Event Details

INNOVATION BY COLLABORATION: The Key Ingredients To Successful Product Development Partnerships

Tuesday, October 10th | 11-12 pm ET

New products and brands come to the market every day and what is often not spoken about are the many behind-the-scenes partners that enable products to launch. From marketing insight and product development to scaling into a manufacturing environment, there are many challenges that young brands face in the market where strong partners can help to enable success.

In this panel session, we will explore what best-in-class partnerships look like in the context of two very successful young brands. Moderated by Monica Watrous (FBN and Food Entrepreneur), we will discuss key insights together with Vanessa Pham (Omsom) and Matt Weiss (Rind Snacks) and two key partners, Robin Puskas (JPG Resources) and Evan Hyman (Kerry). This panel discussion will focus on what it takes to be successful in product development partnerships and how young brands can lean on partners to help them win in the market.


  • Evan Hyman (Vice President at Kerry)

    Evan Hyman

    Vice President at Kerry


    Evan Hyman is currently Vice President, Emerging Accounts & Special Projects at Kerry. Evan leads a team that engages with the food and beverage start-up community. Evan has over 25 years of food & beverage industry experience, working across the value chain, from food ingredients to the retail shelf, with general management roles in marketing, strategy, business development and sales.

    Evan is a featured industry event speaker and mentor to many start-ups through many industry accelerator and incubator programs. Throughout his career, he has worked for companies such as
    Ingredion, Mitsui Foods, Pepperidge Farm and Daymon Worldwide. Evan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/East Asian Studies from Union College, in Schenectady, NY and a master’s degree in business administration with a focus on marketing and competitive & organizational strategy from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

    view more
  • Vanessa Pham (Co-Founder/CEO of Omsom)

    Vanessa Pham

    Co-Founder/CEO of Omsom


    Vanessa is the CEO and co-founder of Omsom, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, and a Bain & Company and Harvard alum. Omsom is a proud & loud food brand that has been named "Most Innovative Company" by Fast Company and "Best New Food Business" by Food52. Outside of Omsom, Vanessa is a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship & heart-forward leadership at organizations like General Mills and Pepsi, a mentor to BIPOC founders, a baker of over-the-top cakes, and a believer in the healing powers of music & movement. She has been recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient and judge, Create & Cultivate 100, and "a viral startup star" in Fortune Magazine.

    view more
  • Robin Puskas (innovation and product development at JPG Resources)

    Robin Puskas

    innovation and product development at JPG Resources

    Robin Puskas heads up the JPG-Brooklyn product development team, and brings over 15 years in the Food and Beverage industry. She knits together classical culinary training and extensive food manufacturing experience including work on brands such as Rao’s, Ortega, Sir Kensington’s, Omsom, Green Giant and Popadelics among many others.

    She has over a decade of on-the-floor manufacturing experience and has acted as the business development lead for multiple manufacturers, onboarding client projects and converting formulations to the manufacturer’s equipment and processes.

    Robin holds an MFA in Poetry from The Pennsylvania State University and a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute.

    view more
  • Monica Watrous (Managing Editor, Food Business News and Food Entrepreneur at Sosland Publishing Company)

    Monica Watrous

    Managing Editor, Food Business News and Food Entrepreneur at Sosland Publishing Company


    As the managing editor of Food Business News, Monica Watrous covers the latest trends, innovations and developments in the food and beverage industry. She spearheaded the launch of Food Entrepreneur, a supplement appearing in Food Business News’ print magazine and online at foodbusinessnews.net. She also has organized and hosted multiple virtual events featuring emerging brands and cutting-edge concepts. She is lifelong foodie and a champion of startups and disruptors in the consumer packaged goods landscape.

    view more
  • Matt Weiss (CEO of RIND Snacks)

    Matt Weiss

    CEO of RIND Snacks


    Matt is the Founder and CEO of RIND, a better-for-you CPG brand that makes nutritious whole fruit snacks with bold taste and zero waste. With over six years of experience in the natural food industry, Matt leads RIND's vision, strategy, and operations, and oversees its creative partnerships and social impact initiatives. Before launching RIND, Matt had a successful career in investment research at mutual fund firm Baron Capital. Matt also serves as a founding member of Naturally New York, an organization that fosters community among professionals in the natural products industry. He is also the Founder of Friends of Chelsea Green, a non-profit that supports a thriving park in lower Manhattan.

    view more


Connect with 145 people attending this event