About Telesense

The TeleSense Team
Board of Directors
Advisory Board

The TeleSense Team


Naeem Zafar
Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Offer
Naeem is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer for TeleSense. An electrical engineer by background, Naeem is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved with several Silicon Valley startups. He started TeleSense in 2014 to apply IoT (Internet of Things) and AI technologies to one of the largest markets in the world: Agriculture. Naeem wanted to democratize the data for post-harvest grain – to benefits growers, grain handlers, and traders worldwide. Previously, Naeem co-founded and served as CEO at Bitzer Mobile, which was acquired by Oracle in 2013. His previous companies invented the silicon fingerprint sensors (found in laptops and smartphones today) and chip design tools.
Naeem is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, and a professor at the Brown University Department of Engineering, his Alma Mater. He is the author of five books and has published several papers.


Nick Garner
Co-Founder & Chief Engineer
Nick is responsible for the hardware and software technical direction. He worked at Cisco Systems for 10 years, and spent 4 years on active duty in the Marines. Nick is the technical editor for two Cisco Press books, IP Multicast Volumes I & II and is a Pearson Video Author with two titles, Certified Ethical Hacker and AWS Development Fundamentals. Nick has been writing software since 2005 and designing hardware/firmware since 2011. He built the original TeleSense platform (full-stack) and hardware offerings.

Ali Ahmed
Chief Technology Officer
Ali is the CTO at TeleSense and is responsible for all software development, data science and AI related activities. He has 20+ years’ experience in software development. He led the engineering team at Doctella, an IoT company focused on patient monitoring with a cloud platform used by leading hospitals and serving thousands of patients. Doctella was acquired by Masimo in 2018. Prior to Doctella, Ali founded Bitzer Mobile in 2010, a company focused on enterprise security that was acquired by Oracle in 2013. He spent two years as an architect at Oracle. 


Tim Neilan
Chief Revenue Officer 
Tim is a sales and business development executive with over 20 years of excellence in executing cutting edge, multi-channel growth strategies and developing robust partner ecosystems to deliver substantial revenues for global F500 companies and startup tech leaders. He is recognized as a change agent leading transformational growth and securing high-yield opportunities across all distribution channels. Tim has held senior leadership positions with global companies Samsung and T-Mobile USA. He earned a BA in Business Administration from St. Leo University. 


Shalin Parmar
Chief Product Officer
Shalin has spent over 15 years working in food and agriculture. As the CPO, he is responsible for long-term product growth, product management, marketing, and partnership related activities. Prior to TeleSense, Shalin was the COO of FarmLogs, a farm management and grain marketing platform. Before that, he was Senior Managing Director at Cargill Risk Management where he oversaw a global team that enabled over 75,000 farmers across five continents to manage their commodity price risk. Shalin began his career as a consultant at Strategy&, the management consulting arm of PwC.


Marcus Kennedy
Executive Chairman of TeleSense, Australia Pty. Ltd.
Marcus Kennedy is the executive chairman of TeleSense, Australia. As a former executive at GrainCorp, Marcus brings extensive industry knowledge and strategy to help TeleSense expand its presence in the Australian market. He is excited to be with TeleSense, and looks forward to spreading their innovative technology in a region where the products will have an exceptionally resonant impact. 


Thomas Kylling
Managing Director of TeleSense Europe ApS
Thomas has been leading Webstech since its inception in 2017. He previously ran sales at DLG as the Chief Commercial Officer in Denmark that made and sold products in the area of soil, grass, flowers, plants and grain equipment. He was at DLG from 2005 to 2017 where he started deployment grain monitoring systems in northern Europe. Thomas has been in sales positions since 1982 and had built the Webstech business in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, Ireland, Austria and Romania. 


Julie Parikh
Chief Financial Officer
Julie has more than 20 years of financial and management experience. She has held various accounting and financial leadership roles with both public and privately held companies including Google, Webvan, Excite@Home, Conceptus, Inc. and Lyons Restaurants. Julie’s experience includes scaling accounting and finance operations from start-up through IPO/M&A, building business processes and SEC reporting. Julie started her career at Price Waterhouse where she earned her CPA. She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Michigan State University.

Glenn Adler
VP of Engineering Operations
Glenn Adler brings a strong foundation to the Telesense team in many aspects of product development, product management and high volume manufacturing, through experience gained working for major personal computing and consumer electronics companies including Apple, HP, Philips and TCL. He has lead the numerous product development efforts as well as R&D, test/verification and industry standardization teams, and has participated as an individual contributor on the development of semiconductors, display & touch subsystems and embedded systems. 


Dug Stewart
VP of Manufacturing
Dug leads the manufacturing activities at TeleSense. He has 20+ years of experience is high tech manufacturing. Dug started his career at KLA Instruments after two degrees from Stanford University. His next assignment was the VP of Operations at Quickturn Design Systems, followed by 10-years stint at Cadence Design Systems as the VP of Field Operations. 


