Media & Press, Business Tips, Random Faves


Joining fellows in MIT Technology Review’s 2019 Innovator Under 35 List!

I am extremely honored and excited to join this year’s list of incredible young innovators in the MIT 35 under 35. Check out the press release below:

Chicago, IL, USA – June 25, 2019 – Today, CEO and Co-Founder of Journey Foods, Riana Lynn announced she has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as an Entrepreneur. Every year, the world renowned media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world.

A biologist turned serial entrepreneur, Riana has developed high-growth, nationally recognized technology and food businesses. First-hand experience working through problems and scaling a family juice company inspired her to develop acquired supply chain transparency software. Her products have significantly impacted thousands of food businesses across the US and beyond. Riana’s work impacts some of the most innovative food and agriculture startups in the world, as well as Fortune 500 companies on new innovations. She has served as a recent Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Google and her accomplishments have been featured in CNBC, Forbes, USA Today, Wired, Entrepreneur Magazine, Crain’s “20 in their 20s”, among others. 

Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: “MIT Technology Review’s annual Innovators Under 35 list is a chance for us to honor the outstanding people behind the breakthrough technologies of the year that have the potential to disrupt our lives. These profiles offer a glimpse into what the face of technology looks like today as well as in the future.”

Learn more about this year’s honorees on the MIT Technology Review website here and in the July/August print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on July 2. The honorees are also invited to appear at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference, MIT Technology Review’s annual flagship event that offers a carefully curated perspective on the most significant developments of the year, with a focus on understanding their potential economic and societal impact. EmTech MIT will be held September 17-19, 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Click here to learn more about the event.

Journey Foods is an AI-powered platform that supports product management and nutrition services for food companies. We are creating the future of food science nutrient consumption through software that supports smarter R&D and efficient, data-driven production of packaged foods. Our prototype and “training data” was developed as a re-imagination fruit snacks by focusing on nutrient-density and additional functional ingredient complexes to target immunity, digestion, energy, and brain function. The Journey Foods AI engine streamlines the product development process, allowing teams to create products with more insights and efficiency.

About MIT Technology Review

Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned, independent media company whose insight, analysis, reviews, interviews and live events explain the commercial, social and political impact of new technologies. MIT Technology Review derives its authority from the world’s foremost technology institution and from its editors’ deep technical knowledge, capacity to see technologies in their broadest context, and unequaled access to leading innovators and researchers. MIT Technology Review’s mission is to bring about better-informed and more conscious decisions about technology through authoritative, influential and trustworthy journalism. Subscribe. Follow: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.

About EmTech MIT

Launched in 1999, MIT Technology Review’s annual flagship conference has a longstanding legacy of exploring the biggest technologies and trends of the day. On September 17-29, 2019, EmTech MIT will offer a carefully curated perspective on the most significant developments of the year, including artificial intelligence, climate adaption, personalized medicine, data security, and more. Part of the esteemed EmTech Event Series, this conference conducts a deep dive into how these technologies impact society, research, education, and life as we know it. Hosted on the MIT campus in Cambridge MA, EmTech MIT features conversations from innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, industry leaders and some of the world’s most brilliant minds. In addition, MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 are all invited to appear at the event, representing the best and brightest technologists the world has to offer. Learn more.

Discussing AI to Biodiversity of Food in Forbes


I was recently interviewed for an article in Forbes by Lana Bandoin. We discussed a variety of topics, from AI to biodiversity. One stand out quote:

I want people to be less hungry and less nutritionally poor. This is my life’s mission.” – Riana Lynn

You can read the rest of the article here.

Google Earth Black History Month Feature: Tech Journeys Across the Years

Source: Google Earth

Gardening with my grandmother and hunting with my grandfather taught me the importance of fresh food and family sustainability. Growing up in private school on scholarship and on food stamps led me to scale three food ventures and working with my family members to gain from their expertise. My mother encouraged me to explore science and technology at an early age, when too few women are pushed to do so. This early exploration helped me in all of my entrepreneurial endeavors, as I developed a curious eye and a resilient mindset.

My family and history helped me become the woman and innovator I am. Part of my journey included working at Google, as an entrepreneur-in-residence. This Black History Month Google featured Black innovators across industries. Take a look at some great stories here.

Forbes Interview: The Potential Of Micro Foods

Riana Lynn

Riana Lynn, a biologist who became a serial entrepreneur, believes the future of nutrition is micro foods. As the CEO and founder of Journey Foods, she recently launched her first product: Journey Bites. These micro foods, which she defines as small, nutrient-dense, portable and affordable snacks, are only the beginning of her line and vision for the company. In an exclusive interview, Lynn shared what motivated her to start the company and what she is planning for the future.

Read more here.

Excited to bring you Journey Foods and JourneyAI

When I first started entrepreneurship I just wanted to make a little extra money from solving a problem I faced moving to follow my dreams in the South side of Chicago researching with geneticists. I grew up on food stamps, but my grandmother had a garden and I was able to get scholarships to a private school that fed us great breakfast and lunch. As I began the journey to bring more fresh juices and learn how to run a brick and mortar company while building up an eCommerce platform.

The company was growing fast, and I had a lot of ambitions to explore farms and ingredients from other continents. As we scaled, I struggled with dealing consumer expectations of safety and procurement transparency and started working on “The Common Experience” QR codes, which I soon rebranded to FoodTrace.

Building FoodTrace brought even more exciting trials, opportunities and also many failures.

