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Tuesday, October 6, 2020 (7:30 AM - 7 PM) (GMT-7)

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Event Overview

This will be my 7th annual Ag/Food Tech Workshop, but this year (of course) online. Some things will be constant and some things will be very different this year.

As with past years, we will showcase some of the most exciting new startups in Ag and Food Tech, both from the US and abroad. As usual we will also bring together some of the leading industry investors, strategics and other experts to talk about what is urgently needed and important today in Ag/Food Tech. Every year there is too much to talk about, and this year especially so. Fortunately, by choosing the most impressive companies and speakers we will cover a lot of ground.

What's different this year is we are going to take advantage of the online format to include a lot more speakers and blur the line between speakers and audience. While we will obviously never duplicate the intimacy and relaxed mountain feel of Bonny Doon, the online format makes it very easy to pull in speakers (and attendees) from many distant places, and it is easier to move from speaker to speaker than on a physical stage. So I have invited many more than usual of the experts in our community to speak on various topical subjects that they are passionate about. I have hired an IT specialist as a "production manager" to help manage the flow, spotlighting speakers as we go. The goal is make the program look like a seamless television production, but with audience participation.

Of course the heart of the program will still be the startups, and as you can see below we have 16 very cool ones signed up. Startups will be given 15 minutes each to make their presentations -- plenty of time to get into the real heart of their businesses. We will keep the sessions very interactive and informal. While some companies are in the midst of fund-raising, the discussions will not just be about finance but are intended to be holistic. Many startups find collaboration partners at my workshop, including manufacturing partners, channel partners, customers and more.

We will hear from speakers from Europe/Israel, the Americas and Asia. We will follow the time zones of speakers, from early in the morning til late afternoon Pacific Time, with breaks during the day, so it is a full schedule. During the day we will schedule 3 breaks and a post-Workshop virtual cocktail reception (BYO) and we will provide attendees a virtual networking platform so that people can meet and speak on live video meetings.

Prior to the workshop I plan to circulate a spreadsheet with contact information for all attendees, so you can contact people directly to arrange for meetings during breaks. If you do not wish your email to be included on this list, please let me know now. Also, after the event attendees will receive links to videos of the individual sessions.

Unfortunately, there will be no "Best Socks" contest this year, but you are welcome to take your shoes off during the presentations!



Many of you expressed concern whether the Santa Cruz fires have reached my house. Thanks to the valiant efforts of the Bonny Doon volunteer fire brigade, reinforcements from CalFire, a freak rain and luck, I am happy to report that the fires in our neighborhood spared us!

See the photo gallery tab above for some dramatic and tragic scenes from the neighborhood. Over 300 houses were burned down in Bonny Doon.


Looking forward to speaking with you online soon, and hoping to see you in person in Bonny Doon next time!

Howard Chao



Howard Chao, Doon Capital and Host*

Chris Abbott, CGC Ventures

Adhithi Aji, Adrich

Paimun Amini, Bayer

James F. Apostol, Pacific Pension & Investment Institute

Jamie Bacher, Boost Biomes*

Ted Barber, Danone

Matt Barnard, Plenty

Brady Beauchamp, Debut Biotechnology*

Adam Behrens, Mori

Dave Belikov,

Serkan Berk, UC Davis

Dror Berman, Innovation Endeavors

Ryan Bethencourt, Wild Earth

Todd Bissett, Gowling WLG

Mauricio Braia, Michroma*

Josh Britton, Debut Biotechnology*

Mark Brodeur, Nestle

Jim Boettcher, Focus Ventures

Mike Borel, Context Network

Seb Boyer, Farmwise*

Carson Britz, Investor

Steven Brockshus, FarmlandFinder*

Justin Bruch, Clear Frontier Ag Management*

Jeb Burns, Michigan Employee Retirement System

Milena Bogdanova Bursztyn, Germin8

Carl Casale, Ospraie AgScience

Ricky Cassini, Michroma*

Matthew Chagan, Rich Products Ventures

Andrew Chao, Doon Capital

Vijay Chauhan, GlobalSTL

Holly Chen, Growth Advisor

Norman Chen, 6 Dimensions Capital

Joel Cherry, Digestiva*

Peleg Chevion, Blendhub

John Chrosniak, Entrepreneur

Max Clegg, Louis Dreyfus

Jason Cohen, Gastrograph

Margaret Conley, Asia Society Northern California

Brian P. Dawson, HarvestPort

Bethany Deshpande, SomaDetect

Marc Diaz, TerViva

Nick Dokoozlian, EJ Gallo

Masayuki Eda, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Michelle Egger, Biomilq*

Edward Epstein, Investor

Philip R. Erlanger, Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund

Joelle Faulkner, Area One Farms*

Nanthan Feltz, Xplorer Capital

Brian Frank, FTW Ventures*

Gonzalo Fuenzalida, Andes

Robert Genovese, Xplorer Capital

Kathy Gilles, Sidley

Alex Gillett, HowGood*

Olaf Gruess, General Mills*

Jianming Guo, iCan Agriculture*

Dinsh Guzdar, Rich Products Ventures

Bentley Hall, Good Eggs*

Kirk L. Haney, Radicle Growth*

John Hamer, DCVC*

Andrew Harper, Sidley Austin

Peter Hawthorne, P.Chandler Partners, LLC

Jennifer Hebets, Mars Advanced Research Institute

Peter Herz, 1st Course Capital

Joshua T. Hofheimer, Sidley Austin LLP*

Sara Ahmed Holman, Innovation Endeavors*

Gil Horsky, Mondelez International

Niko Hrdy, Valley Oak Investments

Takajiro Ishikawa, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Tom Jacobs, SnapDNA

