Guest post by Tim West, co-producer of the Future of Food Hackathon.
Why would a tire company care about food? Over 100 years ago, Michelin saw the need to drive to restaurants as an opportunity to sell more tires, so it created a set of guides for the top hotels and restaurants. Today, the Michelin Guide is the most influential culinary rating in the world. And while tires may not be considered a typical food technology, this outside the box thinking demonstrates the ways in which food supports many seemingly unrelated industries.
Zagat, another of the well known restaurant guides (acquired by Google in 2011), recently announced it’s 30 Under 30 list for 2013 – which I am honored to be on- and broke the mold by including social media managers and food entrepreneurs on the list. This move by San Francisco Bay Area editor Meesha Halm makes it clear that Zagat is shifting its view on the importance of technology in an increasingly digital era.
This weekend I will co-produce the Future of Food Hackathon in San Francisco, California, which aims to stimulate growth in the world of food technology. The event is preceded by the first Food Hackathon which took place in April and resulted in 5 winning teams. The grand prize winner, Vibrantly has already landed in the Apple iTunes Store. The Future of Food Hackathon will be paired with the Future of Food Forum. The keynote for the forum will be delivered by managing partner of Physic Ventures and Republic of Tea founder, William Rosenzweig. Other notable attendees include representatives from the Culinary Institute of America, The Institute for the Future and Food+Tech Connect founder and CEO, Danielle Gould.
The event will take place on November 16th-17th at the Tagged headquarters and will be followed by an after-party at TCHO New America Chocolate on Pier 17. Tagged is the fifth largest social network, with over 300 million users. TCHO is pioneering the application of technology to chocolate production. Additional support comes from Yummly, which is building a digital kitchen platform and boasts the #1 free recipe app on iTunes.
The hack will kick off with participants sharing their ideas on Saturday morning and will be followed by a 30 hour marathon of hacking – rapid prototyping of hardware and software solutions to challenges in our food system. Hackers will present their hacks in the finals and judges will decide who cuts the mustard. The Future of Food Forum, which will be held on Sunday afternoon, boasts some of the world’s leading food and tech experts and includes topics like the future of food tech trends. Appetizers and cocktails will be served at the after party hosted by San Francisco’s famous Stag Dining Group. We expect no couch potatoes at the event.
Food+Tech Connect will be live streaming from the event, so stay tuned.