Technology and better-for-you trends are evolving at an unprecedented pace, bringing new and exciting opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. Categories such as South Beach Diet, the Metaverse, NFT (non-fungible token) and digital transformation — once popular fads and buzzwords (though still at play) have been replaced by trends and tools such as plant-based proteins, artificial intelligence and generative AI in recent months. We are yet to see what new trends will take over the airwaves in 2024.
Amidst these dynamic shifts, the focus on designing products for good and better-for-you trends remains a cornerstone of innovation. Companies that leverage technology to transform industries and improve the lives of individuals and the environment are here to stay.
In this session you’ll hear from founders who are making a difference and positively impacting society and the planet — from empowering farmers to slash pesticide usage by 50% and supporting nursing mothers with hydration products to designing robots to help people with limited mobility navigate places like airports.
Join us for an evening of innovation and inspiration as we delve into the transformative intersection of technology, food trends and social impact.
- Matthew Anderson, CEO, A&K Robotics
- Vishnu Jayaprakash, CEO, AgZen
- Daniella Procopio, CEO, Solma Tea
Doors open at 5:00 p.m.
Panel: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Networking: 7:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Foley & Lardner LLP
111 Huntington Avenue, Suite 2500
Boston, MA 02199
Matthew Anderson, CEO, A&K Robotics
Matthew Anderson is a serial entrepreneur and visionary. He has been building robots and hacking electronics since he was 8 years old – from creating possibly the world’s smallest laser cutter, adding regenerative electric braking onto his bike and transforming a vintage Yoda puppet into a garden guardian, armed with water bursts to fend off pests without chemicals.
As the CEO, Anderson leads various functions at A&K, from developing game-changing robotic technologies and interacting with customers globally to securing strategic partnerships with industry leaders in aviation, infrastructure and facility services. Under his leadership, A&K has won various industry accolades, including the Shark Tank Award from the American Association of Airport Executives for the company’s self-driving micromobility platform and improving accessibility and customer experience at airports.
Anderson has more than 10 years’ experience in finance and business development. Prior to leading A&K, he managed a $4.2M subsidiary portfolio at NWT Business Development & Investment Corporation and provided strategic and accounting support to portfolio ventures. He is experienced in board governance as Treasurer for NWT Disabilities Council and Vancouver Maker Foundation. Anderson frequently serves as a guest speaker at UBC Sauder School of Business where he shares his experiences in growing a tech company.
Vishnu Jayaprakash, CEO, AgZen
Vishnu Jayaprakash is the co-founder and CEO of AgZen. AgZen has developed the world’s first feedback-optimized spray system that allows farmers to cut their pesticide costs by up to 50% while improving their yields. Over the past two years, AgZen has piloted its products on a wide range of crops in some of the largest farms in the world across the US and Europe. AgZen is launching its commercial rent-to-buy program to help growers around the US make their spraying more efficient. The company has raised $3.5M of capital from Material Impact and has been awarded over $600K in prizes and awards from prestigious competitions like the MIT 100K and the Rice Business Plan Competition.
Jayaprakash’s journey with farming began two decades ago when he spent his summers helping out on his family’s farm, growing mangoes, rice and coconuts. When he joined MIT, he learned that the Varanasi lab was working on making pesticide spraying more efficient, and from all the summers he spent spraying, he realized how impactful the project could be, so Jayaprakash spent the last five years translating products from the lab into commercial fields.
Before his time at MIT, Jayaprakash co-founded, ran and successfully exited a startup in India.
Daniela Procopio, CEO, SOLMA
Daniela Procopio is the founder of SOLMA, the first ready-to-drink lactation tea supplement designed specifically to make increasing milk production easier and more convenient for breastfeeding mothers. Inspired by her personal experiences and challenges while nursing her first child, Procopio recognized the need for a practical solution that would make increasing milk production easier and more convenient. Guided by the expertise of a certified lactation consultant, SOLMA strives to provide breastfeeding mothers with an all-in-one solution, empowering them to effortlessly boost milk supply and fulfill hydration needs when they need it most. She is a mom of three living in Melrose, MA.
A tech evangelist, Parna Sarkar-Basu serves as a strategic advisor to transformational leaders and tech pioneers and helps them launch and reinvent companies to drive sustainable growth. A brand architect, Parna also designs powerful, custom programs to spotlight entrepreneurs and innovators and elevate startup founders to industry thought leaders. She is the founder of Brand and Buzz, a consulting firm focused on helping businesses pivot with purpose.
Recipient of multiple awards, Parna’s expertise includes changing industry perception, building market relevance, re-positioning businesses and entering new markets as well as help companies navigate the digital era and prepare startups for fund raising activities — IPO, M&A, VC and crowdfunding. Parna has propelled several tech companies into innovation leaders in highly competitive markets — from robots and artificial intelligence (AI) to enterprise software and consulting services.
Parna is frequently invited to speak and moderate executive sessions at various tech industry events, including TechCrunch Justice, AI World, RoboBusiness, Robotics Summit, MIT RealityHack and Front End of Innovation (FEI). She regularly contributes to various publications and writes on a range of topics, including innovation for good, emerging tech and entrepreneurship.
To register, please click here.