Team

Meet the Nima Team

For us, it’s personal. We’re on a mission to change living with food allergies, forever.

Shireen Yates

Shireen Yates

Co-founder, CEO

Shireen Yates is co-founder and CEO of Nima. She has been leading a gluten-free diet for the past eight years due to multiple food allergies. After pursuing an MBA from MIT Sloan, she decided to pursue her passion for helping people lead healthier lifestyles by starting 6SensorLabs, now called Nima. Founded in 2013, Nima is creating greater food transparency that enables consumers to make better health decisions. Its first product is a discreet and portable device that allows consumers to test their meals for unwanted ingredients in approximately two minutes – starting with gluten. Our goal is to alleviate the stress around unknown food ingredients, deliver social freedom and make mealtime enjoyable again.

Food Identity: Gluten allergic; soy, dairy, egg intolerant. Persian food lover.

Scott Sundvor

Scott Sundvor

Co-founder, CPO

Scott Sundvor is co-founder and CPO of Nima. Scott co-founded Nima because it sits at the intersection of two things he is passionate about – beautifully designed products and healthy living. At Nima, Scott leads the product vision and development process, overseeing everything from early design and prototyping to manufacturing the product. Founded in 2013, Nima is creating greater food transparency that enables consumers to make better health decisions. Its first product is a discreet and portable device that allows consumers to test their meals for unwanted ingredients in approximately two minutes – starting with gluten. The company’s goal is to alleviate the stress around unknown food ingredients for greater food transparency, deliver social freedom and make mealtime enjoyable again. Scott graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering and a concentration in product design and development.

Food Identity: Gluten free to help control my ulcerative colitis; buy only organic whenever possible; love a freshly grilled ribeye steak or tender lamb-chop; big sweet tooth – can’t help myself from ordering a creme brulee if I ever see it on a menu.

Chemistry

Dr. Jingqing Zhang, Lead Scientist

Dr. Jingqing Zhang, Lead Scientist

Jingqing leads the chemistry and biology development of the product. She is passionate about applying nanotechnology and life science focused innovations to solving real-world problems. She previously held positions at Agamatrix, General Mills, and Dow Chemical. Jingqing holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and a minor in economics and business from MIT.

Food Identity: Mostly gluten-free because of husband Andrew; eat lots of vegetables + fruit. Do not like cheese or fat.

Aquanette Burt, Assay Development Scientist

Aquanette, Assay Development Scientist

Aqua joined Nima with experience in diagnostics, having worked with Abbott Hematology in developing new instrumentation for blood analysis, as well as companies involved in cardiac marker assay development, sepsis testing and novel fluorescence-based assays for quantum dots.

Food Identity: I don’t have any food sensitivities, but there are certain textures I am not fond of – custards, eggplant, mushroom. I love fruit, any kind of bread, and I’ve never met a curry I didn’t like.

Alex, Lab Manager/Research Associate

Alex, Lab Manager/Research Associate

Alex graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in biochemistry and B.A. in economics. He’s worked in various positions in the scientific and education field. Alex is very inquisitive and passionate about things that bridge scientific principles and technology together. He is very active, and you’ve probably seen his back side at every marathon, half marathon and 10k you have been in. Just kidding. He is the type of guy to be first at the buffet line.

Food Identity: I have been blessed with zero food allergies, but working at Nima has made me realize the adversity and struggle that some people with severe food allergies face daily. I enjoy eating everything with the exception of cooked fish. Blech.

Monica, Research Associate

Monica, Research Associate

Monica started as a part-time hire at Nima, and we just had to have her officially on board. Monica recently graduated from the University of Rome Tor Vergata with a master’s degree in biomedical engineering and relocated to the United States. Before joining Nima, she completed an internship at La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology in San Diego, where she worked in a research context.

Food Identity: In Italy, my native country, food is a matter of history and culture. For Italians, food isn’t just nourishment – it is life. I learned from my parents the pleasure to eat well and cook healthy merely using all traditional flavors to enrich the recipes. I’m so lucky to be allergy-free, but I am also very concerned about my diet. Everything has to be fresh and organic, so I love eating a lot of vegetables and fruits. My favorite one is artichokes, and I love the Roman traditional way to cook them!

