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IBM Food Connect

A blockchain-powered food recovery system.

My Role

I was the design lead. I worked with three product managers and three developers on this project. I handled all design needs and produced our vision video.

Project Deliverables

Functional MVP
Vision Video

Project Timeline

3 days, Summer 2019
IBM Software Design Internship

 IBM Intern Hackathon 2019

 

This project was a submission to IBM’s 2019 Intern Hackathon. I worked with six other interns over the course of three days to produce a MVP that used Blockchain technology to solve a problem. My team placed first in our Blockchain category, and went on to present as one of five finalists in front of 700+ interns and IBMers.

We finished 2nd overall out of 98 team submissions.

How might we reduce food waste?

My team came together over the common desire to make a “tech for good” hack. We were interested in the power of blockchain and explored different use cases for blockchain and environmental sustainability. We decided to tackle food waste.

 

In our research we came across an existing IBM product, IBM Food Trust, which uses blockchain technology to track food from the source to the store. Food Trust focuses on monitoring for food supply chain inefficiencies and provides actionable insights so businesses can reduce over-purchasing.

We felt that Food Trust was missing an important piece of the food waste puzzle. 40% of food waste comes from restaurants and grocery stores, and these types of businesses almost always produce excess food. Food Trust tracks food from the source to the store. But what happens to all that food that goes uneaten?

 

Introducing IBM Food Connect

 

IBM Food Connect builds off of Food Trust to close the loop on the food supply chain, and create a complete food waste solution, from source to consumption. It is a scalable solution that uses an algorithm to connect businesses with excess food to recipients who need it most.

Every step of the donation process is logged in IBM Blockchain to ensure food safety and transparency. Blockchain is a particularly useful technology for us because it allows us to track things like refrigeration data, expiration dates, and transport details to monitor the flow of food from donor to recipient.

 

Impact + Future Plans

My team was fortunate enough to meet with IBM Food Connect and Blockchain leadership to pitch our idea and get feedback to strengthen our MVP proposal.

We went on to present our idea at Future Blue Connect, IBM’s internship finale at Walt Disney World, to a crowd of 700+ IBMers. We placed 2nd out of 98 hackathon submissions.