S6E66: Creating Sustainable Solutions for Climate-Resilient Agriculture with Ekonoke’s Inés Sagrario
Vertical Farming PodcastSeptember 27, 2022x
54:1849.72 MB

S6E66: Creating Sustainable Solutions for Climate-Resilient Agriculture with Ekonoke’s Inés Sagrario

Episode Summary

Co-Founder at Ekonoke, Inés Sagrario, joins the show to share her eclectic background, including her time at The Cluster Competitiveness Group, and the work she’s currently doing at Ekonoke, a sustainable indoor farming start-up. Ekonoke develops knowledge and technology to produce great quality hops year-round with significantly lower water and carbon footprint. Today, Harry and Inés talk about their shared experience as startup entrepreneurs, the power of strategic analysis, and how the indoor AgTech industry is evolving. Inés shares the growth cycle of hops, her passion for sustainability, and her special relationship with her co-founder, Ana.

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Key Takeaways

07:13 – Harry welcomes to the show, Inés Sagrario, who talks about the Rioja wine region of Spain and her experience living in ten different countries

15:54 – A passion for sustainability

17:33 – Inés reflects on her time working at The Cluster Competitiveness Group, and the power of strategic analysis

20:26 – The accidental entrepreneur and the genesis of Ekonoke

27:06 – The impact the global pandemic had on Ekonoke

30:59 – Inés speaks to her relationship with her co-founder (and cousin) Ana

33:00 – One final pivot to growing hops indoors

42:44 – The growth cycle of hops

44:08 – A touch question Inés has had to ask herself recently

48:23 – Future endeavors for Ekonoke

52:01 – Harry thanks Inés for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can connect with Ines and learn more about Ekonoke

Tweetable Quotes

“Competitiveness, for me, was the school of my life. I had brilliant bosses. The Founder and the other founder partner at that time were amazing in terms of strategic analysis. Everything I know about strategic analysis I learned from them.” (18:33) (Inés)

“So, when we started with the vertical gardens at the restaurants, we were growing in a greenhouse with the ZipGrow Towers. We’d grow the leafy greens or the herbs to be ready for harvest and then we would take them in the ZipGrow Tower and set them up at the in-store or in-restaurant garden. The truth is, I think we were a bit too advanced for the market in Spain at that time, and they weren’t ready to pay a premium for that. So, they used it more as a Marketing thing for decoration.” (22:54) (Inés)

“From March 2020 onwards, over the next three months, we managed to secure different business angels that we’d been talking to. Everything we’d been explaining about how it’s important to redefine the food system, and stop having all this food travel thousands of kilometers, but rather have the knowledge and the technology travel instead, it just made sense.” (27:52) (Inés)

“Our plan right now is to grow globally. We want to handle a really large market. And, even though right now we’re a local startup in Madrid, we want to make sure that we establish all the controls, procedures, and processes from the beginning that will allow us to grow quickly and to scale at the level that we aim at scaling.” (32:37) (Inés)

“Basically what we want to bring is climate resiliency to a crop [hops] that will eventually disappear if we don’t do anything about it.” (41:56) (Inés)

Resources Mentioned

Inés’ Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/inessagrario/?originalSubdomain=es

Rioja Wine Region of Spain – https://winetourismspain.com/wine-regions/rioja/

Ekonoke – https://www.ekonoke.com/

Ekonoke LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/ekonoke/

Ekonoke Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ekonoke_/

Ekonoke Twitter – https://twitter.com/ekonoke_

Sponsor Info

Cultivatd’s Website – https://cultivatd.com/

Cultivatd’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cultivatdco/

Cultivatd’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/cultivatd

Cultivatd’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cultivatd/


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