Lyndsie Slakey

Lyndsie, Research Associate

Lyndsie graduated from the University of Washington in 2012 with a degree in biology with a concentration in physiology. She worked at a biotech company for the last three and a half years doing a variety of antibody and peptide conjugations, with a main focus on production of antibodies for use in ELISA and Western Blot Assays.

Food Identity: I was diagnosed with celiac disease about four years ago and have been eating gluten-free ever since. I love to eat Italian food and have been pleasantly surprised with the gluten-free pasta alternatives. I also love to eat fresh fruit and grilled meat and veggies, especially in the summer!

Hardware

Francisco, VP Engineering

Francisco, VP Engineering

Francisco came to Nima from Freeslate and Cepheid where he led product development and engineering teams. His expertise includes broad technical product development leadership integrating hardware, software, consumables, and biological/chemical assay components. Francisco graduated from Caltech with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. In his spare time, Francisco coaches youth soccer and enjoys watching this global sport.

Food Identity: Likes to cook for family and friends, as good food makes people happy. Will eat anything as long as it doesn’t have coconut.

Steve, Lead Product Development Engineer

Steve, Lead Product Development Engineer

Steve graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in mechanical engineering and a minor in business. Steve has spent the past nine years developing blood-oriented medical devices at Haemonetics Corporation and is excited about continuing to help people lead healthier lives. In his spare time, Steve is out running with his dog Cooper, biking up the next mountain or perfecting his golf game.

Food Identity: Organic, local and fresh. Mostly eat fruits, veggies, legumes and nuts.

Dane, Mechanical Engineer

Dane, Mechanical Engineer

Dane came from five years of product development consulting. He’s worked on many handheld and wearable consumer electronics as a mechanical engineer and a technical lead. Dane has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington. When not in the office, you can find Dane playing soccer, hiking or skiing in the mountains or on a run.

Food Identity: Luckily food allergy free, but has a wife who is gluten and lactose intolerant. Prefers fresh, organic options when available, but definitely has a sweet tooth and craves a good cappuccino.

John, Electrical Engineer

John, Electrical Engineer

John joined the team at Nima after spending eight years in new product development consulting. Working with small startups to large companies, such as GE Oil & Gas, he has helped take many new ideas from concept to the market. John holds a B.S. in electrical engineering, and his passion is in electronics and hardware design. When not playing with circuits, John likes spending time in the mountains backpacking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter.

Food Identity: Allergy-free; love sampling all sorts of ethnic cuisines; at home like to cook with fresh ingredients matching recipes to wine.

Charles, Senior Systems Engineer

Charles, Senior Systems Engineer

Charles has worked in product design and development of consumer electronics in Japan, France, Hong Kong and Canada at both startup and multinational companies. He also passionate about worldwide backpack travel and loves getting around on a bicycle. He is still struggling to manage his busy mind during meditation sessions.

Food Identity: Love hot and spicy foods, strong smelly cheeses (especially blue cheese). I make my own bread and sauerkraut.

Sharon Morad

Sharon, Lead Product Manager

Prior to joining Nima, Sharon was getting her M.B.A. at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Before that, she led new product development at Amazon Lab126, working on new products such as Fire TV, Echo Tap and future products.

Food Identity: I’m a flexitarian. I love eating and cooking vegetarian, leading me to host a lot of dinner parties. But, as I am a flexitarian and hosting others means making what they enjoy eating, I also enjoy cooking and eating non-vegetarian options. However, due to my allergies to all seafood (fish and shellfish), I can’t eat some foods. Further, I prefer not to eat pork.

Marketing

Carla Borsoi

Carla, VP Marketing

Carla joined Nima directly from a fin-tech startup. She was formerly at AOL & Ask.com in senior roles overseeing consumer insights and marketing. She’s been working in consumer-oriented technology since the late ’90s. She cares deeply about the things she eats and is excited to help people trust their food. Carla holds a A.B.H. in Spanish and theater and an M.B.A., both from Rollins College. In her spare time, Carla co-leads a ladies cocktail club, parents two teenagers and does lots of socializing with her comic-book writing husband.

Food Identity: Vegetarian; allergic to truffles (not the chocolate ones); lactose intolerant; likes to make food from scratch; tea > coffee; believes beets and HFCS are evil and that meals shared and well-crafted cocktails can save your soul.

