The last two years of the pandemic have marked an unprecedented shift in how people view deliveries of all goods and services. Commerce has moved to the curb, and the new normal relies on delivery and pickup, retrofitting curbs, sidewalks, and transforming misused real estate into civic spaces that work to serve everyone. Senior Contributor Sergio Avedian attended the Curbivore 2022 event and here are his takeaways.

    What is Curbivore? Curbivore Conference

    Curbivore is the brainchild of Rideshare Guy founder Harry Campbell and Jonah Bliss. The first Curbivore took place in October 2020 (you can still catch replays of the 2020 recorded sessions here!), and while the pandemic may have pushed the second Curbivore back a whole year, the demand was clearly there for another Curbivore conference in 2022. 

    This year’s Curbivore conference took place in person, in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, and from what I saw the conference was a huge success. There were over 800 attendees as well as VIPs such as the current Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti who showed up and added to the legitimacy of this wonderful event. 

    There were panels taking place all day long and the discussions brought me to the following conclusion: The city is changing, and the curb space as we know it is evolving into commerce hubs. 

    From left to right, Jonah Bliss, Harry Campbell, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti
    LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

    Four Themes from Curbivore

    Last-Mile Delivery

    From huge purpose-built warehouses to repurposed old industrial spaces, dark stores and cloud kitchens are bringing new options to consumers at breakneck speed. What does this mean for mom and pop shops and the cities that love them?

    Competing Curb Users

    The curb was already a hotly contested space, but it’s getting even more crowded now that it’s hosting diners and delivery workers. What does this mean for the world of startups also laying claim to the curb?

    Restaurants and Retail

    How can restaurants and retailers adapt in an era of takeout ordering and informal outdoor dining? How can businesses large and small harness new trends like pop-up kitchens and emerging platforms?

    Civic Tech

    As curbs get more congested, our leaders need to think big and reimagine what their cities can be. Do they have the data, tools, and vision to ensure equitable access to all users?

    List of Speakers at Curbivore 2022

    Here you will find a list of all the amazing speakers, leaders, executives, and CEOs of startups as well as established billion-dollar businesses that participated or spoke at the Curbivore conference.

    I must say, the lineup was very impressive, and what caught my eye was how driven all these individuals were and their beliefs that the world will be a better place going forward. 

    Here is the impressive list of all speakers:

    Herb Coakley – Founder & CEO, Courial

    Berber Jin – Reporter, The Information

    Lee Hnetinka – Founder & CEO, FastAF

    Zach Rash – CEO, Coco

    Sheena Shiravi – VP Marketing, Eaze

    Heather Kuklin – Chef & CEO, Madame Shugah

    Joey Grassia – Founder & Co-CEO, Shef

    Kristen Hawley – Founder & Editor, Expedite

    Kevin Tan – Founder & CEO, Snackpass

    Turner Novak – Founder, Banana Capital

    Alex Fisch – Mayor, Culver City

    Oskar Hjertonsson – CEO & Co-Founder, Cornershop

    Gene Oh – CEO, Tranzito

    Jordan Justus – CEO, Automotus

    Dr. Regina Clewlow – CEO, Populus

    Sachin Kansal – VP of Product, Uber

    Dmitry Schevelenko – Co-Founder, Tortoise

    David Lin – CEO, Duffl

    Bobby Brannigan – CEO, Mercato

    Donald Shoup – Distinguished Research Professor of Urban Planning, UCLA

    Tom Schreiber – CEO, Perch

    Joshua Brustein – Technology Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

    Nick Williams – Founder, Sally

    Alex Canter – CEO, Nextbite

    Mark Suster – Partner, Upfront Ventures

    Matty Schaefer – CEO & Co-Founder, Vade

    Alex Mitchell – SVP Unlocking Innovation, LA Cleantech Incubator

    Dan Mitchell – City & Community Engagement, Nuro

    Kelly Grogan – VP of Sales, Virtual Dining Concepts

    Dmitry Shevelenko – Co-Founder & President, Tortoise

    Louise Matsakis – Investigative Reporter, NBC News

    Sam Roxas – VP of Public Affairs, REEF

    Seleta Reynolds – General Manager, LADOT

    Janette Villafana – Journalist, L.A. Taco

    Aspa Lekka – Founder & COO, JOKR

    The list of companies that partnered with Curbivore can be found here.

    In order to keep the article short, I shared the link above to all of the companies that participated in Curbivore as well. There were startups in addition to established global players in the last mile delivery space. 

    I would urge everyone to click on the link and familiarize themselves with these amazing companies.

    My Takeaways of the Curbivore 2022 Conference

    I am a huge fan of entrepreneurs who are constantly trying to evolve and change the way we order goods and services to our doorstep. There is definitely a massive shift taking place in the delivery of all sorts of items. 

    Food, groceries, alcohol, and even legalized cannabis are being delivered to us quicker than ever before. It is a convenience that consumers are clearly willing to pay extra for, and there is no shortage of companies taking advantage of this demand. 

    Here are some photos I took while I was at the conference. 

    Convenience Stores on Wheels!

    A few standouts include delivery robots! Did you know delivery robots are driven by remote-controlled pilots all over our cities? I have in fact seen a few of them in Santa Monica, and their precise movements are nothing less than extraordinary. 

    I have hope for all the kids who are video game specialists, as this tech looks like they can earn a living now using nothing more than a game controller. My son wanted to send his resume to Coco, but he’s too young to be a Pilot.

    Robots are coming, from left to right, COCO, Dax, Kiwibot and Serve

    Tortoise mobile smart stores loaded with goodies and point of sale capabilities roaming our neighborhoods. 

    I hope Curbivore becomes an annual event. If the first year in person is any indication, I could see Curbivore taking over the Los Angeles Convention Center one day, as this growth can’t be stopped. 

    Will all these companies survive and thrive? I doubt it, but the evolution of how we get products and services delivered to us will continue!

    What do you think about the development of the curb space? What is curb space usage like in your city? Did you attend Curbivore?

    -Sergio @ RSG

    Sergio Avedian

    Sergio Avedian

    Sergio has been driving Uber and Lyft for about five years. He has over 6000 rides on both platforms, mostly on Uber. Sergio has a degree in finance, and worked on Wall St. for over eighteen years. In his free time, he still trades stocks and derivatives for himself and a few friends. He is also a PGA certified golf instructor, teaching golf is his passion. Sergio is married with two wonderful kids who take the rest of his afternoons/weekends between their soccer practices and golf tournaments.