Tyler Benson
Director of North American Sales
Tyler has over 10 years of experience in agricultural sales. While working in sales enablement at CHS, a Fortune 100 agri-business, he implemented an award winning sales strategy to drive key bottom-line growth. Tyler is excited to help grain farmers and companies become more efficient in their post-harvest storage decision making. 

Board of Directors


Søren Schrøder
Chairman of the Board, Angel Investor
Soren Schroder joined the TeleSense Board in October 2020. Soren’s 35+ years of industry experience includes a variety of agribusiness leadership roles in the United States and Europe. After working for more than 15 years at Continental Grain and Cargill, he joined Bunge Ltd in 2000. He served as CEO of Bunge North America, from 2013 to 2019, leading Bunge’s business operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Soren is active in board and advisory roles for several emerging companies in the agribusiness and food sectors. His experience lies in building global supply chains, managing risk, logistics, industrial and value-added activities, and executing on strategy via acquisitions and partnerships on a global scale. Mr. Schroder is a Danish National and earned a BA in Economics from Connecticut College.


Naeem Zafar
President, CEO and Co-founder TeleSense Inc
At 26, Naeem had already started his own business. He is a serial entrepreneur and has been active in several startups. Naeem is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. He teaches at different universities besides his startup engagements. Naeem has served as an advisor or as a board member to over 35 startups.
His experiences led to creating TeleSense where he has several roles including being a Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Offer. Naeem also has experience having served on various boards. He spent six years as board chair in Open Silicon Valley. He served as a Board member in Electriphi Inc from its inception to its acquisition by Ford Motor Company. He was also a Board observer for Luminar technologies since its inception that had an IPO in 2020.


Mark Palmquist
Regional BD Director
Mark Palmquist has been a member of the TeleSense Board since October 2020. Mark is the Managing Director and CEO of United Malt Group, which demerged from GrainCorp in 2020. He joined the GrainCorp Board as Managing Director & CEO in October 2014. Prior to that, Mark was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ag Business, for CHS Inc., a leading global agribusiness, diversified in energy, grains, and food. He has held a variety of global leadership roles for a broad range of CHS agricultural inputs and marketing areas, retail businesses, and grain-based food and food ingredients operations. Mr. Palmquist also served as the Director of Rahr Malting, a leading US maltster, and a Non-executive Director of Allied Mills Australia Pty Ltd, until 2017.


Spencer Maughan
Co-founder & Partner, Finistere Ventures
Spencer Maughan has been part of the TeleSense Board since August 2018. Spencer is a co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures. Previously, Spencer was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Kleiner Perkins working with the Green Growth Fund on AgTech opportunities. Spencer has also been an investor at Venrock, a Venture Capital firm with >$2b under management. Alongside TeleSense, he sits on numerous boards; he is a catalyst member of University of Wisconsin’s WARF accelerator program, an Advisory Board member of CSIRO, Australia’s peak science organization, as well as an advisor to the ARENA-sponsored Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund managed by Southern Cross Venture Partners.  Spencer has a BSc and PhD in Genetics from the University of Melbourne.

Advisory Board


Dr. Digvir S. Jayas
Distinguished Professor and Vice President at University of Manitoba
Dr. Jayas is a former Tier I (Senior) Canada Research Chair in Stored-Grain Ecosystems. He conducts research related to drying, handling and storing grains and oilseeds and digital image processing for automation of grading and processing operations in the Agri-Food industry.

Dr. Kenneth Hellevang
Professor at North Dakota State University
Dr. Hellevang’s research focus and interest at North Dakota State University is in the area of grain drying, storage and handling and Extension programs focusing on Post Harvest Engineering. Recently, The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recognized him with the Professional Engineer of the Year award for 2018.


Dr. Seth L. Naeve
Professor of Agronomy at University of Minnesota
Dr. Naeve’s research focus and interest at University of Minnesota is in the area of applied soybean production and seed quality enhancement, soybean production Extension programs and International market expansion of bulk commodity and food grade soybean and soybean products.

Bobby Pelz Jr.
Co-Founder of McDonald and Pelz Global Commodities
Bobby Pelz, Jr. co-founded McDonald & Pelz Global Commodities in 1982 as an independent, global grain and oilseeds brokerage firm. Now considered the world’s largest cash grains broker with 15 offices in 11 countries, McDonald & Pelz is involved in physical trade of agricultural commodities via truck, rail, barge, vessel and container as well as a derivatives group brokering futures products, with a customer base that includes all major managers of grain and oilseed supply chains.


