Course Information & Expectations


Our part

As your instructors, it’s our job is to set you up for success. We’ve coordinated field trip with interesting companies, connected the class to exciting thought leaders, and crafted experience based lessons to help you learn the cutting-edge trend of food innovation.

Your part

During our sessions, come ready to engage in interactive discussions, and to share your knowledge and interests with instructors and fellow students. unpacking difficult problems and to learn new design skills. Throughout the class, complete the assigned reading and submit the questions for speakers to teaching team. Since this area is quite new and rapidly growing, teaching team is open to learn from you. Feel free to suggest us if you have any interesting speakers to add values to the classroom, and share your experience with all of us.

Course Information

Course number: ME195A

Instructor emails/phone numbers:
- Laura Pickel (650) 422-1592
- Soh Kim (510) 717-0053

- Larry Leifer

Office Hours: By appointment – just shoot us an email or a text!

Course Description: Food has a great source of inspiration for many entrepreneurs and designers. In Silicon Valley, the number of food design solutions has increased tremendously. The goal of this course is to expose students to the landscape of food innovation and design in various areas from water to seaweed.

Course Objectives:

  • Explore the trend and landscape of food innovation and startups in Silicon Valley and beyond.

  • Actively engage the class discussions with speakers and peer students.

  • Find and develop your specific interests among various topics of food innovation.

  • Share your knowledge and interests with peer students.

  • Search and present about a topic of interest within the food industry.

Additional Course Info:

  • Every week, a team of 2-3 students will present the background information of the topic/company we are studying.

  • They will search and synthesize information on the the background, current events, and fun facts about each topic/field.

  • The presentation will be 10-15 minutes every beginning of class (after the warm up).

  • Slides should be submitted to by noon on the day of your presentation.

  • Students who present will be in charge of leading the discussion.

  • Grading: Grading for this course will only be C/NC. To receive credit, students must attend at least 7 sessions (not counting the first lesson of week 1) and actively participate in each. They must also successfully complete the presentation requirement.

Class Breakdown:

3:00 - 3:05 pm Icebreaker and improv

3:05 - 3:20 pm Student presentation

3:20 - 4:00 pm Guest speaker presentation

4:00 - 4:15 pm Q&A

4:15 - 4:20 pm Wrap up