The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged many companies’ operational models, and will accelerate a global trend towards supply-chain resiliency and operational efficiency. Key to both will be a massive increase in gathering and analyzing operational data, and acting quickly and decisively on the insights gained. Successful operations in the coming years will, then, be more Connected, Automated, and increasingly Resilient in the face of disruptions. MIT and the MIT-connected startup community have been innovating in supply chains and operational efficiency for many years, and we have commercial, industry-ready solutions that will be key to this transformation. This workshop will present perspectives from industry leaders, academics, and corporate investors, while showcasing several MIT-connected startups in this field.
David Simchi-Levi is a Professor of Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Co-Director of Leaders for Global Operations. His research currently focuses on developing and implementing robust and efficient techniques for logistics and manufacturing systems. He has published widely in professional journals on both practical and theoretical aspects of logistics and supply chain management.
Dr. Simchi-Levi has been the principal investigator for more than five million dollars in funded academic research. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Operations Research, the flagship journal of INFORMS, the former Editor-in-Chief of Naval Research Logistics and a member of the board for several scientific journals including Management Science, Networks, Transportation Science and Telecommunication Systems, and a former Area Editor of Transportation for Operations Research. His Ph.D. students have accepted positions in leading academic institutes including Berkeley, Columbia U., U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, U. of Michigan, Purdue U., Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech.
Dr. Simchi-Levi is co-author (with Julien Bramel) of The Logic of Logistics, published by Springer in 1997 (1st Edition) and in 2004 (2nd Edition) (with Xin Chen and Julien Bramel). His second book, Designing and Managing the Supply Chain (with P. Kaminsky and E. Simchi-Levi) was published by McGraw-Hill in August 1999 (1st edition), 2002 (2nd edition) and 2007 (3rd edition). It received the Book-of-the-Year award and the Outstanding IIE Publication award given in 2000 by the Institute of Industrial Engineers. The book also received the Outstanding First Edition of the Year award given in 2000 by McGraw-Hill. It was selected by Business 2.0. December 2001 issue, as the best source for slashing time and cost and increasing productivity in the supply chain. It has been translated to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. His 3rd book (with P. Kaminsky and E. Simchi-Levi), Managing the Supply Chain: The Definitive Guide for the Supply Chain Professional, was published by McGraw-Hill in December 2003. The book serves as a reference for consultants and managers involved in any one of the processes that make up the supply chain.
He is the founder and chairman of LogicTools (www.logic-tools.com), a company that provides Decision Support Systems and professional services for supply chain planning. These systems have been used widely to reduce cost and improve service level in large-scale logistics systems. Clients include Caterpillar, ConAgra, Kraft Foods, Mercer Management, Ryder, SC Johnson, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, and Walgreens to name a few.
Professor Simchi-Levi has consulted and collaborated extensively with private and public organizations. He is one of the developers of a Decision Support System for school bus routing used by New York City Board of Education to route and schedule school buses throughout the five boroughs in New York City. The system won the first place prize in the 1994 Win World Competition for the Public Sector.
Ophir Gaathon co-founded DUST Identity to solve the challenge of securing, authenticating, and trusting physical items within complex global value chains. As the CEO of DUST Identity, Ophir is the architect of the business’ vision, strategy, and product development. Ophir’s background includes supply chain security and a deep technical expertise of quantum sensing in diamond materials. He received his Ph.D. in applied physics from Columbia University, led research projects at MIT and Columbia, and is the author of several patents and published over 30 papers in leading peer reviewed journals.
Nathan has a diverse background spanning military service, management consulting, and entrepreneurship. As a Naval Officer, Nathan has been an instructor in the Navy’s nuclear power program, an officer aboard a nuclear fast attack submarine, and has participated in several overseas exercises in Italy and South Korea. He has recently returned from a 9 month reservist deployment to Somali where he focused on the US Embassy’s program to restore security through improvements to infrastructure, logistics, and security force capabilities, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star.
After leaving active duty military service he joined management consulting firm, McKinsey, where he worked on procurement challenges for high tech companies, manufacturing optimization for heavy equipment production lines, and bringing Robotic Process Automation technologies to the Insurance industry.
Nathan transitioned from management consulting to entrepreneurship to co-found Aulera. With Aulera he has helped raise venture financing, traveled to Bangladesh to design and implement the digital serialization process into manufacturing lines, and has put the Aulera technology to work in over a quarter of a million jackets. Nathan holds a Masters of Engineering in Logistics from MIT, a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, as well as a Bachelors of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University.
