S4E52: The Deal and PR Blueprint for Launching Successful Vertical Farm Projects with Michael Sichenzia
Vertical Farming PodcastFebruary 12, 2022x
52:1247.79 MB

S4E52: The Deal and PR Blueprint for Launching Successful Vertical Farm Projects with Michael Sichenzia

Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show Michael Sichenzia. Michael is the Managing Director at Go Global Advisors and today, he shares his passion for bringing food to communities and what led him to pursue work in the vertical farming industry.

Specifically, Michael speaks to the intricacies of developing container farms, everything from getting zoning approval from the local or city government to what he looks for when building a team. Michael is highly mission-focused and wants to leave a legacy of making the world a better place, or at the very least trying to. Michael touches on his involvement in the From Mary With Love project, his relationship with Freight Farms and his belief that education about the vertical farming industry comes through empowerment. 

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Key Takeaways

03:41 – Harry welcomes to the show Michael Sichenzia who talks about his background in real estate and how he made the connection between public storage facilities and modular hydroponic space  

08:46 – What Michael looks for when developing farms and when building a team 

12:01 – From Mary With Love 

15:09 – A budding relationship with Freight Farms 

16:38 – Zoning and effectively communicating with your local government and community 

19:39 – Empowerment through education 

26:34 – Michael speaks to an exciting new project he’s working on in Buffalo 

31:16 – Identifying the ideal investor 

34:36 – Why Michael is so passionate about bringing food to the community 

37:44 – Speculating on the future of vertical farming and why Marketing and PR are key 

44:52 – Harry thanks Michael for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can connect with Michael 

Tweetable Quotes

“Having owned and operated restaurants in my past, I saw that that was an area that I wanted to get back to. And I saw that my real estate experience would play into that because I knew how to put together deal structures. And I felt that farming, and urban farming in particular, had a tremendous opportunity with the right deal structure. And that’s how I got into it.” (05:51) (Michael) 

“I looked at the hydroponics space and saw it’s really a play on storage. Public storage facilities and the way those deals are structured are ideally suited for modular, containerized, hydroponic space in an urban setting. And that was the connection for me.” (07:32) (Michael) 

“Passion, sticktoitiveness, the idea that we’re gonna make this work no matter what the obstacle is, that’s very important in any entrepreneurial venture.” (13:32) (Michael) 

“Attacking that and making sure that the city has a variance process, whatever that process is, get it started sooner rather than later. That issue will affect everything. The last thing that you want to do is take delivery of your farm and deploy it and not be able to grow. To me, you need to understand the zoning, communicate with the city, and really work that process effectively.” (17:45) (Michael) 

“I’m a big believer in good PR and I’m a believer that you make things happen with good PR and good communications.” (22:28) (Michael) 

“We have to remember that social enterprise is still an enterprise. The key word there is ‘enterprise.’ We tend to forget that. These [containers] need to be self-sustaining otherwise they will fail.” (33:37) (Michael) 

“I’m not in this for the deal. I’m in this because I want to bring food to the community. And I think that there’s probably never been a better time to marry good deal structure with delivery and production of food. We need it now more than ever. It really is the time to own our own food again. I really believe that.” (34:36) (Michael) 

“I’ve always tried to be a year ahead of The New York Times. My whole career has been focused on if I can be a year ahead of The New York Times, I’m gonna be doing something.” (40:51) (Michael) 

“You have to self-promote. If you’re not gonna promote yourself, who is? So, you gotta get out there. You gotta talk about your things. You gotta fail. I fail all the time. There’s that saying, ‘If you want to succeed then double your failure rate.’ Well, I’ve probably quadrupled my failure rate, but that’s part of the process.” (44:20) (Michael) 

Resources Mentioned

Michael’s LinkedIn 

From Mary With Love

Sponsor Info:

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