Joe Schmidt has extensive business development, strategic planning and financial management experience leading agricultural multinationals and emerging technology companies. Currently, Joe is Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at BioConsortia, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for partner and product development as well as defining priorities and strategic direction for the company.
Dean and Executive Director of The Food Business School, William Rosenzweig has spent his career as an educator, serial entrepreneur, and venture investor. Will was founding CEO of The Republic of Tea, the company that created the premium tea category in the U.S. As an entrepreneur and investor, Will helped grow Odwalla, LeapFrog, Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries, Winetasting.com, Yummly and Brand New Brands, a functional food incubator he founded in 2004.
Dr. Josette Lewis joined UC Davis in August 2013 to help launch the World Food Center. Prior to joining UC Davis, she worked in business development with Arcadia Biosciences, an agricultural biotechnology company.
Dan Morash is a former investment banker in the energy and infrastructure sector. He was previously global head of energy and infrastructure for CIT, a team of 40 professionals in New York, Toronto and London, built from a start-up office opening in New York City for the Toronto-based Newcourt Capital. Mr. Morash structured and executed complex project financings, tax oriented leveraged leases, private placements, securitizations and partnership financings.
As founder and president of Professional Grower Services LLC, Jack Coots supports producers to use technology and professional services for on farm decisions that benefits crops and promote sustainable resource management for agriculture in Northern California.
He also serves as the AgStart program director for the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA), an agTech focused program that promotes innovative sustainable agricultural technology and supports companies that are bringing those products to market.
Lisa Curtis began working on Kuli Kuli while in the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. As a volunteer in her village’s health center, she gained a first-hand understanding of the common nutritional challenges faced in West African villages and how moringa—a local tree with highly nutritious leaves—can play a role in helping to address a few of those challenges. Kuli Kuli sells delicious moringa products in the U.S. that help improve nutrition and livelihoods in West Africa, where the moringa is sourced.
Julia Fox joined disruptive wine startup, NakedWines.com, shortly after the company’s US launch in 2012. She oversees marketing, including customer acquisition, brand management and CRM. In her 2.5-year tenure she led the acquisition of over 450,000 customers and built the continuity program to over 90,000 members. She’s been in the wine industry for over ten years, with positions that span e-commerce start-ups, trade organizations, and wineries.
Marc Gottschalk is a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP. He is one of a small inner circle in Silicon Valley who pioneered the U.S. cleantech sector and helped shape it into a new driver for global innovation and economic growth. His core areas of practice include advising cleantech and other emerging growth companies in corporation formation and venture finance transactions.
Steve Hahn joined Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich., in 1982 and has worked in a variety of business and corporate research and new business development functions at Dow prior to assuming his current role in 2007. As Research Fellow, Hahn leads Dow’s effort to identify emerging, strategically aligned chemical, materials and energy-related business opportunities. He is focusing on the U.S. West Coast region and is located in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley area of Northern California.
Research Expertise: The effective management of innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies
Professor Andrew B. Hargadon has written extensively on knowledge and technology brokering and the role of learning and knowledge management in innovation.
540 Alumni Lane
The son of hard-working parents, a printer for the local newspaper and a clerk typist for the State of California, Mike Kourey grew up determined to get a great education and to become an entrepreneur. With a strong penchant for technology and business, Kourey left home to get his bachelor of science degree from the University of California, Davis. Upon graduation, evaluating opportunities in sales, actuarial work and operations, he decided to come to Silicon Valley, drawn by the rapid pace of innovation.
Daniel McKinnon dipped his toes into the enterprise UAV world through a collaboration with the Denver Zoo that involved building and deploying a vulture-netting quadcopter to Ikh Nart National Park in Mongolia. He went on to co-found Agribotix, a turnkey precision ag software and services provider.
Andrew Perroy joined the startup wine ecommerce company Nakedwines.com in 2013 and took on merchandizing responsibilities for the U.S. business. He manages the webstore sales channel, product lifecycle, pricing strategy, and inventory management among other duties within the marketing team. Prior to Nakedwines.com, Andrew was Director of Marketing at Disc Makers, a physical and digital distribution company supporting independent musicians, filmmakers, and authors. He also led the growth of its boutique brand, Oasis.
As a founding partner in JARDESCA California Aperitiva, Marcus Seiden manages operations, finance and the day to day business. Marcus is a seasoned wine executive with a background in private equity finance and consumer packaged goods. He holds an MBA from UC Davis with a concentration in marketing and finance.
Dr. Michael Ward is the head of the firm’s patent practice and co-chair of the Intellectual Property group. Dr. Ward is founder of the firm’s Plant IP practice and is a member of the steering committee for the firm’s Cleantech practice.