Dr. Venkat Maroju is Chief Executive Officer, SourceTrace (HQ in Cambridge, USA) - a SaaS company providing software solutions to agriculture and allied sectors, globally. The use of these technological solutions has made the agriculture value chain sustainable, transparent, and equitable - thus empowering growers in developing countries. SourceTrace dynamically serves 29 countries and impacting more than 1.2 million farmers, via offices in the USA, India, and Bangladesh where technology experts and sustainable agriculture professionals work together towards a common goal of ensuring food safety, traceability across the entire food value chain from farm to retail.
During his long and rich career, Venkat has worked with NASA, BOSE, ComauPICO, founded a venture company, and led one of the most impactful agritech companies in the world. He worked on early versions of super-computers in 1991-1994 at NASA, they were considered cutting edge then. As Divisional Information Officer, he led the information systems strategy and implementation at BOSE Corporation. He also held a leadership position at ComauPICO (A subsidiary of Fiat).
Venkat also founded Factum Ventures, a holding company in India that set up and promoted new business ventures in sustainable agriculture, microfinance, and renewable energy. He was also an advisor to venture capital firms investing in social enterprises that supported people at the bottom of the pyramid in developing economies. He also regularly contributes articles to leading agri-business portals, newspapers, and magazines across the globe.
Venkat has won several awards including “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in 2016 by the Old Dominion University, Agri Startup Award in 2017 for the “Innovative model and excellence in Digital Platform” at the Agri Startup Convention in New Delhi, “Global CEO award” at the Global Agriculture Leadership Summit in New Delhi in 2018 and TiE Charter Member Achievement award in 2018. Most recently, he was also recognized as one of ‘The Global Icon of 2019’ by leading international Passion Vista Magazine in Los Angeles.
Dr. Venkat has been invited to speak at a multitude of esteemed international conferences and forums, such as the UN Forum for Business & Human Rights, World Bank, USAID, Mobile World Congress, Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), ICT4D, TiE StartupCon, Sustainatopia, Agriculture Leadership Summit, Development Dialogue and he also spoke at universities such as MIT, Harvard, Old Dominion University, Brandeis, UMass Amherst, and Osmania University.
Venkat holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and was a Sloan Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, and a master’s from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. His Bachelor’s degree is in Engineering, from Osmania University College of Engineering, Hyderabad.
Under his vision, SourceTrace provides complete value chain visibility of the produce from farm to fork across 350+ varied commodities. For instance, ethical fashion brands can demonstrate the origin of organic cotton, QR-code based traceability solutions for retail chains that deal with fresh vegetables, fruits and also enabling traceability in highly complex value chains of perfumes and flavors where multiple points of origin need to be tracked, moreover, tea, coffee, milk, and aquaculture farmers can demonstrate the source of the produce. These incomparable Agri-tech tools use sophisticated foolproof Blockchain, ML, and AI-enabled real-time quality testing in the field to let brands and retailers be confident of their entire value chain while empowering the consumers at the retail to learn what they are consuming and its lifecycle.
Dr. Leonardo Bonanni is the founder and CEO of Sourcemap, the supply chain transparency platform. Leading brands and manufacturers use Sourcemap software to trace their products to the source and ensure that corporate standards are met every step of the way, including zero-deforestation, zero-child labor, and the highest standards for raw materials such as recycled, fair trade and organic. You can see Timberland and The North Face, Mars and Hershey, all publishing their Sourcemap-verified supply chains on open.sourcemap.com, the world's largest supply chain disclosure website. Leo developed Sourcemap as part of his PhD at the MIT Media Lab and has been named among America's 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics and America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs.
Mitch is a Sales Manager for Tamr Inc., with responsibility for growing its manufacturing business in the eastern United States and Canada. Mitch has over 30 years of enterprise technology sales experience, working for large and small companies including Fujitsu, SAP, Oracle, SAS Institute and most recently, Domo. In his role at Tamr, he helps global companies leverage enterprise data as an asset to help lower production costs, reduce inventory levels and improve customer service levels. During his career, Mitch has worked with global companies like General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Cox Automotive to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and grow sales.
Ian is CEO & Co-founder of Sensai Analytics. He was previously a Research Fellow at MIT where he led research into predictive analytics for Industry 4.0 and battery-free IoT. He is now helping companies with limited machine learning expertise build robust and scalable AI solutions, by combining scarce data with their domain expertise.
Scott is an accomplished technology executive with 30 years of entrepreneurial and growth-phase experience. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at Seattle University. Prior to joining Jeeva, Scott was co-founder and CEO of Synapse Product Development, overseeing a 10-year growth in positive EBITDA annual revenue to $60M and a staff of 250+ people with offices in Seattle, San Francisco, Orlando, and Hong Kong. Scott holds four U.S. patents, received his B.S. Electrical Engineering from Ohio University and M.B.A. from University of Washington, and is a Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors.
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