Episode 2: So You Want to Start a Start-Up?

Creating a food-related product that is scalable, in a market segment that isn’t already saturated can be difficult—no matter your connection to the industry. Even if you get that far, selling into stores and gaining market traction is another hurdle to tackle. During this episode, host Matt Teegarden speaks with Dan Staackmann of Upton’s Naturals and Paul Tasner of PulpWorks will discuss how they got their start, how they scaled their business, and what the roadmap looks like for a successful food start-up.



Matt Teegarden, M.S., IFT Student Association Past President 2016-2017, Ph.D. Candidate, The Ohio State University

Expert Guest:

Dan Staackmann
CEO of Upton’s Naturals, a natural foods company with a focus on meat alternatives and vegan values. Dan pioneered flavored, wheat-based seitan in 2005.

Expert Guest:

Paul Tasner
TED speaker, CEO and co-founder of PulpWorks, an environmentally-friendly company that designs and manufactures sustainable packaging for the consumer-packaged goods industry. PulpWorks was founded in response to the worldwide plastic pollution crisis.


Are you a start-up looking for an opportunity to share your innovative product with a large concentration of motivated buyers and venture capitalists? IFT’s IFTNEXT Start-up Alley at IFT18 is a unique opportunity for cutting-edge food entrepreneurs to showcase innovative products and ideas to a worldwide audience. IFT18 is IFT’s annual meeting recognized as one of the world’s largest annual science of food events attracting over 20,000 professionals from more than 90 countries.

Learn more about IFT’s Start-Up Alley at IFT18.