The 2017 Forbes AGTech Summit takes place June 28th through the 29th in Salinas, CA. This anticipated summit will feature 600 industry leaders with over 50 technologies showcased and demonstrated. One third of attendees are actual growers, while half specialize in technology. This event joins together the brightest minds from Silicon Valley and global agriculture to overcome challenges and demonstrate the latest technologies and inventions for investors, farmers, and stakeholders.
15 Speakers to Watch at the 2017 Forbes AGTech Summit
1Dr. Robert T. Fraley
CTO & Executive VP, Monsanto
Dr. Robert Fraley is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Monsanto Company, where he leads a team of agricultural scientists dedicated to developing seeds and solutions that help farmers around the world yield a more abundant, affordable, and sustainable food supply. In this role, he oversees teams of researchers focused on plant breeding, plant biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture, and crop protection innovations that will help to feed our growing population.
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media
Steve writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate. Mr. Forbes is the author of six books since 1999. Under Mr. Forbes leadership, the company has launched a variety of new publications and businesses. They include: Forbes Life, the dedicated luxury lifestyle and culture magazine; Forbes Asia; and Forbes licensee editions published in various countries globally.
VP of Research, DuPont Pioneer
Neal Gutterson, Ph.D., is Vice President of Research and Development (R&D) and a member of the DuPont Pioneer Leadership Team. In this capacity, Neal leads all R&D and product development functions to create innovative agricultural products, services and integrated solutions which combine Pioneer’s industry-leading germplasm, breeding systems, biotechnology-derived solutions, and data analytics. Neal is responsible for leadership of agricultural biotechnology (ABT) research, delivery of the Pioneer transgenic pipeline and successful execution of overall Pioneer Research strategy consistent with needs of the commercial business and farmer customers globally.
Founder & Managing Partner, DBL Partners
Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, located in San Francisco and Palo Alto. DBL Partners is a venture capital firm whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions and sectors in which it invests. As a leading player in the growing field of “impact investing”, DBL has helped to reveal the power of venture capital to promote social change and environmental improvement, and Ms. Pfund writes and speaks frequently on the field of impact investing.
COO & President, Forbes Media
Mike Federle has served as Chief Operating Officer of Forbes since October, 2011, overseeing circulation, manufacturing and distribution operations as well as global licensing and new business development. Prior to Forbes, Mike was co-founder, President and COO of Techonomy Media, a multimedia company based in New York, in which Forbes acquired an equity interest in July, 2011. He is a 25-year veteran of the media industry, including positions as Publisher of Fortune magazine, Group Publisher of the Time Inc. Business & Finance Network, Group Publisher of the Bonnier Mountain Group in Boulder, Colorado, and CEO, Advertising & Marketing, at Next Jump, a privately held Silicon Alley Internet company.
CEO & Founder, SVG Partners
John Hartnett is a senior technology executive & investor based in Silicon Valley, California and a native of Limerick, Ireland. He is founder & CEO of SVG PartnersLLC, a Silicon Valley Investment & Advisory firm. He is also founder and president of the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), a network of global Irish technology leaders who’s main focus is to foster the links between Ireland and Silicon Valley in the areas of Innovation, Investment, Education & Entrepreneurship. Mr. Hartnett has over 25 years of executive level experience leading global sales, marketing, and operations. Previously he was Chief Executive Officer at G24 Innovations, a leading thin film solar company.
Miku Jha is the founder & CEO of AgShift – A Silicon Valley based agriculture technology startup, with a mission to design a fully transparent & digitized food system. Driven by her passion for building impactful businesses and beautiful products, Miku has created large-scale technology solutions from scratch at multiple successful start ups and well known global companies such as VMware and IBM. She was instrumental in growing the storage business as a Founding engineer at Ariodata, which was acquired by Xyratex Inc. She helped scale mobile business and products at Worklight, which was acquired by IBM. As a senior executive, she led several Mobile, Internet of Things and Big Data initiatives at IBM.
Founder, California Safe Soil, LLC
Dan has expertise in the financial and risk characteristics of many conversion technologies, including geothermal, waste-to-energy, hydropower, wind, solar and biomass renewable power projects. More recently, Dan has turned to the development and commercialization side of waste conversion technology. For the past three years, Dan has led the development of California Safe Soil’s breakthrough new technology to recycle food into fertilizer, called Harvest to Harvest (H2H). H2H makes the highest and best re-use of food, improving soil health and increasing crop yields, while sequestering GHG’s in the soil.
Executive Director and Head, ForbesLive! Forbes Media, LLC
Paul has spent his entire career focused on identifying, analyzing, explaining, investing in and helping build ground-breaking business models whether as a journalist, award-winning equity analyst, director of research, angel investor or teacher. Now a producer, Paul conceives and creates high-profile live content events that identify and define new communities of interest and showcase the wealth of talent and innovation blossoming within them. His experience allows him to work seamlessly with Editors and other Content Creators to creatively and profitably explore their visions, build their brands and create lasting and profitable Live Content franchises.
Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner, 500 Startups
Tristan Pollock is an Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups, the world’s most active seed fund and startup accelerator. His last company, SocialEarth, the Huffington Post for social entrepreneurship won multiple awards for impact journalism and was acquired by 3BL Media in 2012. Tristan has also been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30, created street art for a TEDx talk on creative cities, cameoed in NBC Universal’s Bazillion Dollar Club, crafted the most read Best Buy email of all time reaching over 23 million customers, and designed a MysteryBot called Shisharka Land whose true origins remain unknown.
David Zaitz joined BZS in 2013 and currently serves as CEO. David began his career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its investment banking division in the Corporate Finance and Capital Restructuring Group. In 2013, David left finance to join his father, Ben Zaitz, in managing BZS. David holds positions in multiple BZS operating and portfolio companies including CEO of Pieper Farms, LLC, an international seed potato business, and Board Member of E-Green Americas, a tissue culture laboratory based in Minneapolis, MN. In 2016, David was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30: Food & Drink for his role at Pieper Farms. David graduated Cornell University Magna Cum Laude, majoring in Applied Economics and Management and minoring in Operations Research Engineering.
President, Globetrotter Foundation
Sallie uses philanthropy and investment capital to create change in agriculture and communities by empowering women. Sallie Calhoun is president of the Globetrotter Foundation and owner of the Paicines Ranch. She is an electrical engineer and former high-tech entrepreneur now working in the field of local and and sustainable agriculture as a rancher and grass fed beef producer in central California. She is especially interested in changing agriculture and rural communities by empowering women and using both philanthropy and impact investing to facilitate that change.
CEO & Co-Founder, Farmer’s Business Network, Inc.
CEO and Co-Founder of Farmers Business Network (“FBN”). Previously worked at Kleiner Perkins as a General Partner and prior to that at Cargill/Black River as a Director. Experienced entrepreneur, board member and investor. Amol is CEO and Co-Founder of FBN and has a passion for helping feed the world and helping farmers. Amol has spent the better part of his career in and around agriculture at start up companies, large companies such as Cargill and most recently as a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Amol has a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an MBA from Cornell where he was a Park Fellow.
VP University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources
Dr. Glenda Humiston was appointed vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Aug. 3, 2015. Humiston was born in California and raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado, where she was a member of 4-H. She came to UC ANR with more than 25 years of experience working on public policy development and program implementation supporting sustainability. Humiston earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy and Management in 2009 with research focused on U.S. Farm Bill policy. She has a master’s degree in international agricultural development from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Colorado State University.
15Dr. Mathias Kremer
Head of Strategy & Portfolio Management, Crop Science
Dr. Mathias Kremer, born on August 21, 1962 in Bolzano, Italy, joined Bayer in 1990, after studying Agricultural Engineering at Soest College, Agricultural Science at the University of Göttingen, and after completing a PhD in Phytopathology at the University of Munich, all in Germany. He spent 10 years in Product Development – first as a product manager in insecticides in Monheim, Germany, then as a trial manager in Spain and as a Group Leader in herbicides back in Monheim. In July 2011, he became the Global Head of Seeds (former BioScience), Agricultural Commercial Operations (ACO), Bayer CropScience. In June 2013, he became head of the unit ‘Strategy’. Since June 1, 2015 he leads the unit ‘Strategy & Portfolio Management’. In this function Mathias Kremer is a member of the Crop Science Executive Committee.
All American Entertainment (AAE) is a full-service talent booking agency dedicated to representing the interests of meeting and event planners. AAE has helped thousands of the most respected companies, organizations, and universities identify and secure high-profile keynote speakers and celebrity talent for personal appearances, speaking engagements, promotional campaigns, and a wide range of other functions. AAE’s talent base includes professional business and motivational speakers, best-selling authors, top athletes, award-winning comedians, TV personalities, musicians, celebrity chefs, and many others.