The future of supply chain management will be determined by today’s students. Instructors should equip young innovators with tools that can be used to change the landscape of the industry. These tools exist within four sources of supply chain innovation: government initiatives, academic research, embedded enterprise programs, and the world of startups and venture capital.

In this session, we will discuss how an enterprise should include all of the sources of innovation to stay competitive, and how to prepare students to lead enterprises through disruption. Instructors will also hear from Manuela Zoninsein, founder and CEO of Kadeya, about how she is building a startup to change the way the world drinks its beverages, and the trends that she is seeing at the forefront of sustainability.

Instructors will come away with a case study of how a third-party logistics (TPL) company implemented 5G real-time tracking and temperature monitoring to stand out above the competition in the niche biological substance shipping industry.

Meet the Speakers

Nathan Stempel

Nathan Stempel

In business operations, Nathan is a seasoned consultant and entrepreneur. He began his career with McKinsey and Company consulting Fortune 200 companies, government organizations, and defense contractors specializing in operational efficiencies and portfolio strategies. Nathan left McKinsey to cofound Aulera, Inc., a venture-backed B2B SaaS firm that was acquired in 2022. With this successful exit, Nathan joined Blue Institute Labs, PBC as Director of the BLUE Excellerator to design a sustainable operating model and to facilitate the training and graduation of the second cohort of climate tech startups through the accelerator program. Nathan is now a senior consultant for Hidden River Group, where he advises government departments on how to create innovation ecosystems. Nathan also consults startups and small-to-medium businesses in scaling growth, designing their supply chains, and developing their distribution strategies.

In the military, Nathan has served 20 years in the U.S. Navy split between active duty and the reserves. He has also completed a security stabilization mission to Somalia. He has taught as an instructor in the U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Training Program and as a NROTC Instructor at MIT teaching Naval Weapon Systems and Naval Engineering. Nathan is currently the commanding officer of the Submarine Force Reserve Component EXPEDITIONARY MAINTENANCE UNIT out of Groton, CT.

Nathan has a master's of engineering in supply chain management and logistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master's of engineering management from Old Dominion University, a bachelor's of electrical engineering from Auburn University, and a bachelor's in human resource management from The New School University.

Manuela Zoninsein

Manuela Zoninsein

Manuela Zoninsein is the CEO and Founder of Kadeya, the world’s first closed-loop beverage vending system. Their network of smart bottling stations and reusable bottles eliminates the need for single-use beverage containers forever.

Previously, she worked at Palantir Technologies in international business development focused on CPG, introducing the company to five new markets. As a serial climate entrepreneur, she has launched two businesses in the agritech space, one a data service in China, which was acquired by a partner, and one in Brazil, now that country’s 3rd largest online marketplace for smallholder farmers and where Manuela was born.

Before going into business, Manuela served as a correspondent in China, where she lived for eight years. She moved to Beijing with a Princeton-in-Asia Fellowship in 2007 and reported for Newsweek and The Engineering News-Record, covering environment, technology, infrastructure, and transportation during the cleantech revolution.

Manuela holds an MBA from MIT-Sloan, an MSc from the University of Oxford, and a BA from Harvard University. She attended Evanston Township High School and is a proud Brazilian immigrant fluent in Mandarin-Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese.