Flourishing in Food Speaker Series: How Tech is Transforming the Food World

The “Flourishing in Food” Speaker Series helps GW student entrepreneurs look for newer and better solutions to help the food industry grow.

Flourishing in Food Speaker Series: How Tech is Transforming the Food World

Overview of the "Flourishing in Food" Speaker Series

The food and beverage industry is expansive. It encompasses a wide variety of unique operations from manufacturing to catering to health innovation and more. And nowadays, there are newer food innovations being discovered and introduced by younger generations. The “Flourishing in Food” Speaker Series is an event series designed to help student entrepreneurs looking to break into the food and beverage industry build their businesses and to inspire them to continue to look for newer and better solutions to help the food and beverage industry grow.

About this Session

When it comes to food, technology isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. However, technology has changed how we produce, process, and find our food through mobile apps, data, and more. When done right, even technology can help individuals like restaurant owners and operators cultivate customer relationships, loyalty, enhance profitability, and help expand into new market segments.

As part of the new Flourishing in Food Speaker Series, this panel will discuss the positive and negative impacts of technology on the food industry with a panel including Shy Pahlevani, Founder & President of HUNGRY Marketplace and Stuart Rock, General Manager of JOKR DC.

About the Panelists

Shy Pahlevani, Founder & President of HUNGRY Marketplace

Shy Pahlevani is a successful D.C. based serial entrepreneur. He and his brother Eman founded LiveSafe - a leading mobile safety communications platform that crowd-sources safety intelligence. The brothers teamed up with friend & business partner Jeff Grass to successfully grow LiveSafe into a global enterprise. The trio would raise $20+ million dollars for LiveSafe from 4 tech titan billionaire backers including Steve Case, Barry Diller, Dave Duffield, & Fred Smith that would take the brand international. LiveSafe now actively protects more than 5 million people across the Fortune 1,000, universities, and government agencies. LiveSafe's popular WorkSafe product helps detect potential infections, prevent outbreaks, and reduce legal liability. LiveSafe was acquired by Vector Solutions in October 2020!

Later in 2017, Shy, Eman and Jeff again teamed up to create food-tech platform HUNGRY - the first ever online catering marketplace connecting local top chefs with offices in need of food. The company grew quickly from a $1 million dollar run rate to nearly $20 million dollar run rate in less than 24 months becoming a nationally recognized, celebrity-backed culinary platform. HUNGRY launched in several new markets in 2019 and today operates in a $65 billion dollar catering market within D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, Austin, Dallas, California, and NYC. Notable investors include JAY-Z, Usher, Kevin Hart, Walter Robb the founder of Whole Foods, and Seth Goldman founder of Honest Tea, as well as Bravo's Top Chef Tom Colicchio.

Throughout his startup career, Shy has been recognized as one of D.C.’s Top Young Entrepreneurs & Washington Business Journals’ 40 Under 40. Shy is on Arlington Chamber of Commerce's Board. Shy currently holds 2 patents and is EY 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year winner. Shy lives in Washington D.C. area where both companies are based.

Stuart Rock, General Manager of JOKR DC

Stuart Rock is the General Manager for JOKR DC. JOKR is a global platform for instant retail and delivery at a hyper-local scale. JOKR makes the shopping experience smarter, faster, and more enjoyable, all while returning an extremely valuable asset back to the consumer: their time. JOKR delivers orders within 15 minutes of purchase, with no delivery fees and no order minimums, and offers a smooth, frictionless, and nearly instant experience. JOKR currently has operations across Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Stuart started his career working at Deloitte Consulting, then ran his own startup, worked in corporate strategy at Fannie Mae, and most recently was in Product Marketing and Strategy at Cisco Systems.

Stuart is a native Washingtonian and received his Bachelors of Science in 2014 from Vanderbilt University. 

Please note that this is an online event. A Zoom link for the event will be sent to all registrants a few days prior to the session.