Who is speaking

Adam Anders
Managing Partner
Anterra Capital
Adam has over 15 years private equity and venture capital experience, having entered the sector as a senior operational executive for several venture capital funded businesses. Adam has held senior roles at Rabobank including as a Director of Rabobank Private Equity and the Managing Director of Rabo Ventures. Prior to this Adam was with Ironbridge Capital, a Private Equity house in Sydney, Australia. Earlier in his career Adam worked as a management consultant with Bain & Co and as a commercial lawyer. Adam grew up in rural South Australia where his interest in food and agriculture innovation was initiated. Adam is a regular speaker at food and agriculture conferences and is passionate about improving our food and agriculture system. Adam holds an MBA degree from Cambridge University, England and a Bachelors Degree in Law and a Bachelors Degree in Commerce, both from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
Arthur de Crook
Co-founder and Ambassador
Arthur de Crook is co-founder and Ambassador of RoboValley. Along with Dan Harburg of Anterra Capital, he will speak at the F&A Next 2018 on robotics start-ups that promise to have a major impact on the agrifood sector. Arthur de Crook is an agrarian economist on a social mission. He wants to entice agrifood entrepreneurs to deploy robotics to make their businesses more sustainable. That’s why he set up RoboValley, a tech-transfer & innovation hub at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, dedicated to entrepreneurs who want to find out more about robotics. “Thanks to robots, we can inspect food better and we can work the land with lighter machines,” says De Crook. “We can also process food more efficiently, which helps to prevent food waste.”
Bart Leurs
Chief Digital Transformation Officer
As of September 2017, Bart is responsible as Board Member for The Digital Transformation and Innovation at Rabobank. Bart has been working in Banking and Insurance in various international positions ranging from Strategy to Operations Management and Marketing & Sales, with an emphasis and strong background in Retail, Direct Banking, digital transformation and Innovation. Specialties: Direct Banking, Direct Sales, Intermediary Sales, Distribution Management, Mortgage Sales, Operations Management, (Mobile) Payments, Digital transformation, Commercial Banking , Change Management and Innovation.
Ben Langelaan
Research Manager Food Technology
Wageningen University & Research
Ben Langelaan is trained as a materials engineer and obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology. From 1995 to 2002 he worked as a researcher at Wageningen University & Research on topics such as extrusion, separation technologies and mild preservation methods. In the next eight years, Ben was responsible for the development and optimization of manufacturing processes for solid and liquid pharmaceuticals within NV Organon. In June 2010 Ben was appointed as head of the research group Food Technology of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. His current work focuses on product and process innovation for the food industry, with emphasis on mild preservation technology, biorefinery and resource efficiency.
Christian Meermann
Founding Partner
Cherry Ventures
Christian is a Founding Partner at Cherry. After some years at The Boston Consulting Group, Christian joined Zalando (FSE:ZAL) as their first CMO. Christian was responsible for building up and managing the group’s marketing efforts (i.e. performance marketing, CRM, PR, TV and brand marketing). He then joined the Management Board of Peek&Cloppenburg and was responsible for the company’s online business. He holds a diploma in business administration from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. He has lived and worked in the U.S., Spain, Brazil and South Africa. Christian gets excited about founders that are as passionate about execution as they are about building a strong and sustainable brand. He has a particular focus on logistics and mobility as well a food technology companies.
Fabio Ziemssen
Director Food Innovation
Passionate about Innovation, FoodTech and Creative Entrepreneurship . Speaker, Moderator and Community Builder. / Co-Founder Super7000 GmbH & Co-Founder Foodnext.de
Isabelle C.H. Esser
Senior Vice President Research & Development, Foods
Isabelle C.H. Esser is the Senior Vice President of Research & Development, Foods at Unilever, a leading manufacturer of consumer goods including food, personal and home care products. In her executive leadership role, Dr. Esser makes the most of her heightened proficiencies in the area of consumer awareness by dexterously and scrupulously overseeing research and development for the Foods division, handling strategic planning initiatives, and managing the technical centers. Dr. Esser has spent more than two decades nurturing an ever emergent skill set, which currently enables her to thrive in her role with the renowned company.
