Day One — June 20, 2018 Afternoon
Jennie Moss, Founder, RETHINK EVENTS, UK
David Belt, Co-Founder & CEO, NEW LAB, USA
Eric L. Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, CITY OF NEW YORK, USA
• Indoor agriculture has captured the imagination of a generation of new farmers wanting to be part of the future of food movement, connect with healthy food and create a sustainable society.
• What benefits do indoor growing systems bring as part of a sustainable, local and regional food system and as a livelihood for communities?
• What policies, incentives and regulatory requirements are needed to underpin this emerging sector? How does New York compare with other cities such as Oakland or Sacramento which are moving in this direction?
• To what extent can indoor farming provide the nutritional needs of communities and what is the potential for these systems to change people’s eating habits, buying habits and become a solution to public health concerns, such as food deserts?
• How is the convergence of technologies making these indoor facilities possible? As these systems scale, how is the industry going to embrace new tailored technologies such as gene-editing? What’s not possible now that will be in the next 5-10 years?
Victor Friedberg, Founder & Chairman, FOODSHOT GLOBAL, USA
Marc Oshima, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, AEROFARMS, USA
Viraj Puri, CEO, GOTHAM GREENS, USA
Irving Fain, CEO, BOWERY FARMING, USA
Fabio Ziemssen, Director Food Innovation NX-FOOD, METRO AG, GERMANY
• What are retailers and consumers demanding in terms of sustainability, taste, consistency and year-round security? How are produce buyers thinking about this sector? What would they like to see?
• What are the challenges around food safety? What do food producers and operators need to adhere to including certifications, authorisations and audits?
• How are growers successfully communicating the added value of indoor production methods in terms of nutritional value, lifestyle, environmental impact, food safety and flavor? How can customers be convinced to pay higher margins on local, healthier food?
• What commercial approaches are successful companies using to deliver a profitable return? What guarantees do retailers need in order to enter into long-term purchasing commitments with indoor growers? What is the trajectory of these partnerships and how do they scale?
Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg, SVP and Sector Head, Ag/Food Tech and Packaged Food, Food and Agribusiness Industry Advisors WELLS FARGO N.A., USA
Erez Galonska, Co-Founder & CEO, INFARM, GERMANY
Stacie Sopinka, VP Innovation & Product Development, US FOODS, USA
Thomas McQuillan, Director of Food Service Sales and Sustainability, BALDOR FOOD, USA
• A vision for how vertical farming will deliver a robust, affordable and local food supply chain within the mega cities of tomorrow.
Nate Storey, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, PLENTY, USA
Day Two — June 21, 2018 Morning
Rafael Espinal, Council Member, CITY OF NEW YORK, USA
• Which types of operations and technology stacks are having the most success today? How do technology stacks compare and what pain points are operators looking to solve? Who are operators looking to for their integrated solutions?
• How are operators managing their carbon footprint compared to field-grown agriculture and could these systems even replace certain field-grown operations as productivity and efficiencies improve?
• How are long-established farming majors diversifying their growing techniques? What impact will these players have in supporting this emerging industry? Where are the opportunities for partnerships to emerge between companies?
Scott Brady, Founding Partner, INNOVATION ENDEAVORS, USA
Tim Heydon, CEO, SHENANDOAH GROWERS, USA
Paul Lightfoot, CEO, BRIGHT FARMS, USA
Deane Falcone, SVP Plant Science, FRESHBOX FARMS, USA
Daniel Waterhouse, General Partner, BALDERTON CAPITAL, UK
John March, Chair, Biological and Environmental Engineering, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, USA
• Despite the significant investment which has gone into a few indoor hi-tech farming operations, the investment community remains hesitant to put capital into this sector. Has investment peaked or are we going to see investment interest rise?
• Can indoor farming operations scale at a rate that’s attractive to VCs? How long does it take operations to turn a profit? How big are the input costs of this asset-heavy business?
• What is the perceived risk and can it provide high returns? What does a team need to look like to build a global brand? What is the most appropriate capital at each point of the business?
• How can we attract senior debt into the industry to improve the ROI? How does vertical farming differ from other indoor glass house investments?
Joel S. Marcus, Executive Chairman & Founder, ALEXANDRIA REAL ESTATE EQUITIES, INC. / ALEXANDRIA VENTURE INVESTMENTS, USA
Lynne Zydowsky, Chief Science Officer, ALEXANDRIA REAL ESTATE EQUITIES, INC. / ALEXANDRIA VENTURE INVESTMENTS, USA
Sanjeev Krishnan, Managing Director & CIO, S2G VENTURES, USA
Adrian Percy, Head of Research & Development, Crop Science BAYER, GERMANY
John Dombrosky, CEO, AGTECH ACCELERATOR, USA
Carl Casale, Board Member, SYNGENTA, USA
Sir Henry Aykroyd, Founder & Director, INTELLIGENT GROWTH SOLUTIONS (IGS), UK
• Automation and digital management are critical in reducing costs in order to increase gross margins and optimize efficiencies. What value can data bring to the supply chain as a whole?
