Teō Haka
Centre for
growth &

Coffee & Jam: YieldTec and FoodStarter 2020

Come join us on Friday 27 November as we will hear first from Dr. Khalid Salah from YieldTec. YieldTec is a young startup operating out of Te Ōhaka which aims to revolutionise the fruit picking game using robots and sophisticated tracking software.

Next up, you’ll hear from Fernando Gutierrez from Ananda Vegan Goodness about his journey of building and launching his Italian Vegan Sausage product. Starting out at local farmers markets, he will soon be selling at New World supermarkets across the South Island, which was made possible by winning the FoodStarter competition in 2019.

On that note, we’re also super excited to announce that FoodStarter 2020 is back and will be launching very soon! This year the prize package is bigger and better than ever, with two winners to be selected and rewarded the opportunity to range their products in New World supermarkets across New Zealand! Our Chief Awesome Officer, Marian Johnson will talk about what FoodStarter 2020 looks like and how food entrepreneurs can be a part of it.

Come along to be inspired, and meet your local startup tribe!

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Meet your speakers

Ananda Gutierrez
Co-founder of Ananda Vegan Goodness

Fernando is the co-founder of Ananda Vegan Goodness – a Te Ōhaka-based food startup which won the judges’ hearts (and tastebuds) at FoodStarter 2019 with their mouth-watering vegan sausages targeted at meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike. Throughout this year, Fernando hard at work developing their product and their business to scale from farmers markets to retail distribution across the South Island New World network.

Fernando will talk about his journey of building and launching his product as a local food entrepreneur. Starting out at local farmers markets, he will soon be selling to customers across the South Island.

Marian Johnson
Chief Awesome Officer @Ministry of Awesome

Marian Johnson is Chief Awesome Officer at Ministry of Awesome. She is an experienced senior executive with 20 years experience developing and executing marketing and business growth strategies for software and edutech startups in New Zealand as well as with entertainment multinationals Universal Studios and Discovery Networks in the US and Europe. She is passionate about the startup and innovation ecosystem in Canterbury and committed to its ongoing success.

Marian will talk about the FoodStarter 2020 competition and why it’s a life-changing opportunity for small grocery suppliers and food entrepreneurs.
Dr. Khalid Salah
Founder and CEO @ YieldTecKhalid is managing the development of an automated harvest management system. He has 9 years experience in developing automation products. His interest in agritech is driven by his own PhD research in applying collaborative automation systems during fruit harvest. He has a BA (Hons) in electrical engineering, MEng in manufacturing systems, and PhD in mechanical engineering.