Janet Bumpas
Program Director
F&A Next is very pleased to welcome ScaleUpNation’s Janet Bumpas, at our 2018 event. Janet is a start-up ‘veteran’. She comes from Silicon Valley, where she was involved in three different start-ups. She currently lives in Amsterdam where she is Program Director at ScaleUpNation, working at the intersection between corporates and innovative entrepreneurship.
Rick van de Zedde
Sr. scientist/ business developer Phenomics & Automation
Wageningen University & Research
Rick van de Zedde is a senior scients/ business developer for Phenomics & Automation at Wageningen University & Research, where he has worked since 2004. His background is in Artificial Intelligence with a focus on imaging and robotics. In 2002, he graduated with a MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Groningen. Since 2006 he has been a coordinator of Agro Food Robotics, a joint initiative of several research institutes within Wageningen UR. He is also one of the initiators of the Phenomics initiative within WUR - www.phenomics.nl - in which 15 WUR research groups work closely together on plant phenotyping projects. In 2012 he was directly involved in launching the EU-project PicknPack - www.picknpack.eu, in which advanced robotic food packaging lines will be developed and demonstrated to the food industry. He also takes an active role in research. In 2011, he was head of the MARVIN-project in which he and his team developed a tomato seedling inspection approach based on 3D reconstruction. In the current EU project EPPN, he is the leader of the “Novel Instrumentation for Plant Phenotyping” work package. In the EU-COST action FA1306, http://costfa1306.eu/ “The quest for tolerant varieties - Phenotyping at plant and cellular level”, he is WG3 leader taking care of the integration of phenotyping at plant and cell level and translation into good practices for applied end use. EPPN, PicknPack and other on-going projects explore the potential of fast 3D shape analysis agrifood products and vision-guided robotics, areas in which WUR has recently made significant breakthroughs.
Kieran Furlong
Finistere Ventures
Kieran heads the Finistere Ventures E.U. office based in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to his activities in Ireland and the rest of Europe, he is focused on the application of biologicals in crop protection and animal health. Kieran brings a wealth of international experience from large chemicals companies and biotech/cleantech start-ups to the Finistere team. He started his career with the global chemical firm, ICI, and spent a decade in the catalyst industry with ICI and Johnson Matthey in a range of technical and commercial roles across the globe. During this time he worked closely with major agribusiness customers such as Cargill, ADM and Bunge. Following his career in the chemical industry, Kieran entered the world of start-ups. He first worked at Solzyme – an algae biotechnology company – piecing together the company’s initial manufacturing supply chain and launching its first commercial product (a skincare serum). Kieran then led the business development activities at Virent including a successful partnership with The Coca-Cola Company in the development of a 100% bio-based PET bottle. He has now turned his attention to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. A native of Ireland, Kieran has recently returned to his home country following 20 years overseas in the USA, Germany, the UK and Argentina. Kieran has a degree in Chemical Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University where he was an Arjay Millar Scholar.
Louise O. Fresco
Wageningen University & Reseach
Prof. Louise O. Fresco has been the President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board since 1 July 2014. Louise Fresco is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (based in Stockholm), a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain (based in Madrid), a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities and a foreign member of the French Academy of Agriculture. She is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In addition, she is a Professor at Wageningen University and a corresponding member of Belgium’s Royal Academy of Overseas Sciences.
