Lauren is the Founder of Branchfood, the largest community of high-growth food innovators & entrepreneurs in New England. Her mission is to help people connect & build businesses that positively impact our food system. Lauren is also the Co-Founder of Branch Venture Group, a US-based angel network that invests in food-related startups. She’s an advisor for the Boston Public Market, Tufts’ Friedman School, The Mixing Bowl, and Bonbillo.
Alex is the Co-Founder of Shameless Pets, a food startup that upcycles ingredients that may have otherwise been lost or wasted into outrageously good pet treats! She is also an Independent Consultant, a Nutritionist, and a CPG Food Product Developer with a successful history of formulating, commercializing and launching innovative food products in the Natural/Organic space.
Renée is the Founder of Banyan Innovation Group, an Agribusiness Consulting Group. She is an Agricultural Economist with has 15 years of experience in the production agriculture world (USAID, USDA, John Deere, W. Europe, Balkans,China, SE Asia, India, Brazil, U.S.). Renée’s missions is to combine her experience with her passion for sustainability to grow agribusinesses and support investors.
Tom is the Founder and CEO of New View Media, a video service provider for mission-driven entrepreneurs in Boston and beyond. He is a passionate entrepreneur who recognizes the potential of media to educate, entertain and engage. Tom is also an avid civic activist and a brand ambassador at Relativity Whiskey. He holds a BA in Communications and Political Science from Boston College.
Co-Chairperson & Convener at NE Food System Innovation Challenge
Bill is Co-Chairperson & Convener at the New England Food System Innovation Challenge, which encourages entrepreneurs to create innovative and sustainable enterprises to support the expansion of locally grown and harvested food and seafood. Bill is also the President of The Sustainability Lab, which supports social entrepreneurs that focus human activity, natural environment, and technology.
Marcia is the Co-founder of Branch Venture Group, a US-based angel network that invests in food-related startups. She’s also a Senior Advisor at Bowside Capital, a private investment firm that specializes in the North American private equity in the small capitalization market. With a 30 years+ venture investing experience, Marcia supports entrepreneurs in food-related services, consumer, internet marketing, and business services.
Willem Meyer is the Co-Founder of Campitor Investment Partners. Campitor invests in food and beverage brands as well as agribusinesses. Willem is originally from Cape Town, South Africa. Him and his team joined us with an interest in investment opportunities in US businesses.
Mint is the Founder and CEO of Rootastes, a curated lunchtime delivery service providing healthful, globally-inspired meals to corporate offices in Greater Boston. Mint’s mission is to change the way employees eat their lunch. She is an experienced entrepreneur in digital marketing and corporate social responsibility. Mint is also an active volunteer in the startup community in Boston.
Joyce is the Founder of Nibble Snack Shop, a Boston-based retail start-up that looks coast-to-coast to find the tastiest snacks and brings them all together in one place. Before launching Nibble, Joyce had a stellar professional career leading marketing for Cosi, Unidine Corporation, Bertucci’s, Welch’s, and Colgate Palmolive. Joyce has an MBA with a focus on marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Scott is a Director of Analytics at Growcery Partners, an executive-level help desk for food, beverage, confection and consumer goods brands that are scaling up. Scott loves finding information to shed light on organizations' tough questions, then turning that insight into action. His experience includes consulting on pricing strategy, sales management, and marketing for Fortune 500 and private-equity backed CPG companies.
Heather is the Founder of Kinsho, a go-to lunchware brand for creating enlightened eats. She’s also the Founder of Aston Plus, a consulting company on marketing leadership for technology innovators across branding, corporate communications, digital marketing and content strategy. Heather is also a 4x Award-Winning author; her newest book is Mind to Mouth: A Busy Chick's Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments.
Nadine is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bohana, a popped water lily seeds snack company. Bohana makes better-for-you snacks for the free-spirited who listen to their bodies and feed their souls. Prior to launching her company, Nadine was the PR & Marketing Head for Yves Saint Laurent in the Middle East. She holds a joint MBA from IE Business School in Spain and from the Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
Ahmad is the Founder and CEO of evergreens farms, an AgTech company that uses controlled environment growing techniques and industrial automation to produce chemical & GMO-free produce all year round. Prior to launching his company, Ahmad was an Industrial Engineer at Instron. Ahmad is a farmer with an engineering degree; he holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northeastern University.
Nick is a Behavioral Designer Specialist at Ruminate, an innovation lab and think tank that supports food system by finding effective solutions through research, in-person engagements, social innovation. Nick is also a senior UX Designer at ThinkArgus, a marketing and advertising firm in Boston. Nick has a background in UX strategy consulting, graphic design, and design thinking facilitation.
