Wednesday, June 26th, 2024


Join the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and Middlesex County at the second annual NJ FoodTech 2024 on Wednesday, June 26th from 8:00am – 4:30pm. This event will be located at the Rutgers University College Avenue Student Center located at 126 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. The location is convenient for travel from the tri-state area via train or car.

NJ FoodTech 2024 will be a full day of conversation, collaboration, and networking with New Jersey’s leading food tech businesses, innovators, and investors.  Leaders will come together to share their insights, discuss opportunities, and identify future partners. 

Hear the latest on the food industry, market trends, digital transformation and the impact on food innovation, and support for the food and beverage industry. There will also be panel discussions on food as medicine, sustainability, alternative proteins, innovations in ingredients, flavors and extracts, and investor outlook.

The conference will help promote the growth of New Jersey’s food technology sector by building awareness of its strength in food innovation, leading to business retention, and attracting business opportunities.

You must have a Rutgers Division of Continuing Studies account before registering for NJ FoodTech 2024.  If not, please create an account by following the asterisks. Registering takes about a minute; we thank you for your time.


highlights from the 2023 event

What are some of the benefits of attending NJ FoodTech 2024?

FOR RUTGERS AFFILIATES ONLY, please send an email to to register.


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  • 8:00 – 9:00am

Registration, continental breakfast, networking

  • 9:05 – 9:20am

Opening Remarks – Sandy Castor, Department Head, Department of Economic Development, Middlesex County; Kathleen Coviello, Chief Economic Transformation Officer, NJEDA; – Margaret Brennan, Director, Resource and Economic Development; Senior Associate Director, NJAES, Rutgers University;

  • 9:20 – 10:00am

Keynote Speaker – Food for Thought: Food Industry Trends and the Power of Partnerships Lou Cooperhouse, Founder, President & CEO, BlueNalu;

  • 10:00 – 10:30am

Deal Flow & Market Trends: Overview of the VC Investment Landscape – Sean O’Sullivan, Managing General Partner, SOSV


  • 10:40 – 11:10am

Digital Transformation and the Impact on the Future of Food Innovation – Jared Fry, Director, Modeling & Simulation and Kevin Wallenstein, Section Manager, Biscuit Digital R&D – Mondelez

  • 11:10 – 11:50am

Discussion on Sustainability – Moderated by Jessica Paolini, Manager of Economic Development; Somerset County; Brendan Somerville, Co-Founder, Oishii; Christina Lampert, Director of Growth & Innovation, HowGood; Molly Scerra, Senior Brand Manager, Mission & Advocacy, Applegate Farms; Carl Starkey, Co-Founder, AWSM Sauce

  • 11:50 – 12:00pm

NJEDA & CSIT Products and Support for the Food & Beverage Industry – Doyin Ashiru, Senior Project Officer Manufacturing Partner, Manufacturing Partnerships, NJEDA.

  • 12:00– 12:55pm

Networking Lunch Sponsored by Grassi & Co. (short remarks by Grassi)

  • 12:55 – 01:00pm

Resumption of Conference and Remarks –Craig Peck, Senior Manager, Business Development, Rutgers Food Innovation Center 

  • 01:00 – 01:40pm

Panel Discussion on Innovations in ingredients, flavor, and extracts – Moderated by Juan Salinas, PhD., CEO, Pnuff; Stephanie Calafat, R&D Manager, Givaudan; Carrie Griesser, Technical Director, Savory Flavors, North America, DSM-Firmenich; Debra Missel, NA Design and Creation Director, IFF; Dillon Friday, PhD., Assoc VP, Creation and Application, Symrise

  • 01:40 – 02:20pm

Panel Discussion on Alt protein – Innovation, Scaling, and Opportunities – Moderated by Nolan Lewin, Executive Director, Rutgers Food Innovation Center; Simone Costa, PhD, Associate Director of Strategy & Innovation, Good Food Institute (GFI); Jacquelyn Schuh, Global Sr. Director Product Marketing, Specialty Ingredients, ADM Nutrition; David Benzaquen, Founder and CEO, Mission: Plant


  • 02:30 – 03:10pm

Panel Discussion on Food as Medicine – Personalized Nutrition to Improve Health Outcomes – Moderated by Kalindi Bakshi, PhD., Economic Development Specialist- Life Sciences, Middlesex County; Dr. Mukund V. Karwe Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Food Science, Rutgers University; June Lin, Global VP of Dietary Supplements Business, ADM,  Jackie Philbin, RDN, LDN, Director of Healthcare Partnerships, Brooklyn Kitchen; Nishant Roy, Chief Impact Officer, Chobani

  • 03:10 – 03:50pm

Panel Discussion on Investor Insights and Outlook for Food and Ag Tech Industry – Moderated by Jessica Perry, Managing Editor, Commercial Real Estate, NJBIZ; Wesley Wilson, Managing Partner, Valorum Ventures; Shaleen Shah, President, Ahimsa Foundation Thomas Mastrobuoni, Chief Investment Officer, Big Idea Ventures; Alex Davisson, Senior Ventures Associate, Plug and Play Tech Center

  • 03:50 – 03:55pm

Closing Remarks – Nolan Lewin, Executive Director, Rutgers FIC

  • 03:55 – 04:30pm


Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University

The Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University (FIC) is a unique food business incubator and accelerator that is a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). The Center supports established early stage entrepreneurs and existing food companies from concept to commercialization. Combining years of industry expertise and the advanced technologies offered by Rutgers, we provide business, marketing, food safety, product design and scale up expertise within FDA and USDA certified facilities to help companies successfully build and grow their business.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority

The NJEDA grows the state’s economy and increases equitable access to opportunity by supporting high-quality job creation, catalyzing investment, and fostering vibrant, inclusive community development.  NJEDA works in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders to implement programs and initiatives that improve quality of life, enhance economic vitality, and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Middlesex County

Middlesex County, New Jersey where innovation and economic growth thrive. Businesses and residents thrive because opportunities abound. Businesses can take advantage of financial and development support, a transportation system that meets logistics and commuting needs, and a talented workforce that exceeds expectations. And residents? They’ll have access to world-class education, at every age. Residents can participate in and enjoy amazing arts and culture; hike, bike, or just relax at our pristine parks and green spaces. In Middlesex County, quality of life is a key investment.


Stay tuned to this website for more information about this conference.  You can contact us by email at

You must have a Rutgers Division of Continuing Studies account before registering for NJ FoodTech 2024.  If not, please create an account by following the asterisks. Registering takes about a minute; we thank you for your time.