Startle is an innovation studio that seeks to transform the food system. We work side-by-side with corporate partners, investors, scientists, designers, and entrepreneurs to bring great ideas to life.
Through research and ideation, we help our partners understand the biggest challenges and opportunities in food and agriculture today, providing the insight, expertise, and relationships necessary for driving transformative change.
Who We Are
Jean Van Damme
A food science engineer–turned-intrapreneur-turned-entrepreneur, Jean has 10 years experience as a business consultant and was Director of R&D and Innovation for a top food retailer in Europe.
His strength and passion lie in navigating the unpredictable and uncharted waters of food innovation.
MS, University of Leuven
MBA, Vlerick Business School
An entrepreneur and advisor in food tech for the last 10 years, Jenn founded 2 food tech ventures: FarmersWeb (still operating nationwide) and Pippin Foods (acquired).
She is a frequent panelist and moderator for food industry events, and is hardwired into the food ecosystem—finding, identifying, and creating otherwise elusive business connections and collaborations.
BA, Columbia University
A creative director and content strategist, Deb has 15 years of scientific, health, and brand narrative-writing experience. She also spent time as business development lead/ communications strategist in healthcare advertising.
Deb loves to find and share the stories that hide in everything around us—the stories that inspire each of us to make choices and take action.
BA, Cornell University
MA, University of Chicago