Marissa is an Audit Supervisor at Wolf & Company, a full-service accounting firm that specializes in audit, tax, IT audit, compliance, and consulting. Marissa’s areas of expertise include privately-held and publicly traded companies, with a focus on auditing food processors, manufacturers, distributors and tech-based companies. She also provides guidance for early stage to mature companies and has food expertise.
Ian is the owner of Kitchen Network, a food business consultancy. After spending the last 12 years operating in every aspect of the food business industry from leading product development teams for the world's largest CPG companies, to working closely with fledgling food business startups, Ian's mission now is to assist food industry entrepreneurs and promote sustainable local businesses.
Amanda helps organizations work through complex human capital and business issues, ensuring they achieve clarity and take action. She has specific expertise working with the wine beer and spirits companies, specifically the complexities around importing, distribution, sourcing, marketing and sales. She’s also the Founder of VinoKarma Project, which connects people over curated wines to create change.
Brian is the Director of Business Development at Ekotrope, which creates innovative cloud-based software in the residential energy efficiency space. He is passionate about growth, technology, customers, and sustainability (social, environmental and financial). Brian’s expertise is in business development, B2B sales, strategic partnerships, go-to-market strategy, customer success, and economic development.
Frank is the President of Made Concepts. Frank helps consumer product companies accelerate performance and scale profitably by leading operations optimization - with strong engineering, manufacturing and supply chain management expertise. His focused approach guides business leaders and their teams to drive out waste, add value, and reduce costs, leading to increased margins while meeting business needs.
Julia is the Founder of Swoffle Stroopwafels, the first organic, gluten-free stroopwafels on the market. She is also a member of Branch Venture Group, a US-based angel network that invests in food-related startups and a Founding Venture Partner at NextGen, an early-stage VC firm that is powered by part-time VCs. Julia is also a Mentor at Mass Challenge and a Steering Committee Member at the NEXUS Global Summit.
Chris is the Founder of Novanglus Advisors, an advisory services firm that consults entrepreneurs. Chris is committed to natural, healthy products that are sustainably produced and supportive of the communities that produce them. He is interested to meet high-growth food startups in need of business guidance.He is also a mentor at MassChallenge.
James is the founder of PERILLAS, a mission-based fast-casual Korean bibimbap eatery that aims to create greater value by focusing on people first rather than on profits. He believes that businesses can be profitable while not being primarily profit driven. Prior to launching his company, James worked in finance in a variety of roles including management consultant, fund analyst, accountant, and pricing specialist.
Matt is an entrepreneurial food industry professional with expertise in innovation strategy, product development, operations/supply chain, and program/project management. Matt has worked at food CPG companies ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Matt is primarily interested in companies that have a commitment to a mission/societal impact and currently advises food startups in this area.
Writer, Editor, Journalist & Blogger at The Boston Writer
Steve is a nationally recognized writer and reporter excelling in long- and short-form for print, audio, and multimedia. He’s a driven and skilled professional, relentless researcher, thoughtful interviewer, and enthusiastic student of industry innovation. He reports on everything from food to urbanism to crime for print and digital publications like Civil Eats, The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Edible Boston, and TakePart.
Nicolás is the Co-Founder of Perfect Fuel, a nationally-distributed organic food company that was sold to Home Market Foods in 2017. He is an experienced entrepreneur with 12+ years work in everything from software to food manufacturing and distribution. Nicolás is interested in sustainability and alternative investments, technology, and real estate development. He’s currently working in property investments.
Melissa is the Founder and CEO of Superfrau, a refreshing, gut healthful fruit flavored beverage that is made by upcycling surplus whey from local yogurt and cheese makers. Her mission is to make our local food network more sustainable and accessible. She is also an Immigration Attorney who focuses on asylum and refugee law, removal defense, family-based immigration, protection, and naturalization.
Joe is the CEO of Forager, a social impact startup with the mission of making local food more widely available by simplifying the B2B sourcing process. He is also the Founder of Bushel, a service designed for those who need help to get the garden of their dreams. Joe is a strategy consultant turned entrepreneur. He focuses on supply chain digitization and other technologies under development for the food business.
Northeast Regional Sustainability Coordinator at PRO*ACT
Tori is the Northeast Regional Sustainability Coordinator at PRO*ACT, North America’s leading distributor of fresh produce, sourcing from premier national, regional and local farmers. Tori works directly with growers, distributors, and foodservice partners to increase sustainability, safety, and traceability in the US produce industry. Tori holds a M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University.