Skip to content

2023 Conference

The 2023 Virtual Summit on Ag & Food Tech brought together attendees virtually from around the world over three days to watch, learn, and discuss the latest topics on food and agriculture.

On day 1, we learned about how precision fermentation can create nutritious and sustainable food products, strategies for scaling regenerative agriculture, and the intersection of food and medicine. 

On day 2, we learned about how global challenges have impacted supply chains, the benefits to implementing progressive labor practices, and the challenges and benefits to creating a premium brand. On day 3, we explored topics like the circular economy, sustainability measurement and reporting, and gene editing technology.

Lastly, we had three budding entrepreneurs pitch live at the finals of our startup competition.

300+ Total attendees | 32 Countries represented | $1,600 Raised for out charity partner.

Watch on Zoom Events

Tuesday, April 25: Looking Backwards

11:45 pm – 12:00 pm

Opening Remarks by the Tuck Food & Ag Club Co-chairs (Class of 2023)

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm Fireside Chat: Entrepreneurship and Building a Better Food System through Machine Learning with Jasmin Hume (CEO & Founder, Shiru)
01:00 pm – 01:45 pm

Panel: Cultivating Change – Precision Fermentation and the Future of Food

  • Ariel Blumovich (T’10) (CEO, YD Labs)
  • Laura Katz (Founder and CEO, Helaina)
  • Irina Gerry (Chief Momentum Officer, Change Foods)
02:00 pm – 02:45 pm

Panel: How Can We Scale Regenerative Agriculture?

  • Deirdre Heekin, (Winegrower and Author, La garagista)
  • Mark Lewis (Managing Partner, Trailhead Capital)
  • Casey Peck (Senior Associate, Agriculture Capital)
03:00 pm – 03:45 pm

Panel: Food as Medicine – Investors, Companies, and Policies Changing Human Health

  • Mike Wise (VP, S2G Ventures)

  • Kendall Singleton (VP of Partnerships and Compliance, Nourished RX)

  • Robyn O’brien (Founder, Sirona Ventures)

05:00 pm – 05:45 pm Fireside Chat: Creating Winning New Food Products with Mike Adair (T’09) (CEO and Co-Founder of Red’s All Natural) and Adam Melonas (CEO and Founder of Chew Innovation and FastFood)

Wednesday, April 26: Looking at 2023

01:00 pm – 01:45 pm

Panel: Supply Chain Vulnerability​

  • Ayodeji Balogun (CEO,  AFEX Commodities Exchange)
  • Ferdi van Heerden (CEO, Cooko)
  • Linda Ihuthia (Managing Director, Catapult Africa)
02:00 pm – 02:45 pm Fireside Chat: Building a Distinctive Employee Culture with John Pepper (T’97) (Co-Founder and Chief Worker Advocate of Boloco) and Professor Scott Anthony (D’96) (Tuck School of Business)
03:00 pm – 03:45 pm

Panel: De-commodification and Premiumization – Brand, Scale and Consumer Education

  • Bill Tine (T’02) (Chief Marketing Officer, King Arthur Baking Company)
  • Jesse LaFlamme (Former CEO, Pete & Gerry’s)

Thursday, April 27 :Looking Forwards

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm Fireside Chat: Supercharging Plants with Dan Jacques (T’93) (Vice President Of Business Development, Sound Agriculture)
01:00 pm – 01:45 pm

Panel: Circular economy and upcycling food waste​

  • Blythe Chorn (T’13) (Managing Director, KPMG US)
  • Daniel Kurzrock (CEO and Co-Founder, ReGrained)
02:00 pm – 02:45 pm

Panel: Sustainability measurement and reporting

  • Christina Lampert (Director of Growth & Innovation, HowGood)
  • Jed Davis (Director of Sustainability, Cabot Creamery)
  • Matthew Banks (Associate Director of Sustainability, Guidehouse)
03:00 pm – 03:45 pm Fireside Chat: Net Zero with Harry Morrison (Partner, Sustainability & Responsibility Practice, Bain & Company)
04:00 pm – 04:45 pm Keynote: Gene-editing Technology for Healthier Produce with Haven Baker (Co-Founder, Chief Business Officer, Pairwise)
05:00 pm – 06:00pm Start-up competition: Final
06:00 pm – 06:15pm Closing remarks by the incoming Tuck Food & Ag co-chairs (Class of 2024)

