S3E36: David Cohen - LED Innovation and Helping the World Grow Smarter
Vertical Farming PodcastJune 11, 2021x
00:59:3954.64 MB

S3E36: David Cohen - LED Innovation and Helping the World Grow Smarter

Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show, CEO at Fluence, David Cohen. Fluence is a horticultural lighting company owned by OSRAM. They explore physiological plant development under various levels of photosynthetically active radiation and custom spectra compositions. Today, Harry and David talk about David’s eclectic background in the LED lighting industry and the circuitous route that led him to Fluence. David reflects on the learning curve he experienced transitioning into his role as CEO of Fluence, highlights from his earlier career and best practices for scaling quickly in the fast-paced industry of vertical farming.

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Key Takeaways

  • 02:37 – Harry welcomes to the show David Cohen, who talks about his fervor for health and wellness, what leadership means to him and mentors who have impacted him
  • 16:52 – David recalls highlights and lessons he learned during his time at Fraen
  • 23:42 – David talks about how he got involved in the controlled environment agriculture market and the circuitous route that brought him to Fluence
  • 28:45 – David reflects on the learning curve he experienced moving into his role at Fluence
  • 37:02 – David provides best practices for scaling extremely quickly
  • 42:25 – David discusses the pivoting he and his organization needed to do in the midst of the global pandemic
  • 43:31 – David describes the current offerings that Fluence offers
  • 47:51 – David talks about where he’s seeing the most innovation in the LED industry
  • 51:04 – A tough question David has had to ask himself recently
  • 55:23 – Harry thanks David for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about Fluence and connect with David

Tweetable Quotes

“Over all the different jobs I’ve had that you do your best to keep customers happy, but it’s not always gonna work out. There are times when customers are just going to be furious. That’s a great opportunity to get closer to a customer. Don’t be afraid of negativity and don’t be afraid of aggression. Absorb it and do something with it rather than let it intimidate you.” (14:24)

“Failure is part of success as far as I view it. There’s no such thing as perfection.” (16:46)

“Scaling is scaling. When you want to go from slow to fast, from small to big, from Texas to Canada to Europe to Asia, you need to follow the same footprint. And I’m lucky my experiences were really well suited to help [Fluence] do what it wanted to do.” (27:42)

“I think that the capital to effect this type of change globally is available, but you need really great people to step in and say ‘I’m gonna take a chance here. I wanna do something that’s right. I don’t know if it’ll be successful or not, but we’re gonna go do it anyway.’” (32:55)

“What we’re [Fluence] trying to do is make sure that we base everything that we do on research and science. We want to be able to go to growers and say, ‘Either talk to our customers or talk to our Research partners.’” (45:51)

“In an industry and a market like this, I think that if you’re not prepared to pivot, to be flexible and to adapt to what’s happening, you’re gonna have a tough time.” (51:49)

Links Mentioned

David’s LinkedIn

Fluence Website

Sponsor Info:

Cultivatd Website

Cultivatd Instagram

Cultivatd’s Twitter

Cultivatd’s Facebook


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