S4E44: Aja Atwood - Plant-Training Robotics
Vertical Farming PodcastDecember 06, 2021x
00:05:445.29 MB

S4E44: Aja Atwood - Plant-Training Robotics

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show Aja Atwood. Aja is the co-founder and CEO of Trella Technologies, an organization that provides technical, innovative solutions to make indoor and urban farming a sustainable, long-lasting industry.

Today, Harry and Aja talk about the amazing technologies they’re developing at Trella, including automated plant-training robotics. Aja shares her entrepreneurial origin story which started with her natural curiosity and analytical mind and led her to building a company that aiming to change the vertical farming industry. She discusses the incredible work they’re doing with Trella’s partnership with Jean Charles Academy and speaks to the importance of fostering diversity in the workplace. Finally, Aja talks about what’s next for Trella and what excites her about the future of AgTech.

Episode Sponsor

Freight Farms

Key Takeaways

  • 03:41 – Harry welcomes to the show Aja Atwood, who joins the show to discuss her company, Trella, and her vertical farming origin story
  • 11:00 – A curious and analytical mind
  • 13:15 – Aja’s podcast origin story
  • 18:39 – Partnering with Jean Charles Academy
  • 25:33 – The Trella Story and the idea to grow plants horizontally
  • 32:22 – No More Mondays: the decision to pursue entrepreneurship
  • 35:35 – Biggest lessons Aja learned throughout her career
  • 38:57 – Aja speaks to the market response to Trella
  • 41:38 – What excites Aja most about the future of Trella and vertical farming
  • 43:42 – Aja talks about some of the successful partnerships they’ve developed at Trella and some of the AgTech conferences she’s attended
  • 46:55 – Aja comments on the lack of diversity in the AgTech industry
  • 50:48 – A tough question Aja has had to ask herself recently
  • 52:38 – Harry thanks Aja for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about Trella and connect with Aja

Tweetable Quotes

“This is the time if you’re curious or you like to try new things. The world is open for you right now.” (13:07) (Aja)

“What’s interesting is there are some youths and some children that already know the importance of growing their own food.” (21:10) (Aja)

“So, we got into what’s called ‘low-stress’ plant-training. We were trying to figure out how to do that with robotics and not having to rely on that manual operation so much. What we came up with is a system that will automatically train a plant to grow horizontally. Essentially what it does is trick the top of the plant by light with no chemical violation of the plant.” (26:18) (Aja)

“I want to be a good leader. I want to create a company where people are thrilled and excited to come to work; they feel like they’re a part of something. I’m trying to create something that I never had. And, that’s what fuels me today.” (34:43) (Aja)

“I feel like my entire adult life has been working with people who don’t look like me, and the vertical farming indoor farming industry is no different.” (47:23) (Aja)

Links Mentioned

Aja’s LinkedIn

Trella Website

Aja’s Podcast

Aja’s Website

Trella’s YouTube

Trella’s Instagram

Link to Jean Charles Academy

Sponsor Info:

Cultivatd Website

Cultivatd Instagram

Cultivatd’s Twitter

Cultivatd’s Facebook

Freight Farms Website

Freight Farms Facebook

Freight Farms Twitter


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