Past Food+City Events

FOOD FUTURES SPEAKER SERIES: Growing Strawberries in Shipping Containers: Decentralizing the Global Food System in 320 Square Feet

April 18, 2019

Food+City is excited to announce our final Food Futures speaker series event of the 2018-2019 academic year. Brad McNamara of Freight Farms will join our Director/Founder Robyn Metcalfe, food historian and food futurist, to discuss what trends and challenges are affecting indoor food production, and how his company has made their name in shipping container farming.

With a background in sustainability and business, Brad McNamara is the CEO and co-founder of Freight Farms, the agtech company that first established the hydroponic vertical container farming industry. Founded in 2010, Freight Farms’ technology enables the year-round growth of fresh food anywhere on the globe, regardless of climate, using 95% less water than traditional agriculture. The company now has the largest network of connected farms in the world, with a diverse range of global customers including Google, Ford, Kimbal Musk’s Square Roots, restaurants, schools, and independent farmers from Boston to Guam. The company’s latest launch of the Greenery with integrated data platform farmhand, advances industry-wide limits of hydroponic vertical farming across yield, resource efficiency, and automation – making decentralized farming more accessible than ever before.

Freight Farms was founded in 2010 by Brad McNamara and Jon Friedman, who saw a need for urban agriculture to emerge as a competitive industry in the food landscape. They began by focusing on rooftop greenhouses, but quickly realized that, to achieve their goals, they needed a modular and scalable solution. In an effort to cut down on costs and logistics, Brad and Jon began to seriously consider building their new technology inside shipping containers. Not only were containers widely available, but they would allow farms to exist in areas that couldn’t support traditional methods. As a result, Freight Farms was born with the mission of building the infrastructure and technology that can allow local food to thrive.

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Food+City is excited to announce the fourth event in our 2018-19 Food Futures speaker series, the same day as our Student Pitch competition at the University of Texas.  Our Speaker Series guest Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman will discuss with our own Dr. Robyn Metcalfe matters of gastrodiplomacy, Conflict Cuisine, and gastrotechnology.
Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman has more than two decades of experience in the international arena, working on post-conflict transition and democratization issues, Johanna Mendelson Forman holds a wealth of expertise and insights into the role of food in driving conflict and connecting people and communities. An Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service where she teaches Conflict Cuisine®: An Introduction to War and Peace Around the Dinner Table, Mendelson Forman encourages new ways of looking at diplomacy, conflict resolution, and civic engagement.  She is also a Senior Advisor at the Stimson Center where she directs the Food Security program.

Food Futures Speaker Series: Feeding our Troops Abroad

Food+City is excited to announce the third event in our 2018-19 Food Futures speaker series, and the first of the new year. We are thrilled that Colonel Christopher Burke has accepted our invitation to come speak about his experiences in food supply chain logistics with the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Burke will discuss with Food+City Founder, Robyn Metcalfe, food historian and food futurist, the complexities of military food supply chains, and the ever-changing logistics of feeding troops during troop withdrawals overseas. Once again, Food+City presents a dynamic duo sharing their wealth of knowledge, with ample time for Q & A to follow the interview.

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Food + Smart Cities

December 3, 2018

Food+City is excited to announce our second Food Futures speaker series event. We have invited Chelsea Collier to come speak about how technology is changing the way we feed cities. She will discuss what cities around the globe are doing to prepare for the future and ways technology has already impacted the way we grow, buy, track, transport, and consume food. We will explore how blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and AI is transforming the food landscape to make a better, more efficient food system.

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Coffee & Tacos with Food+City

November 14, 2018

The team at Food+City invites you to drop by our new home for some caffeine and tacos! Get your Wednesday off to a great start by exploring our new office space, networking with those passionate about innovation, and mingling with Food+City staff and industry peers who are creating impact in food supply chains.

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Food Futures Speaker Series 1

November 8, 2018

Logistics of Craft Beer Distribution with Charles Fry

Students, Faculty, staff, and the Greater Community are welcome to join us for a fireside chat with Charles Fry of Zengistics.  Learn the ins and outs of the logistics of moving craft beer through the cold chain, how supply chains work, and why this serial entrepreneur chose AUstin for his latest company.

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Austin Startup Week

Finding investors for your food company

October 3, 2018

This panel will bring together startup founders, food investors, and experts in the startup and food industry to discuss the best way for food startups to attract funders.  Acquiring investors is more than a numbers game, and a very small percentage of startups that pitch VCs actually end up with funding. This panel will discuss the many strategies and pathways towards funding, and the most important items to have in place before pitching to investors.

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