A few people have mentioned to us how crazy it was to launch a brand new publication the same week we were hosting the second annual Smart Kitchen Summit. They were not wrong – but lucky for us, the reception for both has been great.

This year we added a pre-conference day to the Summit along with an opening reception and showcase of the newest startups in the space. The pre-conference workshops were a big hit – speakers like renowned kitchen designer talked the future of kitchen design and what it means to create an emotionally smart kitchen. Folks from Char-Broil, Dado Labs and Behmor talked about the work of building a product for the connected kitchen and Williams-Sonoma, b8ta and Anova dove into the challenges of taking products to retail.

pre-conf workshop

The workshop sessions ended with insight from the VC world about what’s compelling for funders and what they’re seeing in the smart kitchen / food tech startup space. Mark Valdez from Playground Global commented on the necessary elements for a winning product, saying:

“Change user behavior or adapt user behavior – these are the elements of category defining products.”

vc-panel

 

Startup Showcase

Welcoming the newest companies creating connected and smart food and kitchen devices, the SKS opening reception featured a Startup Showcase with fifteen finalists showing off their products. We saw Alchema, a unique home-brew cider maker alongside SproutsIO, a smart micro garden that allows a user to grow fresh produce conveniently right at home. From a cocktail maker, a temperature sensor and timer, a 3D food printer and a mobile gluten sensor, attendees were able to see some of the most exciting new products  in the kitchen ecosystem across cooking, beverages, health & wellness and other areas.

startup showcase

mikewolfopeningreception

Day Two of Smart Kitchen Summit starts today, with a full day of panels, workshops, keynotes and of course the Smart Kitchen Summit sponsor demo area where attendees will get to sample fresh juice from the folks at Juicero, enjoy yummy food from Hestan Cue’s smart cooking system and finish the day with PicoBrew’s best home brewed beer.

Stay tuned for the recap of Day Two!