Michiel Kotting
Northzone Ventures
Michiel joined Northzone in 2016. His areas of interest are mobile, marketplaces, fintech, AI and data analytics. His portfolio includes Catawiki, Personio, FreightHub, and Aidence, and he has previously invested in companies such as Fiverr, Vinted, KNC and Packlink. Michiel joined Northzone in 2016 from Accel London. Originally from the Netherlands, Michiel spent the early years of his career at BCG before founding Digital Jones, an artificial intelligence company, in Silicon Valley. “I was blown away by the entrepreneurial drive I saw in the US, and their ability to think big. I knew I had to be a part of it. Starting and growing Digital Jones taught me the importance of tenacity and respect for the fundraising process. We pitched to 104 VCs before we got funding, and only raised a small amount of cash, which forced us to really think about revenue. That, in turn, is what saved us in the dot com crash.” The company went on to be acquired by shopping.com, with Michiel joining as VP Operations. “I remember sleeping under my desk two nights a week while the shopping.com deal was closing!” After a period learning all about business consolidation as he helped turn shopping.com around from a $25 million loss to a $25 million profit, Michiel went on to start an online marketing company for the beauty industry. He joined Accel in 2011, bringing his experience of building businesses to the other side of the table. “When you’re building a startup, you are not just learning to fly the airplane, you’re trying to build it mid-flight. You have to make tough decisions, and market feedback becomes your best friend. Strategy is all well and good but you really have to test learn, and re-test, quickly.” Michiel has a graduate degree in physics from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Outside of Northzone, you’ll most likely find him being bossed around by his 8-year old son or trying out new Peruvian and Indonesian recipes.
Niccolo Manzoni
Five Seasons Ventures
Niccolo’ is a co-founder of Five Seasons Ventures and is one of the earliest foodtech venture investors in Europe. In his tenure at Coller Capital in London, he worked directly with Jeremy Coller to create a unique portfolio including investments in 10 of the most high profile Food Tech companies in the world: Hampton Creek, Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats, Clear Labs, Clara Foods, Gelzen, Kite Hill, MuuFree and SunFed. His experience includes structuring early stage investments, providing board governance and helping founders on subsequent financing. He establishes a proprietary network for deal flow, due diligence and investment in Food Tech and he is an advisor/mentor to various accelerator/incubator programs. He has established a proprietary network Niccolo’ started his career at McKinsey and Monitor and graduated from London School of Economics & Peking University and Bocconi He enjoys cooking, a weekly game a five-a-side and spend time with his family.
Nicholas Fereday
Senior Analyst - Consumer Foods Trends
Senior Analyst - Consumer Foods Trends at Rabobank Within RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness, Nicholas Fereday is covering research on the North American Value Added Processing sector. Prior to joining Rabobank, he was a Senior Economist and Vice President of Sales, Research & Marketing, at LMC International, an independent economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. Prior to LMC, Nick worked as a Senior Research Economist for The Natural Resources Institute in the U.K. Additionally he has worked as a freelance economic journalist, a Senior Economist with the Government of Papua New Guinea, as well as a lecturer/tutor in Applied Economics. Nick holds a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from Reading University in the U.K.
Raanan Cohen
Raanan founded Bringg in 2013 with the vision of changing the way businesses deliver in the on-demand era. Raanan is a seasoned entrepreneur. He was the Founder & CEO of MobileMax, leading the company from concept to multimillion-dollar international sales and IPO. With Bringg, Raanan is one of the industry’s foremost speakers and bloggers, a respected authority on logistics and supply chain market trends and disruptions, speaking in conferences and forums around the globe. Raanan is a happily married father of twin girls and two boys. As an avid sports addict, Raanan has completed numerous marathons and triathlons including ironman & ultra-marathon distances.
Rens de Jong
His energy, warmth, and sense of humor, combined with a sharp and in-depth knowledge, make Rens de Jong a specialist conference moderator. Rens takes visitors through a format full of content. He leads the debates, makes sure people tell their best stories, and gets the audience engaged. Combined with an infectious energy, he makes your event a real show. His clients describe him as intelligent, energetic and a source of advice in how to create a great event. Rens is a well known TV & Radio talk show host in the Netherlands. At the national commercial news station BNR News Radio he presented “Doing Business with Rens de Jong.” For the national B2B TV station RTLZ he hosts the Business talk show “Z in Business” and he hosts the program “The Growth Challenge”. His specialties are innovation, sustainability, technology, entrepreneurship and human capital.
