Kevin Brown, MBA 96
Kevin Brown, MBA 96, CEO and co-founder of Innit, is shaping the evolution of food technology and the “smart” kitchen.
Preparing nutritious meals every night can be time-consuming and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be, says Kevin Brown, MBA 96. Brown co-founded and serves as CEO of Innit, a connected food company helping people eat and live better via “smart” kitchens. Think sensors detecting what food is in your kitchen, software recommending recipes, and appliances automatically cooking each meal to perfection.
Brown is no stranger to shaping the evolution of technology. He was part of the founding team at Internet infrastructure pioneer Inktomi and then gained some 20 years of experience in the networking, storage, security, and cloud sectors with one IPO and two strategic acquisitions. “There’s a huge opportunity to digitize the $21 trillion global food market and unlock information within food—with the goal of empowering people to live and eat better,” he says.
With $43 million in funding and more than three years of research in stealth mode, the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup is poised to turn meal preparation into an experience that’s efficient, universally affordable, and indescribably magical.
Tracy Gray, BCEMBA 07/08
Tracy Gray, BCEMBA 07/08, started We Are Enough to teach women why and how to invest in businesses owned or led by women and/or invest with a gender lens.
Tracy Gray, BCEMBA 07/08, founded We Are Enough (WAE) in her free time as a call to action for women to support one another and achieve economic independence through investing in women entrepreneurs. Via campaigns, salons, reports, and more, WAE educates women of all socioeconomic levels as to how and why to lead with gender when making investment decisions. “We empower women by letting them know that they are already investors,” says Gray, who notes that women are still underrepresented among investors and entrepreneurs. “Women control the purse strings and we have traditionally shown that we’re good at philanthropy, so why not have a higher impact and make money by investing in women?”
Gray, managing partner of The 22 Capital Group, a social-impact venture capital and advisory firm focused on investing in companies to increase their export capacity and in underserved communities, is no stranger to leading with compassion—a skill Berkeley Haas encouraged her to grow. “Being at Berkeley solidified that I could operate in the business world with my own values and I didn’t have to change,” she says. “Taking a negotiations class—and learning that both sides could win—was mind-blowing to me. The values at Berkeley Haas matched what I felt.”
Liran Amrany, MFE 04
Liran Amrany, MFE 04, founded Debitize to help people reap the benefits of credit cards and improve their credit scores without any debt, late fees, or high interest charges.
A trend among consumers to use debit over credit cards, often to take control of their debt or to avoid overspending, concerned Liran Amrany, MFE 04.
“Debit cards deny people valuable cash rebates and rewards offered by credit cards and often leave them with thin credit files,” he says.
So Amrany founded Debitize, a startup that lets people reap the benefits of credit cards—and improve their credit scores—without any debt, late fees, or high interest charges. Each day, Debitize sets aside money from a user’s checking account to cover any credit card purchases. Debitize then pays the monthly credit card bill with the funds.
“As I learned at Berkeley Haas,” says Amrany, “it’s all about having the vision and the skills to create something that will make life better for the people you serve.”