Alice Wheelwright
Associate Vice President Strategic Communications at Kennesaw State University
Alice Wheelwright is a seasoned marketing executive who spent many years working in the food industry. A graduate of Brown University, Alice has worked for Nabisco, Coca-Cola, and Ecolab, touching all levels of communications and marketing. Currently, she oversees communications and marketing at Kennesaw State University.

Pavel Danilov
Founder of Maiaki and Agrosputnik
Pavel Danilov is an agtech investor with a vast network in Eastern Europe and Russia. He previously managed a Skolkovo Ventures AgTech fund and agricultural investments at ONEXIM Group, co-founded 2 Agtech startups: Maiaki, USA and Agrosputnik, Russia. Currently, Pavel is also an advisor to Abacus Tech startup and Begin Capital venture fund. Pavel graduated from New Economic School, MA Economics, and Stanford GSB, MSx.


Kerry Cebul
Vice President, SLM Partners
Kerry is a founding member of SLM Partners' U.S. organic farmland investment and management firm. He serves as head of farmland acquisitions for the fund and head of asset management for the firms' organic farmland management company. The firm has over 30,000 acres under management. Prior to SLM Partners, Kerry built and ran the investment advisory arm of The Cleantech Group. Kerry earned his Business degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and B.A. from Middlebury, where he majored in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Conservation Biology.



Finistere Ventures
Finistere Ventures is a leading global agricultural technology and life sciences venture capital investor with offices in Palo Alto, San Diego, Ireland, and Israel. The team has developed and invested in some of the most successful AgTech companies of the last 20 years—building and backing companies worth more than $5 billion.

Rabo F&A Innovation Fund
As part of Rabo Private Equity, Rabo F&A Innovation Fund invests seed and early growth capital in innovative companies across the Food & Agri (F&A) supply chains with a geographic focus on Western Europe and the USA. As proactive investors, they are dedicated to fulfilling a supporting role and building value by leveraging Rabobank’s F&A network, knowledge, and position for the benefit of the companies in which they invest.

Congruent Ventures
Congruent Ventures is an early-stage venture firm that partners with companies in the sustainable technology ecosystem. With over $92 million raised, they fund companies involved in Urbanization and Mobility trends, the Clean Energy Transition, Food, and Agriculture, and Industrial and Supply Chain innovation.

Fulcrum Global Capital
Founded in 2017, Fulcrum Global Capital is a VC firm based in Kansas City, Kansas. They invest in companies disrupting the agriculture, agtech, and animal health sectors. With 100+ years of cumulative experience in building, growing, and investing in industry-leading companies, they seek to add value beyond the investment capital, through industry expertise and connections.

Artesian Capital Management
Artesian, is a global alternative investment management firm specializing in debt, venture capital, and impact investment strategies. They seek to invest in the media, healthcare, energy, impact, clean energy, diagnostics, and life sciences sectors. They are one of the most active VC firms in the Asia Pacific region, with >500 early-stage startup investments. 

Mindset Ventures
Mindset Ventures is an international early-stage Venture Capital firm with an investment focus primarily in the United States and Israel. Mindset's current portfolio has 40+ B2B SaaS startups focused on Agriculture, Financial Services, Healthcare, Cybersecurity, and Education. They help startups scale internationally, especially into Latin America.

UPL Ltd. (NSE: UPL) is a global provider of sustainable agriculture products & solutions, with annual revenue exceeding $5 billion. As a part of UPL’s OpenAg Purpose, they collaborate with innovative partners to facilitate progress toward reducing food waste while enabling farmer resilience. UPL’s partnership with TeleSense represents a new vision for how grain is stored, handled, and transported by creating a more efficient, data-driven supply chain that will reduce food waste, improve food quality and increase sustainability.

Maersk Growth
Growth is part of Maersk’s overall efforts to drive the transformation of the transport and logistics industry and shape the future of trade. We work to break down barriers for global trade and secure supply chains. As a global integrator, we address and help solve major challenges in our industry, such as food waste. They build, partner with and invest in the future stars of trade. They connect startups and ideas with operational expertise and world-class infrastructure.

Radicle Growth
Radicle provides a fertile environment for visionaries in the agriculture space, not just to grow but to flourish. Our proprietary platform is the only one of its kind in the agriculture industry, thus filling a huge void in the market by identifying the most innovative technologies and accelerating them with a range of value-creation initiatives.

Trailhead Capital
Trailhead Capital is a privately held alternative investment company focused on ventures in agribusiness and land.
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, the firm serves its partners by pursuing investment and advisory opportunities along the agricultural and soft commodity value chain domestically and in emerging markets.

Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the ultimate innovation platform, bringing together the best startups and the world’s largest corporations. With accelerator programs, corporate innovations, and investment, they have accelerated over 2000 startups since their inception.

Telesense USA

San Jose, CA
Tel: (833) 472-4600

TeleSense Australia

+61 419 221 719

TeleSense Europe

+45 2197 6700