E7: Isabel Hoffmann, CEO @ Tellspec on Food Safety & Spectroscopy

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Isabel Hoffmann, CEO and Founder of  Tellspec is an entrepreneur and educator. She has launched and managed multiple businesses across different continents and industries. However, after her daughter suffered a severe allergic reaction to food based mycotoxins, Isabel wanted to improve the information available to consumers about what is really in their food. This is when the idea for Tellspec was born.

By creating the world’s first consumer food sensor, Tellspec will revolutionize food safety and authentication. It uses a three-part system which includes a pocket-sized scanner, a cloud-based analysis engine and a mobile app. Using these tools, consumers can identify the ingredients (including allergens and contaminants) in food. Commercially, Tellspec has implications for the detection of food fraud on a large scale. In addition to its applications as a detector for allergens, the sensor can analyse the composition of meat from different cuts, proteins, fibre, glycemic load, and carbohydrate composition. In 2014 the company was selected as one of Forbes’ Top 10 Companies Revolutionizing Entrepreneurship and recently received the Humanitarian Water, Air and Food Award (2016).

What we Talk About

Isabel’s academic credentials are as impressive as her record in the world of entrepreneurship. Her career trajectory provides a perfect example of how learning can be developed in one area, then be added to and leveraged to create expertise and knowledge in other domains. Her fierce intelligence and desire to do good in the world are the driving force behind her achievements. At the same time as having strong opinions, she is also self-aware and honest. We discuss her concerns for the food we currently consume and how she got to where she is now. Her story is a fascinating one that I hope you enjoy.

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