Sean de Cleene
Head of Food Security & Agriculture System Initiative
World Economic Forum
Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Responsible for overseeing business and market development strategies, innovative financing and strategic partnerships. Former positions include: Senior Vice President, Global Initiatives, Strategy and Business Development, Yara International Chair, World Economic Forum New Vision for Agriculture incorporating multi-stakeholder partnerships in 14 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America including partnering to form both Grow Africa and Grow Asia Founding Co-Chair Grow Africa Seconded as Special Adviser, UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Food Security and Nutrition. Previously Sean was a successful innovator having jointly initiated a number of respected cross sector partnership platforms and initiatives including inter alia Grow Africa, African Green Revolution Forum, Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor, Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, Malawi Agriculture Partnership, Business Action Against Corruption, UNEP Finance Initiative Africa Taskforce, African Sustainable Investment Centre, African Institute of Corporate Citizenship, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Sustainability Index and several companies specialising in business sustainability and social entrepreneurship.
Tony Fadell
With over 300 patents to his name, Tony’s a prolific engineer. He’s also a product guy, marketer, CEO, entrepreneur, investor and mentor. As a devoted family man, he wants to leave the world in a better shape for his kids.
Viggo Halseth
Chief Innovation Officer Member Executive Committee
Viggo joined Nutreco in 1984. He has a longstanding career in Nutreco and had various positions in marketing, general and business unit management within Skretting ARC and Skretting. Viggo studied Animal Hubandry at Agriculture University and Marketing and Strategy Development at Norwegian Business School.
Gil Horsky, Panellist
Global Director Innovation
Mondelēz International
Gil Horsky is a global innovation executive in the world’s biggest snacking company, Mondelēz International. During his career Gil Horsky has leveraged strong business and consumer insights to identify, develop and launch over $500MM of new branded food products that delighted consumers around the globe, on some of the most iconic global food brands: Milka, Pepsi, Oreo, Quaker Oats, Toblerone & Cadbury. After completing his MBA at Kellogg, Horsky enjoyed working on a variety of categories and roles from managing a $500MM snack bars and breakfast portfolio with PepsiCo in North America, to leading globally the innovation of a $1B chocolate sub-category for Kraft Foods/ Mondelēz Intl. Currently, Horsky is the Global Director Innovation for the Mondelēz Biscuits category, with leading brands such as: Oreo, belVita, TUC, LU, Triscuits and others. Gil Horsky is an active leader in the Israeli food-tech ecosystem, mentoring local food-tech startups, and is a frequent speaker in international conferences about the topics of innovation, foodtech, marketing and intrapreneurship.
Adrian Percy, Panellist
Global Head of Research and Development for Crop Science
Division of Bayer
As the head of Research and Development for the Crop Science division at Bayer, I believe that the way we need to innovate in the future will be different than how we’ve done it in the past in order to solve the daunting world challenges like feeding the 9 billion people by 2050 and finding new technologies to help protect crops against changes in climatic conditions. While I am proud to lead the 4800 scientists and technical staff who are located across the globe, I know it will take more than just us to generate the new solutions and technologies that will enable growers to produce safe and quality food, feed and fiber. So this brings me to the C’s…it’s all about collaboration, cooperation, and connection. No one company can solve these challenges or bring awareness to an issue by working alone.
Dan Altschuler Malek, Panellist
Venture Partner
New Crop Capital
Dan Altschuler Malek is an entrepreneur experienced in sustainability, startups, and international trade. His endeavors over the last 20 years include launching a natural snack company, heading a logistics firm, opening a restaurant, and managing a creative agency. He holds a degree in Business Management from Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana and an MBA from Babson College. As Venture Partner, Dan pursues strategic opportunities across Latin America for New Crop Capital’s portfolio companies.
