Shelf life

Why Our Trophy Shelf Is Full

We won a variety of grocery, technology, and business awards in the past year. Here’s why we’re receiving all this recognition.
by Betsy Goldberg
Shelf Engine 2022 Awards

At Shelf Engine, we’re committed to helping food retailers boost sales and profits while reducing labor needs and waste. Our state-of-the art technology powered by artificial intelligence more accurately predicts fresh demand and inventory for our clients. Based on those forecasts, we automate the ordering process, simplifying grocery operations. On top of that, our dynamic, collaborative culture inspires the smart, talented Shelfies who are passionate about working here. 

We were thrilled to receive 10 awards in 2022 that recognized our achievements in these areas. Discover why we’re receiving these accolades and what makes us a different kind of company and partner.  

Built In Seattle’s 2022 Best Places to Work (January)

Built In’s Best Places to Work list recognizes technology companies that offer outstanding rewards and compensation programs. The winners are determined from the offerings employers showcase on their Built In company profiles and are viewed as employers of choice by the millions of readers who visit the site each month.

Shelf Engine’s culture is shaped by our passion for our mission: to reduce food waste through automation. Every member of the team feels empowered to take action to innovate and solve problems. We’re transparent, supportive, and fun. We also offer prized benefits such as unlimited PTO, pre-IPO stock options, and profit sharing. 

Y Combinator Top Companies (March)

Y Combinator helps founders launch, build, and scale great technology companies. In 2018, Shelf Engine graduated from YC’s program to help startups take off through seed funding and intensive support. As a proud YC alumnus, Shelf Engine was honored to be named to its list of top startups valued at $150 million or more that exponentially grew in the previous year. 

Nationwide, 2,000 food retail locations benefit from Shelf Engine’s automated inventory replenishment solution. We’ve placed orders for 36 million items over the past year, saving five hours of labor per department per store per week. Altogether, we’ve created $31 million in value for our clients. 

Forbes America’s Best Startup Employers list (March)

Forbes examines 2,500 U.S. startups with at least 50 employees on three criteria: employer reputation, employee satisfaction, and growth. The business publication reviews online sources to evaluate factors such as positive corporate culture, employee engagement, and growing headcount. 

Since our founding in 2016, we’ve experienced rapid growth in terms of clients and staff. Our innovative AI-powered technology is making a positive, significant impact. Shelfies have abundant opportunities to work cross-functionally, learn from others, and grow skills. Leaders genuinely care about employees and are passionate about building a great business. 

Shelby Report Women of Influence in Grocery – Deb Alexander (May)

The Shelby Report salutes inspirational women executives who are making a strong, lasting impact at food retail companies and on the industry in general. The women leaders selected possess a superior level of dedication, tenacity, and professionalism. Those honored play a significant role in the continued success of the companies they work for and their industry.

Our COO (now CFO), Deb Alexander, is one of these Women of Influence. The fast-paced, dynamic nature of Shelf Engine has allowed Alexander to contribute to our significant growth and drive a positive impact on our retail clients, consumers, and our employees. Taking risks in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotic process automation has resulted in huge gains in the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations, which Alexander oversees. 

Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery – Deb Alexander (July)

With the Top Women in Grocery program, Progressive Grocer recognizes the integral role women play across all segments of the North American food retail industry. The awards recognize and celebrate the above-and-beyond accomplishments and contributions of thousands of women at all levels in the industry.

Deb Alexander received her second honor of the year by being named to the Top Women in Grocery senior executive list. By growing the number of data scientists sixfold and tripling the engineering team, Alexander made it possible for Shelf Engine to ensure 99.99% system uptime for clients. She also contributed to increasing gross margin value fourfold, helping the company secure $41 million in Series B funding.

Shelby Publishing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award (July)

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award celebrates companies across all sectors of the retail food industry that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to driving and imparting positive changes. They do this in their organizational culture by removing barriers and creating environments where individuals can thrive as their authentic selves.

Shelf Engine was named to the list for promoting equality, empathy, and inclusivity. In AI and machine learning, women are less than 20% of the U.S. workforce. We’re proud that almost half of our leadership, data science, and engineering teams are women. We give employees Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Juneteenth off as paid holidays and focus on recruiting diverse candidates, including at the leadership level.

AgTech Breakthrough Award: Overall FoodTech Solution of the Year (August)

The AgTech Breakthrough Awards recognize companies, products and services addressing the biggest challenges in the food ecosystem today. These innovators are improving the full spectrum of agricultural operations and processes, empowering farmers to grow more sustainably and responsibly, and providing greater opportunities for farmers and consumers. 

Shelf Engine won the award for Overall FoodTech Solution of the Year. Our artificial intelligence and machine learning models accurately predict how many items of a product will sell. Shelf Engine’s solution keeps in-demand items in stock in the right quantities, enhancing shopper loyalty. The food retailers we partner with see a 7% sales lift and 15% gross margin expansion on average. 

Tracxn Emerging Startups list (August)

Global market intelligence platform Tracxn tracks the world of startups and their ecosystems, including venture capital funds, private equity funds, and investment banks. In-store retail tech is an active sector for investors, with more than $27 billion in funding. Tracxn’s list of most promising startups in that field is curated from more than 5,800 companies across the globe. 

Shelf Engine was selected for the list of Soonicorns, or soon-to-be elite Unicorns worth more than $1 billion. We’ve attracted $58 million from leading venture capital firms such as General Catalyst, GGV Capital and Initialized Capital. Our sustainability mission has also drawn celebrity investors such as entertainer Ellen DeGeneres, actor Portia de Rossi, Olympic snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White, and singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes.  

Progressive Grocer Impact Award: Sustainability/Resource Conservation (October)

The Impact Awards honor organizations in the grocery industry that are leading the way in making a tangible difference in solving problems and improving lives. The awards are given in areas including community contributions; diversity, equity, and Inclusion; education and learning; food security; and workforce development. 

Shelf Engine was recognized for sustainability and resource conservation. We are working to help preserve the planet by generating the most accurate food orders for supermarkets. Shelf Engine helps food retailers reduce waste by 32% on average, which has prevented 5.2 million pounds of food from reaching landfills. That translates to a decrease of more than 8,200 tons of carbon dioxide and a savings of over 500 million gallons of water. 

QUT Alumni Award – Bede Jordan (October)

Queensland University of Technology in Australia honors its most successful graduates with Outstanding Alumni Awards. The awards showcase exceptional professional and personal achievements and contributions locally, nationally, and internationally. They celebrate the impact of alumni who are leaders and influencers in their professions and communities.

Shelf Engine Co-Founder and CTO Bede Jordan was recognized as an Outstanding Entrepreneurial Alumnus. A software engineer with a degree in information technology and electrical engineering, Jordan spent 11 years at Microsoft before co-founding Shelf Engine. He’s driven by creating change, having an impact, and building a team aligned on a common goal. In this video, Jordan explains how technology can help solve one of Earth’s most pressing issues.

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