Hoffmann is an entrepreneur who has successfully founded eight companies over the last 26 years in the fields of preventative medicine, health care, technology, mobile health and education. Her natural ability to lead and inspire has resulted in numerous awards and honors throughout her career. As CEO and Founder of TellSpec, the company behind the world’s first food scanner for consumers, she leads a team of researchers, mathematicians, software developers and designers towards their mission to build a healthier world by empowering people to make informed choices about what they eat.
Hoffmann has embodied the entrepreneurial spirit from the age of 19 when she started her first company. She has founded eight successful companies, taking companies from $0 to $75 million, and has negotiated strategic investments with groups such as CBS Corporation and Mitsubishi International. Hoffmann has raised equity investment and convertible debenture notes in Wall Street, New York City, and Bay Street, Toronto. She was also the main strategic negotiator on several business acquisitions, including a US$28M acquisition of Corel Multimedia business division. More recently, she has shared her experiences as an entrepreneur and as knowledge on commercializing technologies by teaching MBA-level entrepreneurism courses at the University of Porto.
As a sought-after keynote speaker, she’s presented at conferences around the world. Her presentations have covered topics including Preventative and Predictive Health at the Sixth Annual International Congress on Anti-Aging SP Brazil, Delivering the Right Message at the Women of Influence Luncheon Series, Leadership at The Rotary Club, A New Vision of Aging at the CARP conference and Entrepreneurship and Innovation at TED City Toronto.
Her awards in the technology and entrepreneurial field include The Women in Technology Award presented by Bell Canada and the Toronto Sun; Canada‘s National IWAY Award for Leadership in the Application of Technology presented by CANARIE Inc. and the Royal Bank; Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the University of Toronto, Canada; Top 40 Under 40 award presented by the Financial Post, CIBC and Caldwell Partners, Canada; Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by Ernst & Young; and MacLean’s Honor Roll for Canadian Excellence presented by MacLean’s Magazine.
Gisele Waters has managed research and program evaluation teams turning data into actionable insights for large urban school districts, universities and non-profit organizations for nearly 20 years. Gisele’s Ph.D.in educational psychology strengthened her skill set with tactical data analyses and process metrics for a variety of educational institutions in public and private sectors. Currently Gisele is developing the research architecture for TellSpec’s future customer base using mixed methods including sociolinguistic ethnography and interpretive research. Her passions are preventative health and healing foods.
Neeraj Garg is an experienced software development and global team leader with success stories from companies including Microsoft, BlackBerry, Redknee and Sandvine. He brings with him expert knowledge of TCP/IP networking as well as complex scalable software design, development and deployment experience. Neeraj holds a Computer Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and an Executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He is a recipient of Microsoft’s Gold Star Award for Outstanding Leadership (2006-2007) and is also known for product innovation through his numerous patents at various organizations in security and mobile design and computing area.
Neeshma Dave obtained her Ph.D. in Bio-analytical Chemistry from University of Waterloo. She has also worked for two biotech start-up companies where her duties included R&D, technology transfer, process engineering and manufacturing. She believes a significant and overlooked component integral to human health is food quality, which is the driving force behind Neeshma joining TellSpec. She manages the proprietary TellSpec food databases of spectra, references, and chemometric models.
Mark Bloore has done software design and development in many areas over the past 20+ years, from electromagnetic prospecting equipment to typesetting to distributed computing control to highly-parallel web crawling. In addition to software, he has a background in general science, with a particular taste for physics and biology.
Martin Merener has worked at private companies, successfully solving problems using the right mathematical tools. He has research experience in statistical analysis of fMRI data, numerical optimization, and privacy-preserving data mining. He is passionate about applying learning algorithms to solve business and industry challenges. Martin holds a Ph.D. in pure mathematics from York University.
Hayden Liu earned his Master of Applied Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto in June 2014. His research interests include machine learning and pattern recognition, biomedical signal processing and health care. Hayden has presented his work and published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conferences and journal. Hayden enjoys applying machine learning algorithms to solve and explore new challenges.
Nataliya Portman brings to TellSpec important insights into machine learning techniques gained from her postdoctoral research on automated pattern recognition methods at Montreal Neurological Institute. Her work integrates ideas from Computer Vision, Signal Processing, Pattern Theory and Medical Imaging. Nataliya’s doctoral work on mathematical modeling of biological growth spans multiple fields of research including computational anatomy, optimization methods, developmental biology and neuroscience. Nataliya has a keen interest in innovative recognition algorithms and enjoys finding creative mathematical solutions. Nataliya holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from University of Waterloo.
Dmitri Malinovski is a highly qualified IT professional and quantitative analyst with 20+ years of experience. He has extensive expertise in IT technologies, high performance distributed computing, quantitative methods, image processing, pattern recognition, biostatistics and financial analysis.
Jennifer Whyte is a student of Physics and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. Her interest in quantum logic, and more generally the relationship between scientific theories and the ideas that underly them is what drives her to lean more about where science and daily life intersect. She is fascinated by the complex and often contradictory attitudes people have towards food, and hopes to explore this relationship through her work at TellSpec.
Chao Gao is a graduate of the Industrial Design Department at OCAD University. He is constantly inspired by the good relationship between people and objects.
Xue Feng has turned her long-time hobby into a professional career after graduation from the York University/Sheridan College joint program in Graphic Design. She enjoys incorporating elements of wit and humor into projects, and has a love of minimalism.
Rosalie Byrnes is an undergraduate student at McMaster University, pursuing a degree in the Child Health Specialization of the Bachelor of Health Sciences program. Her studies in human physiology, training in research of scientific literature, and her passion for food and nutrition have come together to lead her to her place in the TellSpec team. Rosalie hopes to pursue a career in Medical Illustration.
