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Indoor Ag Conversations & The Center of Excellence For Indoor Agriculture Present: Importance of Operations Metrics In Building Sustainable Farms

01:05:00

Aug 4, 2021 09:58 AM

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Speakers

Dr. Eric Stein, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture & Associate Professor of Business at Penn State @Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture
Dr. Stein serves as Executive Director of the Center and has run an small R&D indoor farm. His teaching and research at Penn State include sustainability, entrepreneurship and corporate innovation.  He was drawn to indoor ag because it involves the reinvention of food production. Eric authored a year-long study of the feasibility of setting a Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture and now is working build the center's value proposition. This includes, at its core, a knowledge base critical to the growth of the industry. The latter includes unbiased industry insights, market intelligence and training. Dr. Stein has a Ph.D. in business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Physics from Amherst College.
Chris Higgins
President & Co-Founder @Hort Americas
Hort Americas is a wholesale supply company servicing on all aspects of the commercial horticultural industries. Over the past years Hort Americas has had a special focus on horticultural lighting, hydroponics substrate and nutrient management. This focus makes Hort Americas one of the leading resources for greenhouse and vertically farmed vegetable growers. In addition to his lead role at Hort Americas, Chris is owner of UrbanAgNews.com (online education content provider). In addition, he is also a founding partner of the Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment Agriculture and the International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture in Panama. With over 20 years of industry experience, Chris is dedicated to the commercial horticulture industry. He is also inspired by the current opportunities for continued innovation in the field of controlled environment agriculture.In addition, Chris is a leader in providing technical assistance to businesses.
Andrew Howell
vice president of Sustainable Food & Agriculture @Ceres Partners
As vice president of Sustainable Food & Agriculture for Ceres Partners' private equity group, Andrew's responsibilities on the funds include deal sourcing, financial modeling, new company evaluation, due diligence, and portfolio company operations. He has been with Ceres for 6 years. In addition, he has overseen 9 investments in Craft Beer, Wine Processing, Aquaculture, Wastewater Treatment, and  Controlled Environment Agriculture space. Andrew led investments and servers on the Board of CEA focused companies Pure Green Farms, iUNU, and Tortuga AgTech. He graduated in 2010 from Jacksonville University and completed his MBA from the Rollins College Crummer Grade School of Business in 2012.
David Farquhar
CEO @Intelligent Growth Solutions
David joined IGS in November 2017. IGS is a Scottish-based agritech business, and David’s strategic appointment was made to raise the Series A funding round, recruit a world-class management team and drive global expansion: the first two of these have been delivered. David is a seasoned technology entrepreneur, with a track record of driving shareholder value, based upon building an empowering, collaborative Culture as a Platform for growth. Most recently he was CEO of global SaaS vendor Workplace, leading the team through a hugely successful turnaround, transformation, growth and exit delivering a double-digit money multiple return in less than 3 years. In the past 27 years he has completed almost 30 transactions as a founder/CEO, angel investor and board director, including risk capital investments (PE, VC and angel), acquisitions and trade sales in Europe, North America and Asia.
Maarten Vandecruys
Co-Founder & CTO @Urban Crop Solutions
Maarten is the co-founder and CTO of Urban Crop Solutions. After graduating from Vlerick Business School in 2014, Maarten founded Urban Crop Solutions. During his endeavour to find solutions for the challenges global plant production is faced with, he started using technology to increase crop quality while minimising our planet’s resources. Urban Crop Solutions combines factory engineering and indoor plant biology to offer end-to-end solutions for Indoor Vertical Farming. It all starts with the crop: your crop and the needs of your market. Based on 7 years of research and real-life trials in our own research center, Urban Crop Solutions helps you select the right plant varieties with the right growth recipe for the requirements of your crop. The company designs, manufactures, and installs automated Plant Factories that can scale to the needs of your business. Urban Crop Solutions helps you in your journey to yield and support your first harvest.
Daniel Lee
National Sales Manager - Horticulture @GE Current, a Daintree Company.
Daniel has had various roles in his 14 years with GE Current in LED lighting and for the last 3 years has been tasked with leading the commercial growth of Horticulture lighting in the US and Canada. GE Current, a Daintree company has it roots dating back to 1879, when Thomas Edison invented the first practical incandescent lightbulb. He established the Edison General Electric Company a few years later. We have never stopped building on Edison’s legacy and are always enhancing spaces with advanced lighting and intelligent controls. With our divestiture from GE in 2019, we remain committed to the commercial lighting industry and investing like never before to make the future of lighting brighter.