Dan Harburg, Panellist
Anterra Capital
I am a scientist and entrepreneur working at the intersection of agriculture, robotics, electronics, materials, chemistry and biology to develop disruptive companies. I am an engineer and a physicist by schooling and deeply enjoy using my problem-solving skills to generate meaningful solutions for the world's greatest needs. I can read patents, build spreadsheets, and write code or go deep with art critics or Spanish chefs. I fundamentally believe that success in startups comes from building teams of multi-lingual experts who share a common language of human-centered design and never stop questioning their assumptions.
Didier Toubia, Panellist
Aleph Farms
Didier has co-founded and held key positions at several innovative medical device companies in Israel. He currently serves as the CEO of NLT SPINE, and previously co-founded and managed of IceCure Medical (TASE: ICCM). Prior to that, he was Head of Business Development at SurgiVision, and Partner- Life Sciences at Cukierman & Co. Investment House. Didier hold an Engineering degree from AgroSup Dijon (France), a Mastère degree from ESCP Europe (France) and a joint Executive MBA from Kellogg and Recanati schools of management (Israel and the USA).
Ellen de Brabander, Panellist
Sr. Vice President Nutrition R&D
Ellen joined PepsiCo in 2014 as Senior Vice President with responsibility for setting and delivering Europe and Africa South R&D strategy. Since the beginning of 2015 she leads all R&D in the nutrition category which includes the platforms juices, grains, dairy and sports nutrition. Ellen has worked in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, health/nutrition and coatings. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Ellen was Chief Scientific Officer and Global Head of Research, Development and Regulatory Affairs for Merial Limited (the animal health division of Sanofi). Among her accomplishments are the transformation of Merial R&D into a high-performing organization, obtaining seven new product approvals in Europe and the U.S. in 2013 including the blockbusters Nexgard and Broadline. Prior to her role at Merial, Ellen held executive R&D, business strategy and program management positions at Intervet and DSM. Ellen earned a PhD cum laude in bio-organic chemistry from Leiden University in The Netherlands and completed post-doctoral work in molecular biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Nobel Laureate H.G. Khorana. In 2000, she was awarded the Golden Medal from the Royal Dutch Chemical Society for her research achievements. She is based in the UK.
Richard van der Linde, Panellist
FTNON Lacque Food Robotics
I am currently CEO and co-founder of Lacquey BV, a private company that provides intelligent robotic grasping solutions for the fresh food industry. Early 2015 we merged with FTNON, global supplier of food equipment in the food industry. Together we build a globally leading organisation that will bring the fresh cut industry to the next level of automation. Bringing leading edge technological innovation such as robotics from research up to building a successful business and working with motivated and talented people is what drives me.
Andy Ziolkowski, Expert Panel
Managing Director
Cultivian Sandbox
Andy Ziolkowski is a Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures. Andy has over 30 years of experience in venture capital investing and merchant banking across a broad range of industries. His investment track record includes DexCom, Biomimetic Pharmaceuticals, FutureHealth, Tessera, i-STAT and The Liposome Company. Prior to founding Cultivian Ventures, Andy was a Managing Director of SAE Ventures and Forest Street Capital, where he spent fourteen years as an investor and advisor to early stage healthcare and technology companies. Previously, he was a Director of Venture Capital at Credit Suisse First Boston Merchant Bank.
Dr. Jaleh Daie, Expert Panel
Managing Partner
Aurora Equity
Dr. Daie has extensive executive experience in private and public institutions and academia. She is managing partner at Aurora Equity, a Palo Alto-based investment company financing technology start ups. She is also Treasurer of the US Space Foundation and a member of the Band of Angels. Most recently, she was director of science and senior advisor to the president at the Packard Foundation where she provided executive and technical direction for a $120 million annual budget and managed a diversified portfolio of science and technology.