Jesse LaFlamme
Former CEO
Pete & Gerry’s

Dan Jacques (T’93)
VP of Business Development
Sound Agriculture

Jasmin Hume
CEO & Founder

Irina Gerry
Chief Momentum Officer
Change Foods

Mark Lewis
Managing Partner
Trailhead Capital

Robyn O’brien
Sirona Ventures

Laura Katz

Harry Morrison
Partner, Sustainability & Responsibility Practice
Bain & Company

Daniel Kurzrock
CEO & Founder

Christina Lampert
Director of Growth & Innovation

Mike Wise
S2G Ventures

Deirdre Heekin
Winegrower and Author
La garagista farm + winery

Haven Baker

Ariel Blumovich (T’10)
Founder & CEO

Jed Davis
VP, Strategic Engagement and Sustainability
Cabot Creamery

Blythe Chorn
Managing Director

John Pepper
Co-Founder and Chief Worker Advocate

Matthew Banks
Associate Director of Sustainability

Mike Adair (T’09
Red’s All Natura

Bill Tine
Chief Marketing Officer
King Arthur Baking

Ferdi van Heerden

Ayodeji Balogun
AFEX Commodities Exchange

Kendall Singleton
VP of Partnerships and Compliance
Nourished Rx

Adam Melonas
CEO and Founder
Chew Innovation + Fastfood

We are excited to have Willing Hands as our 2023 charity partner! Willing Hands recovers fresh food from farms, grocery stores, restaurants, and wholesalers to deliver it year-round, for free, to 80 social service organizations across the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire.

All proceeds from registration fees will go towards Willing Hands. Please visit their website to learn more!

The 2023 VSAFT Startup Competition featured exciting startups in the agriculture, food, and technology space.

Competition Details

Top 10 companies land on the desk of prominent foodtech VCs. Winner receives 1:1 advisory time with advisors. Top 3 companies presented live virtually to prominent foodtech VCs on April 27, 2023 @ 5pm w/ judge Q&A.

Company Eligibility:

  • Raised < $500k in dilutive funding
  • ​Operating in the food & ag space
  • Less than 5 years old 

Pitch competition judges

Natalie Cira
BHP Ventures

Schuyler Dalton
Impact Investing (Regenerative Agriculture)
World Wildlife Fund

Monica Pani
Senior Associate
LDC Innovations at  Louis Dreyfus Company

Advisors for Winners

José Alvarez
Clinical Professor of Business Administration,​
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Schuyler Dalton
Impact Investing (Regenerative Agriculture)
World Wildlife Fund

Jim Feuille
Venture Partner
Crosslink Capital

Tobin Krieg
Falcon Ventures

Daniella Reischstetter
Clinical Professor of Business Administration,
Faculty Advisor (Center for Entrepreneurship),
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Executive Committee

Clara Auvray-Stiritz T’23
Julia Megson T’23

Kathleen Barada T’23
Emma Toogood T’23

Julia Goldman T’23
Osmond Wang T’23

Committee Members

Olakunle Alao T’24
Valeria Barbosa T’24
Laura D’Angelo T’24
Liza Green T’23
Mia Loiferman T’23
Seamus O’Neill T’24
Sydney Reichert T’24
Madeline Soutter T’23

Alfredo Baudet T’23
Bill Dudine T’24
Isabella Ford T’23
Pierce Gibson T’24
Gagan Makhija T’24
Laura Peterson T’24
Abhishek Senapati T’24
Yuka Sugimori T’23

Charlotte Biffar T’23
Hannah Darpoe T’24
Joseph Flaherty T’24
Claire Hogan T’24
Katie Murphy T’24
Elizabeth Raboy T’23
Varna Sharma T’22
Charley Yu T’23

Faculty Advisors

José Alvarez
Clinical Professor of Business Administration

James Feuille
Adjunct Professor; Faculty Adviser, Center for PEVC