Vertical Farming Podcast

S1E10: Scott Massey – GroPod: How a Bold Aeroponic Appliance is Changing the AgTech Landscape

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.

Special thanks to our Season 1 Sponsor

IGS – https://intelligentgrowthsolutions.com/

Key Takeaways

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

Tweetables:

“As a young person, I realized that it’s a lot easier to build one small thing than to try and convince someone to give me funding for one big thing.” (08:22)

“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 have a lot of respect for vertical farms, but I would also make the comment that grocers are the primary beneficiary in most vertical farming models.” (23:14)

“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)

Links Mentioned:

Scott’s LinkedIn

GroPodOfficial Website

GroPodOfficial Twitter

GroPodOfficial Instagram

GroPodOfficial YouTube Channel

Intelligent Growth Solutions

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