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February 12, 2022

1pm - 5pm EST via Hopin

3 tracks | 2 months | 121 participants | 28 teams | 26 mentors | 21 judges| 

Cultivate Tomorrow 2022 Recordings

2022 Prizewinners


Timothy Olsen, PhD

Global Director, Cultured Meat at Merck KGaA

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Tim joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2020 and is currently Head of Cultured Meat. The focus of the program is developing and commercializing technologies that enable large scale, cost effective, and sustainable production of cultured meat and seafood products. Previously, Tim directed laboratory operations and led the development of bioinks at Allevi, a 3D bioprinting company. Tim then held the Senior Scientist position on the Process and Product Development team at RoosterBio, a regenerative medicine company focused on fueling the rapid commercialization of scalable human mesenchymal stem cell and exosome manufacturing technologies. His skillsets include stem cell culture optimization, media development, and scaling manufacturing in bioreactor systems. Next, he transitioned into Commercial Operations at RoosterBio to leverage his technical skillset to bring solutions to the customers. Tim has a PhD in Bioengineering from Clemson University and BS in Biomedical Engineering from The College of New Jersey.

Lejjy Gafour

President of CULT Food Science


Lejjy is co-founder and former CEO of YCombinator backed Cell Ag company Future Fields, and is currently president of CULT Food Science , an innovative investment platform with an exclusive focus on advancing the development of novel technologies for cellular agriculture.

Lejjy sees design and understanding complex systems as more than a simple set of practices, but as a operating principles. They are a base on which new ecosystems can actively better take into account our culture and societal patterns that can be influenced by the development of new technology platforms.

By necessity and luck, he has learned, and continued to learn, in a multidisciplinary environment. He comes from a background that has focus on on human-centered design, research, enterprise architecture, iterative product development, strategy, biotechnology, and more.

Panel: Let's Discuss the Ethics of Commercializing Cultivated Foods

Nicky Quinn

Global Marketing Director at Aleph Farms

Nicky Quinn is the Global Marketing Director at Aleph Farms, a food tech company growing beef without cows in Israel. Aleph Farms released the world’s first cultivated steak in December 2018 and the world’s first cultivated ribeye steak in 2021.

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Christina Agapakis

Creative Director at Ginkgo Bioworks

Christina Agapakis is the Creative Director at Gingko Bioworks, which is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets. A biologist, writer, and artist, Christina earned a PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard University.


Isha Datar

Executive Director of New Harvest

Isha has been pioneering the field of cellular agriculture for the past decade, and after completing a Masters in Biotech from the University of Toronto, co-founded industry pioneers Clara Foods and Perfect Day.

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Danielle Nierenberg

President of Food Tank

Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank, is a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate, on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture. She holds an MS in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University.

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Dr. David Block

Professor UC-Davis

David Block, PhD, is a professor and researcher at UC Davis' Department of Chemical Engineering. David has conducted extensive research on cultivated meat process optimization and pathways to scale.

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Cutting-Edge New Food and Ag Tech

Shannon Nangle

Co-Founder and CEO of Circe

Shannon is a Research Scientist working on the Wyss Institute Project “Circe”, which focuses on commercializing CO2-based microbial fermentation technologies for sustainable chemicals. She is interested in applying synthetic biology, chemical engineering, and materials science to promote a global circular economy. 

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Eugene Wang

Head of Sophie's Bionutrients

Eugene is co-founder and CEO of Sophie's BioNutrients, a Singapore-based food tech company that grows sustainable microalgae in bioreactors. He earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, and has more than 20 years in Food Manufacturing.

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Panel: Navigating Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Cultivated Food Industry

Angela Braren

Head of New Ventures at Perfect Day

Angela Braren serves as Head of New Ventures at Perfect Day, a consumer biology company on a mission to create a kinder, greener tomorrow by developing new ways to make the foods you love today — starting in the dairy aisle. In her role, she leads a global team on the research and development, scale-up, and commercialization of novel "new venture" proteins and sustainability initiatives.

Angela joined Perfect Day from Instrumentl, a software platform that she co-founded to help social enterprises discover, track and win grant funding. She led the Instrumentl team in creating a step-change efficiency improvement in philanthropy processes in the United States, taking the company from inception, through the Y Combinator startup funding program, to profitability. Angela brings this expertise in driving businesses for impact to further Perfect Day to push its mission forward through new innovation and partnership.

Angela received her Bachelor’s Degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and a Master of Arts in critical theory from California College of the Arts. She is passionate about the future of animal-free dairy and is driving Perfect Day to its vision of building a more equitable, resilient, and diverse food system for all of us.

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Eric Schulze

VP of Product & Regulation at Upside Foods

Dr. Eric Schulze is the VP of Product and Regulation at UPSIDE Foods, the world's leading cultivated meat, poultry, and seafood company. At UPSIDE, he leads both design and development of the company’s meat products as well as its regulatory, policy, and government affairs.

Eric is a professional molecular biologist, genetic engineer, and former federal biotechnology regulator. Prior to UPSIDE, he served as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulator, where he works on novel food and drug biotechnology products. He also served as a federal STEM education policy capacity within the National Science Foundation and currently works with the National Academy of Sciences on undergraduate STEM education transformation.

He holds a doctorate in genetic, cellular, and molecular biology with a specialty in embryonic stem cell engineering and is trained in broadcast communication, speechwriting, and risk assessment.

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Max Rye

Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of Turtle Tree

As Chief Strategist at TurtleTree, Max focuses on leading the team in TurtleTree’s journey of transforming the global food industry. Max has more than 15 years of experience helping businesses scale with technology. As the former CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company, Max firmly believes that the world’s biggest problems can be solved with technology. At TurtleTree, Max formulates TurtleTree's business strategies and shapes the company's direction essential to accelerating its growth and market presence.

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Avery Hairston

MBA Candidate at Berkeley-Haas

Avery Hairston, MBA Candidate at UC Berkeley HAAS School of Business, serves as the moderator for the entrepreneurship panel. Avery brings extensive experience in the realm of food tech, from his time spent at Impossible Foods and Banza. Avery currently holds a position as an MBA Intern Analyst at Gallspang Re:Food, a VC firm focusing on the sustainable advancement of the food industry.

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Jess Krieger

Co-Founder and CEO of Ohayo Valley

Dr. Jess Krieger is the CEO and co-founder of Ohayo Valley, a cultivated steak company. She is one of the cultivated meat industries earliest pioneers, and was the first scientist in the world to build a career exclusively in cultivated meat science in 2010. She is a graduate of the New Harvest fellowship program, the world’s first organization to fund cultivated meat research in academia. In 2019, she co-founded Artemys Foods as Chief Science Officer and developed the Artemys Burger, a cultivated beef burger. In 2020, Dr. Krieger co-founded Ohayo Valley to develop the world’s first cultivated wagyu ribeye. She is also the founder of the Women of Cellular Agriculture organization (WOCA), which supports women in STEM pursuing careers in cellular agriculture and cultivated meat. She has undergraduate degrees in neuroscience and a PhD in biomedical sciences.

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