Dries Crevits, Panellist
Executive Director
Dries joined Korys in February 2016. Prior to joining Korys, Dries worked for 7 years at PMV, the investment company of the Flemish Region, where he was responsible for equity investments and corporate finance within the legal department. Before that he held several positions in the financial sector, at KBC Bank, the Securities Regulation Fund and Fortis Bank. Dries holds a Law Degree from the University of Leuven (KUL) (Belgium) and a Master’s Degree in Economic Law from the University of Louvain (UCL) (Belgium). He likes to spend time with his wife and kids, and cycling helps him to disconnect from time to time.
Vijay Chauhan, Panellist
GlobalSTL Lead
Vijay Chauhan is experienced Corporate Business Development Executive and a startup CEO of multiple companies in the Life Sciences space. He was CEO of companies in the Consumer Healthcare, Ag/Renewable Energy and Cancer Diagnostics space. He is leading BioSTL’s initiative, GlobalSTL (www.globalstl.org) to attract companies from over 10 international countries including Israel, Ireland, Netherlands, France, etc. to St. Louis that can deliver competitive advantage to St. Louis corporations, leading research institutions and investors. GlobalSTL’s mission is to be a navigator to St. Louis’ worldclass corporate and innovation ecosystem and to deliver strategic partners to drive business growth in North America for the international companies it recruits to St. Louis. GlobalSTL is sourcing innovation in the Agri Tech, Digital Health, Financial Tech, Cybersecurity and Industrial Technologies space. Prior to this role, Vijay was Senior Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at the BioGenerator, BioSTL and St. Louis region’s premier venture development organization for Life Science startups. As an EIR at BioGenerator, Vijay worked with over 22 startups, raising capital and developing investable business plans for 6 companies.
Mark Durno, Panellist
Program Director Agritech atRockstart
FoodTrack by Maersk
Entrepreneur turned Program Director, focus on food and agri. Previously start-up team at UrbanFarmers, Swiss company that design, build and operate commercial urban farms under the “UF” brand. Managed construction/operation of Europe’s first two commercial rooftop greenhouses. Lead for financing and launching companies international expansion to Benelux. Currently building Rockstart Agritech Accelerator.
Kevin Camphuis, Panellist
Co founder
ShakeUpFactory is a Business Accelerator and a Venture Captal firm for disruptive Tech Startups, focused on the Food & Beverage and Travel & Hospitality Industries. We leverage a community of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors to provide tailored support and advise to startups and entrepreneurs. We act as non executive board member with a hands-on involvement approach
Roderick de Rode, Panellist
Founder & CEO
Spinn, Inc.
Spinn introduces a new way to brew and experience coffee. Based on patented centrifugal brewing technology Spinn delivers a great tasting Espresso, Americano, or drip coffee. The Wifi connected machine auto-replenishes using a marketplace for local ‘third wave’ coffee roasters. Spinn solves the POD problem, using fresh beans instead of expensive, wasteful and not-fresh pods. The machine makes a single serve or a carafe of coffee from fresh grounded beans and is auto-cleaning. Spinn is very flexible, automatically managing 8 parameters to make the perfect coffee.
Ricardo Sequerra Amram, Expert Panel
Cherry Ventures
Ricardo is a Principal at Cherry Ventures. Previously, he spent several years gaining experience as an operator as well as working closely with founders in the roles he held at Faber Ventures, Seedrs and Seedcamp. Born in Lisbon, he speaks five languages and has lived in Portugal, Argentina, Spain, the UK and now Germany. He studied Economics in Lisbon and holds an MSc. in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from ESADE Business School. Ricardo is especially passionate about businesses building competitive advantages through data and addictive products able to change people’s habits.
Gert de Raaff, Panellist
Director New Business
Jon Binney, Panellist
CTO & Co-Founder
Iron Ox