Elena Chung Nima Director of Conversion Marketing

Elena, Director of Conversion Marketing

Elena comes to Nima from Sincerely, Inc., a Y-Combinator startup where she drove growth for thematic gift sets. Before that, she led marketing at Del Monte Foods. At Nima, she’s hoping to drive awareness of this awesome new product and get Nima into the homes of everyone who is gluten sensitive and then into the homes of anyone who has food sensitivities!

Food Identity: I absolutely love food and trying new things. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I probably eat Korean and Japanese food the most often. The only things I don’t like are olives and celery. All else, yes please!

Heather, PR Lead

Heather, PR Lead

Heather came to Nima with more than seven years of public relations experience, specializing in enterprise and consumer technology. She has worked with some of the biggest innovators in the industry today, including salesforce.com, Samsung and VMware, leading their corporate and product communications programs. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in journalism and mass communications and a certificate in business. Outside of work, you’ll find Heather running half marathons with Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, cooking paleo meals and exploring San Francisco’s many neighborhoods.

Food Identity: No diagnosed food allergies, but live a life free of grains, lactose, sugar, corn and soy to manage symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Cook at home whenever possible with fresh and organic foods. Hate cilantro.

Sho Takahashi

Sho, Head of Community

Before Nima, Sho handled everything from sales to operations at various B2C companies but found a love for community development for tech startups. Most recently, he led the launch campaigns and community efforts at Boosted Boards, Misfit and Coin. He has a passion for new technology and companies that help individuals live better.

Food Identity: I was taught to eat more fruits and veggies, but my food pyramid consists of In-N-Out Burgers and Fries, street tacos, ramen and Vietnamese noodle soups. I can eat these dishes weekly and possibly daily. My stomach is very sensitive to dairy, spices and oils, so I’m always watching what I eat. My degree is in environmental studies, so I’m also conscious about the environmental and social impact of food. I try to choose humane, free-range, locally grown etc. when available.

Operations

Stacy, Director of Customer Care

Stacy, Director of Customer Care

Stacy joined Nima from The Climate Corporation where she led the sales and customer support teams. Before that, she worked for The Scotts Miracle Gro company and is originally from Ohio. She is passionate about customer service and excited to figure out how Nima can provide the best possible care to their customers. Outside the office Stacy enjoys movies, exploring outside and spending quality time with her husband and toddler.

Food Identify: No diagnosed food allergies but a mild intolerance to cheese keeps her obsession with the food in check. She equally enjoys cooking and dining out and loves trying new foods. Top foods include fruit,
bacon, sweets of any form and a glass of wine or beer at the end of the day.

Bruce, Senior Manager of Operations

Bruce, Senior Manager of Operations

Bruce came to Nima with a deep background in electronics and biotech/medical devices, most recently with a nonprofit tissue bank. He has experience in manufacturing and materials/planning sides of business.

Food Identify: I don’t have allergies or sensitivities myself (although I know I should avoid carbs and acids), but I have family and friends who do. I am a fast food junkie. From time to time, I just have to have a burger.

David Liu

David, Director of Manufacturing and Supply Chain

David comes to Nima from BioCision and Luminex and is excited to get more product to customers so they can have peace of mind and a more enjoyable dining experience. He has a deep background in low- and high-volume manufacturing, operations, quality assurance and global business development, with experience in taking startups from prototype to mass production.

Food Identity: I like fruits a lot, and I don’t eat chicken and cheese (except pizza).

Aliza, Internal Operations Manager, Special Projects Manager

Aliza, Internal Operations Manager, Special Projects Manager

Aliza came to Nima from the non-profit and catering world. She began her career working in Washington, D.C., in the non-profit, public health field working on issues relating to youth and HIV and STI prevention, sexual health education, human trafficking and LGBTQ cultural competency. She relocated to the Bay Area in 2014 and worked for a catering startup, connecting local food vendors with office catering. In her spare time, she is a graphic designer for an anti-human trafficking non-profit in D.C.

Food Identity: Technically speaking, I’m allergic to eggs, gluten and lactose intolerant, but that hasn’t deterred my diet much, because I love to cook and can’t stress enough how much I love to eat!