Benjamin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and an M.B.A from the University of Akron. Benjamin has spent the last seven years in market research and strategic consulting across a wide range of industries. In this time, Benjamin has participated in all functions of these roles including conducting primary and secondary research, analyzing trends, developing market size estimates, evaluating competitive landscapes, authoring reports, developing strategic recommendations, and conducting presentations.
Benjamin has experience working in a number of commercial, industrial, and consumer research segments, including packaging, consumer goods, oil & gas, transportation, plumbing fixtures & fittings, HVAC-R, and printing, among others. Prior to joining Smithers, Benjamin ran the Private Equity Diligence division of a Public Equity research firm. Benjamin was responsible for all aspects of this division outside of sales.
My new favorite quote, “Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t” Bill Nye (The Science Guy) this is why you listen first and then speak. My entire career has been an exploration of innovative ways to connect consumers, products and packaging. The concept of each product having a unique identity which provides a personalized digital engagement is the future of the packaged goods industry. I lean in to problems, run towards the fray, and excel in providing the thought leadership needed to bridge the gap between ideation and execution.
Solveiga Pakštaitė is the the industrial designer behind Mimica Touch; a label that tells you exactly when food spoils in order to reduce food waste. Solveiga also lectures at UCL and has been previously named MIT Technology Review's Inventor of the Year. Her name was once the answer to a clue in The Times crossword.
Stephen McSpadden has been a technical product manager for 9 years, having been involved in smart cards, security related software and anti-counterfeit technologies for a total of 24 years. Starting his career in smart card chip testing, he moved to focusing on software, developing certified cryptographic libraries. He then went on to develop applications for smart card schemes in domains as diverse as payment, transport and identity both in the UK and internationally (including in what he terms “interesting places”).
• The application software in several million bank cards in Eastern Europe
• Development of the core cryptographic services of a payment SAM used throughout Denmark
• Responsibility for delivering the security evaluation and certification for the ITSO-specific Secure Application Module as used in over 20,000 London Underground gates and 90% of buses in the UK
• Development of card and supporting services for an ID program in the Middle East for government employees, pensioners, displaced citizens and refugees
• Development work on a health card application to provide health professional workflow assurance in the out-patient treatment of conditions such as diabetes
• Two years on an anti-counterfeiting technology programme to define a solution for product authentication and workflow assurance in the pharmaceutical industry
Fred Clulow is General Manager (United States), at Kezzler - a pioneering company in the realm of the Internet of Things. Kezzler focuses on the formation and development of serialization technology to unify production, distribution and consumption processes by individually identifying and connecting each item.
Leonard Badet is Head of Group Innovation at Bobst, where he works to support digital transformation of the group, to foster innovation - development processes, technologies, and additive manufacturing, and to increase internal and external visibility.
A serial entrepreneur and nomad, Mayo Akindele graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas where he studied International Business & Finance. He founded the Nomad Spirits Company as a way to combine his love of technology and premium spirits from around the world.
Navjeet Chhina is the CEO of Genius Ventures Inc, an augmented, virtual and mixed reality firm based in North America. He is responsible for monitoring all facets of the organization including Operations Oversight, Strategic Planning, International expansion and building the senior executive team. He has 12 years of executive and project management experience across various industries; using his predictive approach to bring innovation into the customer consciousness. He uses comprehensive analysis of competitive trends to drive growth with quantifiable metrics to illustrate the benefits of taking on new avenues for brands. From digital marketing to research & analytics to leveraging strategic relationships, Navjeet perpetually pursues avenues for coupling products with consumers, propogating loyal customers and cultivating long-term brand relationships.
Navjeet is currently focusing on expanding operations internationally, showcasing how augmented reality and forward thinking innovative technologies can provide solutions for organizations of all sizes.
Ed Morris currently leads Zappar’s North American business as VP of Strategic Partnerships. Zappar is a leading augmented reality platform and creative studio rolled into one. They were one of the earliest players in the mobile AR space and over their 10 year history, have created hundreds of projects for many of the World's leading brands, including: 7-Eleven, Nestle, Rovio, Shazam, Hasbro, Universal and Unilever. Prior to Zappar, Ed co-founded Gate Reality - a London and NYC based AR/VR production studio. Ed lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and 2 kids.
Pepin Gelardi works at the intersection of purpose and possibility, exploring the role of entrepreneurship and technology in solving future-facing problems. As a Partner at Tomorrow Lab®, Pepin leads the Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering teams to invent and develop new, impactful hardware products.
After hours, Pepin teaches workshops in design, aspires to become a Pasta Scientist, and creates site-specific art with his wife Teresa.