Calling all foodies, techies and innovators! This session brings three local startups together that are tackling technology in the food industry for a delectable + geeky exchange. Learn how these entrepreneurs are transforming the B2B and B2C markets with new solutions and more efficient approaches to increasing revenue and lowering food costs. One of the coolest sessions during DC Week, the panel will tell all about their experience in this space and welcomes questions from those interested in this new frontier.
3 food startups offering advice and sharing best practices on how they come up with their startup idea, the lessons they have learned and the struggles of being a first time or seasoned entrepreneur - Q/A with audience Speakers
Kash Rehman, Founder & CEO, Foodem.com (www.foodem.com) After experiencing firsthand how lack of pricing transparency and manual processing increase costs and impair customer satisfaction throughout the wholesale food supply chain, Kash Rehman founded Foodem.com in 2010. Foodem is an online trading, business intelligence, and process automation solution for the $650 Billion U.S. wholesale food distribution industry. Essentially, it is a marketplace that connects food distributors, local farms and specialty food manufacturers with wholesale food buyers, such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. Foodem also enables the sustainable food movement by satisfying the growing business demand for more local, sustainably-produced, and healthier food choices in restaurants and institutions. Prior, Kash was the Director of Operations for a broadline food distributor where he managed company-wide food procurement, sales, marketing and logistics departments and had full P&L responsibility. From 2002 to 2008 he grew revenue from $2MM to $12MM by expanding the company’s product offering and by obtaining the company’s first federal and state government agency contracts. In early 2004 he launched the first ever Internet cafe and restaurant in College Park, Maryland catering to the University of Maryland students. Selling the business to a Chinese restaurant chain after 23 months produced a 3X return on investment. Kash started his career working as a Business Analyst for a business and technology consulting firm where he worked on the planning and implementation of several projects for NEXTEL, including a Wireless Number Portability Program. Kash is part of the MindShare class of 2012, an invitation-only networking group for the CEO's of high growth companies in the D.C. area, and he was nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award for 2012. He graduated from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Management and Information Systems.
Valerie Coffman, Founder, Feastie (www.feastie.com) After earning a B.S. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Cornell, Valerie spent five years at the National Institute of Science and Technology writing software for Materials Science research. She left N.I.S.T. in July 2011 to combine her talents for crunching numbers and programming with her love of cooking (and eating) great food by founding Feastie. She is also a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School INNoVATE program and the Founder Institute.
Karl Johnson, CTO, Venga, (www.GoVenga.com) Karl has spent the last 13 years in software development working for multiple early stage DC startups as well as top firms like Microsoft, Accenture and Booz Allen. Two years ago, he somehow got involved with opening a coffee shop on Capitol Hill, which quickly blossomed into a full service restaurant, and is the majority partner. Finding a way to merge his passions for food and technology, Karl joined restaurant software startup Venga, as the CTO, in early 2011, and continues to push the envelope in data analytics and guest relationship building for the restaurant industry.
VENUE: Washington, DC Economic Partnership -- 1495 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20004