Winter 2019 Course Schedule


January 11th

Topic: Welcome remarks and class logistics

Speaker: Soh Kim, Leni Peterson, Summer Jung

January 18th

Topic: Beverage innovation


  • Namiko Kajiwara, Partner at Food Innovation Lab (WiL), and Marco Lorenzo from Sweet Nothings.


Namiko is a design thinker and innovator at VC with more than ten-years of operating and entrepreneurial experience. With deep understanding of consumer behavior, she is passionate to change consumer's daily lives through innovative products or services.

She is very proud of her achievement to launch Kirin Free, the world’s first 0.00% non-alcoholic beer. Kirin Free created a new market of $620M, which led her to win many awards for this successful new product launch and an integrated marketing campaign. Her recent achievement is to launch Stonemill Matcha in San Francisco with Japanese corporate partners, which aims to expand healthy and mindful lifestyle globally (from Namiko’s Linkedin).

January 25th

Topic: Lab-made ingredients



Impossible Foods Inc. is a company that develops plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, the company aims to give people the taste and nutritional benefits of meat without the negative health and environmental impacts associated with livestock products (from Wikipedia).

February 1st

Topic: Food logistics innovation


Lineage Logistics is a warehousing and logistics company built to deliver sophisticated, customized, and dependable cold chain solutions. Lineage Logistics has one of the largest facility networks in the U.S. and an ever expanding reach (from lineage logistics website). is altering the trajectory of the food system through blockchain technology and the Internet of Things. By designing a radically transparent digital food supply chain, harnesses quality food data to create the Blockchain of Food – an unprecedented food quality network that maps the food journey to answer what’s in our food, where it comes from, and what has happened to it (from website).

February 8th

Topic: Vertical farming


Michael Flynn is the Head of Engineering at Plenty, the agtech startup he founded in 2013 after a career in tech and finance. The San Francisco-based firm grows crops not in fields or polytunnels but indoors on six-metre-high vertical poles. Their roots are fed by a slow trickle of nutrient-rich water. There’s no soil and no pesticides (there are no pests). And there’s no sun – light is provided by LEDs (from

February 15th

Topic: Scaling up



Andrew Chau, founder of Boba Guys, first visited ME 195A at Stanford University on October 5, 2018. Chau was selling ranch dressing at Clorox when he founded and worked at Boba Guys part time in 2011. As his business became increasingly successful, he made the difficult choice of choosing to pursue Boba Guys full time over becoming the General Manager of Coke Asia. Ultimately, Boba Guys, a bootstrapped company now worth $40-50M, expanded from the SF Bay Area to NYC and LA.

Boba Guys, whose purpose is to bridge cultures, faced an interesting dilemma when California instituted a straw ban. Chau was a major supporter of the ban, and he helped pioneer alternative straws, such as a cardboard straw and a sugarcane straw he passed around the class. Chau is currently in the process of writing a Boba Guys book to share more of his insights and experiences to the world.

Part of Chau's entrepreneurial advice to the class was a quote from Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World in which Adam Grant states: "The most successful originals are not the daredevils who leap before they look. They are the ones who reluctantly tiptoe to the edge of a cliff, calculate the rate of descent, triple-check their parachutes, and set up a safety net at the bottom just in case."

February 22nd

Topic: Food Waste


March 1st

Topic: Farming


  • Liz Carlisle and Patrick Archie, Lecturers in the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences.

Additional note: Meet in O’Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm


March 8th

Topic: Bittersweet Innovation

Speaker: TCHO Chocolate, Blue Bottle, Philz Coffee (TBD)


March 15th

Topic: Reflection and Wrap Up

Speaker: Soh Kim, Laura Pickel, Leni Peterson, Summer Jung