Scott Massey is the Founder and CEO of Heliponix, an organization that provides consumers with the GroPod, an aeroponic appliance that can yield a full head of leafy greens on a daily basis, or sizable harvests of dwarf varieties of larger plants. Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he and Scott discuss the business model of GroPods, challenges Scott had to overcome as an entrepreneur and pivots Scott had to make in order to scale and sustain his business amidst a global pandemic.
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00:01 – Scott expounds on his education and background, how he got involved in AgTech and hydroponics and the origin story of GroPod, his rotary-aeroponics appliance
15:41 – Scott speaks to the importance of understanding consumer habits and breaks down his business model
25:32 – Scott talks about the vital role that form, function, design and aesthetic play in vertical farming
31:51 – Scott dissects the impact the global pandemic has had on his business, his thoughts on scaling up and sustainability
38:27 – Challenges and obstacles Scott has had to overcome as an entrepreneur
46:08 – Scott talks about what excites him the most about the future of AgTech and a tough question he had to ask himself recently
50:18 – Scott speaks to what the future holds for GroPod
54:53 – Harry thanks Scott for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can follow and connect with Scott and GroPod
“I firmly believe that no amount of capital will resolve fundamental flaws in business models. Those need to be and have to be addressed before you talk to those investors because it creates expectations of liquidity and profitability that if you’re anything but delivering on those deadlines, you have failed your fiduciary commitment to the investors who bought into that company.” (11:15)
“I’m not gonna pretend that we made this decision to go directly to consumers in anticipation of any global pandemic happening. But I’m really glad we made the decision we did because I’m not interrupted. In fact, we’re having increased demand because more people want contactless food.” (31:51)
“I think there was a statistic I read in the National Resource Defense Council doing a food waste analysis in the U.S. that twenty people touched your head of lettuce before you ate it. I hope none of those people had Covid along the way or were transmissible, but that’s a real and valid concern that a consumer is going to have.” (46:40)
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