At the end of the day, I realized that the most impact I could make would be to create products and a journey for myself that brings me the most joy, comfort and actualizes impact.

With Journey Foods and JourneyAI I and some amazing team members can now set out to tackle the $600 billion nutrient access problem. We combine biotech and data science to drive better nutrition on-the-go.

Simply put, we are scanning thousands of land and sea plants to profile nutrition and locking them in with natural ingredients for less toxic delivery of small convenience nutrition for millions of people.

We are creating an entirely new category of food called Micro Foods. These new, shelf-stable products are highly nutrient-dense, resulting in food that is healthier, while also providing vitamins, energy boosters, aide in preventing certain diseases, and improve cognitive function. However, unlike many products today, Journey’s Micro Foods are made without any additional sugars and toxic processing ingredients.

We bring nutritional accessibility to the broader market by creating smarter, more agile solutions / R&D pathways. These food formulations are developed and predicted by our Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) platform, JourneyAI. They are then optimized to ensure shelf-stability and affordability through our biotech pathways for commercialization.

Our algorithms can predict which recipes will best fit nutritional, pricing and organoleptic requirements prior to production, allowing us to reduce both recipe testing and R&D resources. Our scientists are iterating on-the-go nutrients and prototyping faster; the new R&D.

Joining the Karen Hunter Show to Discuss Food

I had a wonderful interview with Karen Hunter. She asks all.the.right.questions, and is really just passionate about educating the community. I am really looking forward to returning. Be sure to follow Karen Hunter on twitter and subscribe to her youtube channel.

Named one of the “Heavy Hundred” (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) every year she’s been on SiriusXM, Karen has blazed a trail, bringing more action and less talk to the medium. She not only has some of the most provocative interviews with some of the biggest movers and shakers in the world,  she is also a change agent—challenging her listeners to participate in the success they want to see and be.


Journey Foods: 2019 Outlook


At Journey Foods, we know there’s a better way to approach the future of food. We’re an AI-powered platform that supports product management and data services to help thousands of food businesses save money and create better products efficiently. We’ve sold several thousand units of our inaugural data-driven product line, Journey Bites, with more than 1 million cubes manufactured, which supports our machine learning-based algorithms.

We explored several different pathways in order to think about innovation and benefits of something we love to consume: snacks. We experimented with ingredient differentiators, supply chain partners, and emerging sciences. The end product of all of that exploration is Journey Bites.

With the support of Backstage Capital, our early branding and operations efforts were accelerated in Q1 2018. We then finished Q2 with our first non-founder hires. Opening Q3 started off with 3 more angel investments.

We finished our year off solidifying our science and competitive moat more than ever: Our team of scientists and developers created JourneyIO, a living smart journal boosted by artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s a leading nutrition convenience database for research and product development, ensuring optimal delivery of global ingredients and nutrients that millions of consumers are demanding.

Our products and our research platform mean more than just a good marketing campaign and a jump into a crowded field. We are out to solve so very big issues: sugar intake, diabetes, gut health, mental health effects. This is precisely why we have been so focused on patents, creating a database of benefits of functional ingredients to develop consumables such as shelf stable snack foods (gummies, fruit snacks, vitamins) with optimal nutritional profiles. We are seeking to grow our team but also partnerships for research and creating new snacks – microfoods. We will continue exploring breakthrough opportunities in alternative sugars, sea greens, and enhancing database of plant-based nutritional profiles and functional ingredients. Please connect for more opportunities for collaboration in health claims, taste, texture as well as molecules.

Going into 2019 with pending patents, new enterprise customers and several proven products soon to hit the market we are more thrilled to solve a multi-trillion dollar problem and work alongside great folks for years to come.

Food Tank Wraps Up 2018 With Exciting News for 2019

Source: Food Tank

It’s been an incredible year at Food Tank in terms of our ability to incite, inspire, and spotlight change happening across the food system.

In May, young leaders gathered at Apeel and Food Tank’s Aperitivo to confront food loss and food waste. Apeel Sciences and Food Tank invited speakers of The Global Food Innovation Summit to gather at Ratana, an acclaimed restaurant in Milan, for a sold-out event featuring food, drinks, and perspectives on reducing food waste. Danielle Nierenberg and James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences, co-hosted the discussion featuring Alice Delcourt, Chef at Erba Brusca; Nicolas Jammet, co-founder of Sweetgreen; Riana Lynn, CEO of Food Trace; and Haile Thomas, CEO of The HAPPY Org. As the young leaders explored new solutions to the food system’s most urgent issues, more than 100 guests enjoyed a sustainable menu.

Read about the rest of the year at Food Tank here.

Top 2018 Food Trends: A look back

The Most Interesting Food Tech Trends of 2018

Leading food companies are facing pressure on all sides. Consumer preferences are shifting. Startups like Beyond Meat, JUST Eggs and Farmer’s Fridge are stealing market share. Meanwhile, food brands’ clients are becoming competitors as grocery chains invest more into their own private labels and as Amazon rolls out its own food products.

Some of these threats are immediate; some may be devastating 5–10 years out.

Many major food companies have begun to invest in e-commerce, healthier product options, new corporate venture funds, and other tools, but is it enough?

I noticed the top trends that emerged in the past year, including:

  • Meat producers investing in alternative proteins
  • Biology to the forefront
  • Food brands adopting blockchain
  • Growth in AI applications for food
  • The rise in private labels
  • New direct-to-consumer distribution strategies
  • A boom in corporate venture capital investment into food and beverage startups

I will close out a full review on the last week of the year!