Maureen Novak is a Toronto photographer, writer, and cook as well as creator of the food blog Oolong Rouge.
Karen Cuevas is interested in developing and testing concepts, collecting data, discovering patterns, and thinking outside the box. Her previous work as an industrial designer has focused on improving people’s needs through user-centered design.
Julie Nguyen is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, majoring in Human Biology health and disease and Molecular Biology. Her fascination in biotechnology and its integration into everyday preventative medicine have inspired her to join the research and development of a consumer-based product such as that offered at Tellspec. Julie looks forward to working alongside the Tellspec team in a revolution towards clean healthy eating.
Johanna Sildam is currently finishing her degree in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. Her background in medical research combined with her personal struggles with soy, nut, and gluten allergies have made her an attentive investigator of environmental and alternative health solutions. Johanna will add diversity to the TellSpec approach on writing content about the relationships between food, health, and the environment. She looks forward to attending the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine next year with the intent of becoming a Naturopathic Doctor.
Andrew Kamphius is an avid foodie and scientist. At McMaster University, Andrew is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences while teaching Anatomy and Physiology as a teaching assistant and providing direction to other pre-med students as an MCAT instructor. He brings a critical eye to all forms of food science and nutrition research. Andrew helps TellSpec integrate medical literature into the company’s exploration of food and health. In his spare time, Andrew cooks, explores new restaurants, and participates in cooking competitions.
Dr. Rafael GrossmannTellSpec
Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS, originally from Caracas, Venezuela, is a General, Trauma, Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic surgeon who now lives and practices in Maine, USA. As a FutureMed / Singularity University graduate, his passion is about the intersection of innovative technology and healthcare.
Rafael is an avid blogger and social media user (Twitter @ZGJR). He is one of the few Google Glass Explorers in the world, and was the first doctor to ever use Google Glass during live surgery ("Inside the Operation Room with Google Glass”) and in medical education (“OK Glass – teach me medicine!”). Rafael was also a TEDx speaker at TEDxDirigo 2011 ( "An ipod could save a life"), TEDx Bermuda 2013, and TEDxDirigo 2013 ("OK Glass – disrupt healthcare”). He has also participated in the prestigious MedicineX conference in Stanford, CA in 2013. He was a featured keynote speaker at the "Games for Health" conference in Amsterdam, Holland, in October 2013. Practicing in a rural area like Maine, and being a telemedicine innovator, he is a strong believer in the power of technology to better connect providers and patients. He is convinced that innovation in healthcare technology along with the current developments in mobile and wearable platforms will exponentially improve healthcare connectivity, communication, and data management and result in more efficient, intuitive, less expensive, and ultimately better patient care.
Dr. Louis Florence is a Finance faculty member and the Director of the Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Mississauga. In this capacity, he is responsible for the quality of the education of almost 1100 Commerce and Management students. In addition, Louis teaches courses in corporate finance, financial management, mergers and acquisitions, and financial derivatives, and has won a series of teaching excellence awards. Louis received his BSc in mathematics from Queen’s University, MSc in mathematics from the University of Toronto, MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Higher Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - also part of the University of Toronto.
Louis has extensive business and finance experience. Louis was the President of a software training company, which he founded in 1984 and sold in 1998, and thereafter served in senior management positions in several national software training corporations, where he was instrumental in the firm winning a Canadian Information Productivity Award (CIPA) for a national training initiative for Microsoft Windows NT. Louis has extensive experience as an educator and instructor in mathematics, statistics, and software applications in addition to finance. Louis makes a special effort to bring the real world of business and finance into the classroom, to ensure the participants see the connections between the material covered in class, and the contents of the pages of the financial press.
Nathaniel Amsellem is the Managing Partner of Smart Equity, an M&A and Private Equity boutique. Born in France, he earned his MBA from Essec, a leading European business school. He strengthened his skills in Corporate Finance and Strategy with a career start in Strategy consulting. After a few years and some experience in Life Sciences, Dairy Products, and Telecommunications, Nathaniel was pretty successful as an intrapreneur, leading Business Development and Corporate Development for a number of of successful ventures.
In 2006, Nathaniel launched Smart Equity and arranged numerous capital transactions with a focus on Small Cap and Lower-end Midcap companies in the following sectors: TMT, Energy, Financial Services, and Health/Wellness. Since 1999, Nathaniel has also been a Business Angel. He has founded Investment firms exceeding $1bn assets under management (SolarFi in 2008 and YCAP in 2010).
Nathaniel also sits on the boards of the following companies: Agriland (investments in agriculture-related infrastructures), Nanosol (nanotechnology), and Ceprodi (nutrition).
Robert Rubinstein, born in Brooklyn, New York is now a long time resident of The Nederlands. For the past twenty years, he has led the TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investing) Group as an international knowledge broker continuously building and expanding a global network of parties who share the concept of investing in “people, planet, and profit” and its close relative, ESG, “Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues.”
Rubenstein has taught courses in sustainable finance at the Rotterdam School of Management and currently delivers lectures at various international business schools and universities. In addition, TBLI ACADEMY was created to provide the financial sector with sustainable finance education.
Finally, Rubenstein was Chairman of the Swift Prize of the King Boudewijn Foundation and commissioner for the State of the World Commission on Globalization. He serves on boards of numerous organizations, including Ethical Markets TV editorial advisory board, the Green Investment Forum, and the ASN Foundation. He has been the founding publisher/editor of five magazines; the most recent was Source, the European management magazine devoted exclusively to corporate social responsibility.