He’s an attorney with operational and management experience. 6+ years of technology commercialization, business development, and operational experience. Currently, he’s managing a multi-million $ portfolio of cleantech commercialization programs, including business incubators, a seed-style investment fund, and business competition.
Leveraging New York’s Resources with Cathy Young (Center of Excellence at Cornell AgriTech), Jenn Smith (Grow-NY Food & Ag Startup Program), John Ng (New York Steelhead, Hudson Valley Fisheries) and Tim Moag (Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C.)
Center of Excellence at Cornell AgriTech
Catharine Young was named Executive Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture in 2019. Catharine served in the New York State Legislature, chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee, founded the Legislative Wine and Grape Caucus, sponsored legislation to create the NYS Council on Food Policy and chaired the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.
Grow-NY Food & Ag Startup Program
Jenn Smith is the Grow-NY Program Director. She was previously the Executive Director of the New York Cider Association and the Admin Director of the NYS Distillers Guild. Over the past 5 years Jenn was an NYC-based consultant to entrepreneurs creating value-added products and hospitality ventures.
New York Steelhead, Hudson Valley Fisheries
John Ng is Founder and President of Hudson Valley Fisheries, North America’s largest land-based, commercial-scale fully sustainable steelhead farm, is based in Hudson, New York. Its 1200 MT indoor aquaculture facility uses the latest recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology and eco-sensitive practices to produce antioxidant-rich steelhead to minimize environmental impact.
Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C.
Timothy P. Moag, CPA is a Director at Freed Maxick. Tim joined the Firm, formerly Battaglia Andrews & Moag, PC, in 1980. Tim leads the Firm’s Agriculture Business Practice and consults with farm managers on tax, financial, estate and management issues drawing on his expertise in agriculture.
Ready, Set, Grow: How to Scale for Acquisition with Todd Kletter (Wealthpoint Management) and Maureen Ballatori (29 Design Studio)
Todd joined Wealthpoint Advisory to form and lead the Business Services Group in July 2020, to share insights from his own experiences in acquiring and selling companies, managing compensation, growing EBITDA and cash flows, reducing debt, and restructuring businesses including high growth startups and established companies in the $30-$50 million space.
29 Design Studio
Maureen is an innovator. She excels at leading initiatives that involve creative strategies and united communities. Maureen founded the Upstate New York-based creative agency, 29 Design Studio, in 2007 and she now leads the company’s visioning and growth. Her team works with food, beverage, and agriculture brands around the country.
Investor Perspectives with Karin Gregory (Blue Highway Capital), Chris Laughton (Farm Credit East), Jonathan Greene (NY Ventures), Randy Bianchi (Lakelet Capital) and David Spungen (RegentAtlantic)
Blue Highway Capital
Karin is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Blue Highway Capital. She has over 30 years of business experience as an attorney, executive and early stage investor. She spent five years as Vice President at Mass Ventures, an early stage socially responsible venture capital fund focused on urban and rural areas of Massachusetts.
Farm Credit East
Chris Laughton is Farm Credit East’s Director of Knowledge Exchange and also serves as the FarmStart Program Manager. He writes frequently on topics relating to the intersection of agriculture, economics and management. Prior to joining Farm Credit East, Chris worked in the nursery/greenhouse industry.
Jonathan Greene is Senior Investment Director at New York Ventures, investing in innovative start up companies across New York State. He is an Investor/Board Observer for GiveGab (Acquired 2021), Ursa Space Systems, Ekostinger, Mosaic Microsystems, and Post Process
Randy is Managing Director at Lakelet Capital. He has 25+ years of entrepreneurial and management experience assisting organizations to identify and implement organizational changes for growth and over 10 years as a Business Development Partner at a leading middle-market private equity firm.
David is Partner and Wealth Advisor at RegentAtlantic. With more than 25 years as an advisor, he has extensive experience in providing independent, objective advice to successful entrepreneurs. David is a former chef, is passionate about food & beverage, and has developed an expertise in the industry, working with restauranteurs, CPG and food tech entrepreneurs and others in the space.
Michele Liddle -Owner – The Perfect Granola, LLC
The Perfect Granola
The Perfect Granola started in our home kitchen as a way to feed the hungry. It was our plan to create a food company where we could give away food and profits to help those in need and empower the underserved. What started as a dream quickly became The Perfect Granola, giving thousands of pounds of food and support to hundreds of organizations.
Eduard Zaydman – Managing Partner / COO – New Age Renewable Energy LLC
New Age Renewable Energy
Environmental Technology company specializes in processing dairy production waste (whey derivatives) Whey, after removal of protein/fat, is mostly low ph water with lactose and ash. Those elements are very difficult to dispose of. Our, in-house developed, the process is able to utilize most solids in whey while leaving distilled water at the end of the process. Our process is very fast and does not rely on any enzymes or bacteria.
