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Business Sessions Overview

Live On Stage from IFT FIRST. Your inner entrepreneur is going to love the programming for Business FIRST. Startups and investors alike will have the opportunity to experience dynamic live panel discussions on topics such as careers in food tech, supply chain, food waste, and more. Explore the program preview below and check back regularly for updates.

2022 Business FIRST Programming

Business FIRST is presented by IFT's flagship magazine, Food Technology. Food Technology is the leading publication addressing all facets of food science and technology. Its in-depth and balanced coverage includes the latest research developments, industry news, consumer product innovations, and professional opportunities.

State of The Profession (Part 1): Recruiting, Compensating and Retaining Tomorrow’s Food Leaders
As IFT’s 2022 Compensation and Career Survey illustrates, the employment landscape has changed. What do candidates and current professionals across the science of food expect from their careers and their employers? What are the keys to attracting and retaining talent? A panel of experts will break it down.

State of The Profession (Part 2): Unlocking Excellence through Inclusion in a Diverse Team
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are three words used increasingly in the workplace, but many organizations still struggle to connect their words and statements of commitment with the measurable success of their teams. Join our panelists in discussing both the obstacles and practical steps they have taken to embed DEI in their language, tools and processes to foster a sustainable culture of excellence.
Innovators on the Edge: Pushing the Boundaries of Science to Feed a Hungry Planet
The food world is hungry for fresh, science-based ideas, and entrepreneurs fearless to pursue them. Meet four innovative start-ups who have put their passion, curiosity, and discoveries to the test. Learn from their successes (and stumbles) in securing capital, recruiting talent, and building a compelling story in a crowded marketplace.

Tackling Food Waste: Defining the Problem, Innovating Solutions
Farm to fork, an estimated 40% of all food produced is lost and wasted, while more than 250 million people worldwide are acutely hungry and/or starving. A panel of experts from corporations, academia and non-profits will come together to share insights, trends and groundbreaking solutions to face the global challenge.
Rearranging the Dominos: How Food Development Is Responding to Inflation and Supply Chain Challenges
Soaring inflation, continued supply chain challenges, and geopolitics have blown away certainty in food product development. But we’re not unarmed. Hear how CPG, ingredient, and startup companies are responding to these challenges with creativity, innovation, and science.

Follow the Money: Where Are Investors Placing Bets on Food Innovation?
Food startups and innovators, fueled by unprecedented financial resources, continue to fill the pipeline with new products even as their target markets are convulsing with uncertainty. Are alt meats and other plant-based foods still sucking up capital investments, or are rising stars, such as indoor agriculture, poised to surge?

The New (un)Normal: Navigating Shifting and Conflicting Consumer Demands in Food 
Sound science, well-crafted operating systems, and smooth supply chains are no guarantee of success in an increasingly fickle consumer marketplace. Join us for a lively discussion with four trend watchers who will break down the latest consumer purchase and consumption habits driving retail and foodservice.