Nik Jewell, Entrepreneur

George H. John, Investor*

Cole Jones,Local Line

Palarp Jumpasut, Asia Society Northern California

Ilanit Kabessa, Dole Foods

Arjun Kapur, Comcast Ventures*

Bandhana Katoch, Larta Institute

Claire Kinlaw, Danforth Plant Science Center

Alex Kopelyan, Indie Bio*

Wayne Kozun, Forthlane Partners

Gabriel Kra, Prelude Ventures

Todd Krone, Accelerated Ag Technologies

Rom Kshuk, Future Meat*

Arama Kukutai, Finistere*

Deepti Kulkarni, Sidley Austin

Michael Lavin, Germin8*

Rob Leclerc, AgFunder

Josh Lessing,*

Xinyi Lim, Pinduoduo

David Litt, Keio University Law School

Sam Lolla, UX and Design Consultant

Alex Lorestani, Geltor*

Mark Conrad Mancao, Pacific Pension & Investment Institute

Lucas Mann, Acre Ventures*

Tony Martens, Plantible Foods*

George Martin, Symplectic Partners LLC

Scott May, MISTA

David Medin, SnapDNA

Ron Meeusen, Cultivian Sandbox*

Jim Mendenhall, Sidley Austin LLP*

Jonathan Mi, Brightpath Capital

Brian Mixer, Middleland Capital

Christine Moseley, Full Harvest*

Robert Morris, Entrepreneur

Aidan Mouat, Hazel Technologies*

William Mulholland,

Xavier Naville, Vision Management Consultants

Eric O'Brien, Fall Line Capital*

William Overholt, Harvard Kennedy School

Larry Page, Lewis & Clark AgriFood

Lou Pambianco, Startup Sandbox

Helen Pastorino, Startup Sandbox

Will Patrick, Culture Biosciences*

Nolan Paul, Yamaha Motor Ventures*

Olga Pawluczyk, P&P Optica

Dan Phillips, Cultivian Sandbox*

Jennifer Place, Finistere*

Payam Pourtaheri, AgroSpheres*

David Rabie, Tovala*

Ryan Rakestraw, Temasek

Abi Ramanan, Google X

Scott Rawlins, Wilbur Ellis*

Rahul Ray, Tyson Ventures

Sheldon Ray, Raymond James

James Rogers, Apeel Sciences

Jonathan Rosen, Applied Invention, LLC

Brita Rosenheim, Better Food Ventures*

Craig Rupp, Sabanto

Donal Ryan, Finistere

Ilan Samish, Amai Proteins

Tawny Scanlan, FTW Ventures

Harold Schmitz, March Fund*

Matt Schwartz, Afresh*

Wesley Selke, Better Ventures

Henny Sender, Financial Times

Michael Sesko, Frontier Farmland

Ameer Shakeel, AgroSpheres*

Gabe Sibley, Verdant Robotics*

Justin Siegel, Digestiva

Tom Simmons, Stem Sugar

John Skjervem, Alan Biller

Sam Smith-Eppsteiner, Innovation Endeavors

Erik Snyder, Drawdown Capital

Ethan Soloviev, HowGood*

Kiersten Stead, DCVC*

G. Bailey Stockdale, Leaf Agriculture*

Darren Streiler, ADM Ventures*

Manik Suri, CoInspect

Ruben Tadmor, Stem

Ted Taylor, Taylor Farms

Shara Ticku, C16 Biosciences

Thaddeus Tracy, Farmers Gate

Rob Trice, Better Food Ventures*

Mario Ubiali, Thimus

Steven Valencsin, Growers

Maurits van de Ven, Plantible Foods*

Matias Viel, BeeFlow

Son Vo, Cavallo Ventures

An Wang, ASW Ventures

Xun Wang, Triton Algae Innovations

Steve Watkins, BCD Bioscience*

Eric Wedepohl, Investor*

Scott Welsh, Key & Company LLC

Emma Weston, AgriDigital*

Mike Wilbur, Wilbur Ellis*

Mike Woelk, Corigin

Kunsheng Wu, Molbreeding*

Dr. Gregory Yep, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.

Assaf Yerushalmi, Netafim

Greg Young, Spruce Capital Partners

Scott Yuhanick, Adrich

Jianan Zhang, Molbreeding*

Yan Zhang, Sidley Austin

Joe Zhou, Bits x Bites*

Jijun Zou, Citic Agri Fund*

*Will have speaking role

[More to Come!]



BCD Bioscience


Boost Biomes

Debut Biotechnology




Full Harvest


Leaf Agriculture



Plantible Foods

For Details, see Featured Startups Tab


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For Details, see Agenda Tab