I sat down this week with Riana Lynn, the CEO of Journey Foods, to talk about her journey as a black female food tech entrepreneur.
From her time in the Obama White House, to working for former McDonalds CEO Don Thompson at venture firm Cleveland Avenue, to her latest startup that uses AI to help CPG companies make healthier and more sustainable food products, Riana’s had a fascinating ride over the past decade. But, as she told me in our conversation, the two consistent and recurring themes throughout her career have been food and technology.
We talk about her journey through these worlds as well as:
- How food tech and food innovation could address some of the systemic problems in the food system that disproportionately impact people of color.
- How many of today’s current food trends like plant-based food have long histories in black culture.
- How technologies like blockchain could be well-suited to modernize antiquated systems designed to help those in food insecure situations get better access to food assistance.
- What she thinks the long term impact could be from the conversation we are having about systemic racism.
- Some ways in which she thinks the world of food tech and venture capital could be more welcoming to people of color.
Some of you may have read Riana’s guest post last weekend at The Spoon. She and her team are churning out some really compelling and thoughtful content over at the Journey Foods’ blog, so I suggest you check it out.