S3E31: Niko Kivioja - High-Tech for Small Vertical Farms
Vertical Farming PodcastApril 21, 2021x
00:50:4446.48 MB

S3E31: Niko Kivioja - High-Tech for Small Vertical Farms

Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show Niko Kivioja. Niko is the CEO of Netled, an organization that designs and builds the high-tech platform for the world's smartest vertical farms. Niko spent the first part of his career in controlled-environment-agriculture as a grower and has spent the last decade in high-tech closed-environment and vertical farming technology development. In this episode, Harry and Niko discuss the Niko’s familial history of entrepreneurship and the inspiration to start Netled. Niko speaks to the proprietary Vera vertical farming platform development that he’s recently been managing, how the global pandemic impacted the food supply chain and what excites him the most about the future of Netled and the vertical farming industry as a whole.

Episode Sponsor


Key Takeaways

  • 05:49 – Harry welcomes to the show Niko Kivioja, CEO of Netled, who talks about his educational background and the work he’s doing at Netled
  • 12:59 – Niko speaks to his family’s history of entrepreneurship
  • 16:30 – The inspiration to launch Netled and how vertical farming changed the traditional idea of greenhouses
  • 21:28 – Niko expounds on Vera Instore solutions
  • 24:23 – Companies that expressed early interest in Netled
  • 26:03 – Niko talks about expanding and building their first vertical farm in North America and how the pandemic has impacted his business
  • 30:40 – Netled’s partnership with Vertigo Farms
  • 35:59 – Shifting trends in demand that Niko has noticed
  • 38:04 – Niko speaks to Netled’s growth and his own personal growth as a leader
  • 40:58 – Niko discusses challenges and opportunities for growing his team
  • 44:32 – A difficult question Niko has had to ask himself recently
  • 47:26 – What excites Niko the most about the future of vertical farming
  • 48:54 – Harry thanks Niko for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about Netled and connect with Niko

Tweetable Quotes

“The climate conditions are, of course, quite challenging part is what’s challenging. If you look at the map of where Finland is located, we are the northern-most agricultural country in the world. That means that even though he have mild weather thanks to the gulf stream, still the light conditions are challenging during the winter.” (09:09)

“If you come from an entrepreneurial family, it’s really difficult not to go there yourself as well.” (15:17)

“I think that the best advantage of closed environment growing and vertical farming is the fact that you can actually control the conditions perfectly.” (20:55)

“It has been quite rewarding to actually see that our solutions have pulled through. We’ve learned a lot along the way and we’ve seen how the technology environment has developed, which has allowed us to offer better products.” (38:50)

“That leads into this dilemma that there are a lot of companies who start as farmers but then they find out that they have to become technology companies as well in order to get financed.” (45:43)

Links Mentioned

Niko’s LinkedIn

Netled Website

Netled Twitter

Netled YouTube Channel

Netled Facebook

Vertigo Farms Website

Sponsor Info:

Cultivatd Website

Cultivatd Instagram

Cultivatd’s Twitter

Cultivatd’s Facebook


Podcast Production and Marketing by FullCast: https://bit.ly/3sxZ34y

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.