• What technology solutions can be transferred from more established glass house operations and open field agriculture to hi-tech indoor operations? What lessons can be learned about future proofing operations as the industry evolves?
• How will breakthroughs in LED science, automation, machine-learning and AI change the efficiency equation? Can indoor, artificial-light based systems ever be efficient as conventional agriculture when taking distribution into account?
• What field trials and research are taking place to grow high value crops such as fruiting plants in a totally controlled environment? How can investors, universities and research centers collaborate effectively?
Emma Cosgrove, Staff Writer, AGFUNDER NEWS, USA
Jan Westra, Strategic Business Development Director, PRIVA, NETHERLANDS
Josh Ruiz, VP Agricultural Operations, CHURCH BROTHERS FARMS, USA
Dave Scott, Founder & CTO, INTELLIGENT GROWTH SOLUTIONS (IGS), UK
Ally Monk, Co-Founder & CEO, MOTORLEAF, CANADA
Day Two — June 21, 2018 Afternoon
Discover new and disruptive solutions and meet some of the most innovative entrepreneurs at the summit. Six selected early-to-mid stage agtech companies each have seven minutes to pitch their solution and outline their business plan before taking questions from the ‘Shark Panel’ and the summit audience.
Jonathan Lodge, CEO, CITY FARM SYSTEMS, UK
Iddo Geltner, CEO, ARUGGA AI FARMING, ISRAEL
Nick Genty, Founder, SMART SPECTRUM, USA
Kosuke Yamada, CEO, PLANTX, JAPAN
Adam Greenberg, CEO, IUNU, USA
Hunter Swisher, Founder, PHOSPHOLUTIONS, USA
Micki Seibel, Discover Team, SOCIAL CAPITAL, USA
John Dombrosky, CEO, AGTECH ACCELERATOR, USA
• The UAE is looking to innovative technologies and indoor farming as a solution for food security and food safety concerns. To what extent could controlled environment agriculture play a role and how are governments, academia and industry collaborating to deliver solutions?
Omar Al Jundi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BADIA FARMS, UAE
To what extent can lighting be tailored to particular plants, operations and industry regulations to maximize growing conditions while improving crop flavor, color, nutritional quality and efficiency?
Travis Williams, Head of Brand Marketing, FLUENCE, USA
• What are the latest approaches to optimizing yields in vertical, controlled environment agriculture? How can emerging technologies around seeds and genetics better service this industry and to what extent can you tailor genetic considerations to match specific operations?
• What role do other system inputs including growth media and nutrients have in fine-tuning the outputs and delivering a consistent product?
• What can we expect in the near term and longer-term horizons? As these systems evolve, what partnerships can we expect? Where will the next wave of innovation come from?
John Reich, Scientific Programme Director, FFAR, USA
John Purcell, Global Vegetables R&D Lead, MONSANTO COMPANY, USA
Neil Mattson, CEA Director and Associate, Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Horticulture, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, USA
Sekhar Boddupalli, Senior Vice President, Food Sector, INTREXON CORPORATION, USA
Fayaz Khazi, Chief Executive Officer of Elo Life Systems, PRECISION BIOSCIENCES, USA
Lasse Schulze, Director of R&D and Horticulture, CRONOS GROUP, CANADA
• As indoor farming systems move closer towards pharmaceutical production systems, what are the speciality opportunities that indoor agriculture can access within the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical space?
• What are the technical challenges that need to be solve and what are the technology frontiers and what are the costs to get to a commercial product?
Arama Kukutai, Managing Director, FINISTERE VENTURES, USA
Nate Storey, Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer, PLENTY, USA
Jessica Kristof, VP R&D, PHYLOS BIOSCIENCES, USA
Barry Holtz, President, IBIO CDMO, USA
Brian Gilman, VP of Business Development, BENSON HILL BIOSYSTEMS, USA
• How can the industry best support aspiring entrepreneurs looking to deliver scalable and profitable businesses in indoor farming? How can they de-risk their business model and attract more capital into the sector?
• The US government offers tax reductions on water and electricity, subsidizes workforces and assists in real estate acquisition. How does this work in practice and what additional support is needed?
• What resources are available to drive forward this industry and how can the private and public sector work together more effectively?
Jeffrey Landau, Projects Director, AGRITECTURE CONSULTING, USA
Tobias Peggs, CEO, SQUARE ROOTS URBAN GROWERS, USA
Michael Guttman, Director Sustainable Development, KENNETT TOWNSHIP, USA
Brad McNamara, CEO & Co-Founder, FREIGHT FARMS, USA
Eri Hayashi, Director, International Relations & Consulting, JAPAN PLANT FACTORY ASSOCIATION (JPFA), JAPAN