Chili Crisp is the first packaged product extension of the Mr. Bing brand. Born out of the demand for a more sustainable, No-MSG & no preservative version of a well-known chili crisp from China, Mr. Bing Chili Crisp is a crazy delicious & addictive condiment that goes great on everything. Try it on eggs, pizza, pasta, burgers, rice, sandwiches… or just eat it straight!
David Landay – Chairman of the Board – Charlie’s Table
Charlie’s Table, Inc.
Charlie’s Table is dedicated to building an asset-light, socially responsible, affordable luxury brand of premium, gluten-free, at-home, dining experiences indistinguishable from fresh food containing gluten – starting with our time and customer-tested, proprietary, signature, fresh artisanal pasta.
Laura Decker – President – Prolific Earth Sciences
Prolific Earth Sciences
microBIOMETER® is a low-cost, 20-minute on-site soil test for microbial biomass and fungal to bacterial ratio that allows you to quickly determine the health of your soil. Frequent retesting will provide you with the data necessary to identify if your soil management practices are working.
Jeffrey Burbank – Co-Founder & CEO – Oaza Beverages, Inc.
Oaza Beverages, Inc.
Oaza developed a unique and innovative line of ready-to-drink (RTD) cold brew coffees, enhanced with electrolytes. As a first-of-its-kind functional coffee, designed for hydration and energy, Oaza is a disruptive entrant into the $3b RTD coffee category.
Foodnerd is a specialty food manufacturer with its headquarters in Buffalo, New York. Foodnerd specializes in 100% plant-based superfood products that are designed to increase the world’s understanding or accessibility of truly nutrient-dense foods.
Foodnerd is proud to stand out as a company that has pledged to never compromise its quality and benefits to its customers.
BIOsens developed a portable and rapid precise mycotoxins detection device. From the farm to the fork, BIOsens helps clients to reduce the risk of mycotoxins contamination and avoid associated losses. Its unique solution is the first to provide an automated way to prepare samples of plants (e.g., corn, wheat) and analyze them on the content of mycotoxins within 21 minutes.
Unna Bakery brings a Non-GMO certified BUTTER cookie to the conventional market. Our cookies are all-natural and Kosher certified. Made without palm oil, soy and preservatives from my Swedish Grandma’s recipes passed down through generations. The 2 most popular claims that resonates with consumers are “all-natural” (68%) and “non-gmo” (45%).*
We are a local food distributor based in New York’s Hudson Valley. We were founded in Kingston, NY in 2011 as Hudson Valley Harvest. Since then, we’ve delivered farm transparent local food throughout the Northeast to wholesale customers, including restaurants, catering companies, cafes, grocery stores, and schools, as well as directly to individuals and families, serving customers from Saratoga to Central New Jersey. We’re your one-stop shop for all of your favorite local foods.
Mmmly is on a mission to take food to new heights with clean, purposeful, and functional ingredients. Founded on the idea that real food is essential for our overall well-being, Mmmly uses innovative ingredients, like monk fruit and tiger nut flour, to make delicious cookies that are organic, gluten-free, keto and paleo friendly.
Breastfeeding is hard. Making decisions about infant formula and breast pumps is overwhelming. Navigating anecdotes vs. evidence-based approaches is confusing. Whether during pregnancy or the first months of your baby’s life, we’re here to answer your questions. At SimpliFed, you’ll meet with a highly skilled and trained lactation consultant to provide answers quickly through a secure, online, video-based connection.
LEVELLE Inc’s mission is to create nutritional products tailored for female endurance athletes based on their individual needs and supported through scientific research. We envision a world where female athletes no longer need to compromise on nutrition for the sake of performance. We aim to level the sports nutrition field so you can RUN LIKE A GIRL
Brauus creates great food that can improve your health and your mood. We define great as delicious, good-for-you and convenient. Our job is to deliver it to you using natural ingredients, evidence-based science and simple, down-to-earth common sense.
An indoor farming and juicing company situated in Ellicottville, NY and locations around Western NY. Growing and processing high quality indoor herbs, leafy greens, and micro greens through sustainable methods.
Ripely uses food to save food by producing specialty proteins using a timeless, food-safe process (a yeast fermentation that is akin to beer making). The proteins that Ripely produces are protected by a provisional patent, but share similarities to a protein that is harvested from animals and called fibroin.
Our Patented technology has enabled us to render an innovative take on a familiar snack.
We have created the very first FORMED, gluten-free, low carbohydrate plantain chips and extended the value chain of a sustainable super food. Our tasty chips offer a solution to both the health and waste issues in snack manufacturing.