Vertical Farming Podcast

S1E7: Nicola Kerslake – Funding the Indoor AgTech Space

Nikola Kerslake is a registered investment adviser and founder of Contain, a fintech platform for indoor agriculture that aids indoor farmers in finding lease funding for their projects. Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he and Nicola discuss common misconceptions about the indoor AgTech space, access to funding, and how her experience as a manager of private equity funds has contributed to her success in the vertical farming industry.

Special thanks to our Season 1 Sponsor

IGS – https://intelligentgrowthsolutions.com/

Key Takeaways

  • 00:01 – Nicola shares her background in indoor agriculture and the origin story and goals of her FinTech company, Contain
  • 05:09 – Nicola expounds on how she got involved in finance
  • 08:42 – Nicola speaks to common misconceptions people have about the indoor AgTech space and lessons she’s learned from her work with Techstars
  • 15:54 – Nicola details the process of how Contain identifies new companies to work with
  • 20:21 – Trends and shifts in the indoor AgTech space that Nicola has noticed over the past few months and years
  • 27:45 – What excites Nicola the most about the future of indoor AgTech and vertical farming
  • 29:21 – What is something that Nicola has changed her mind about recently and where listeners can follow and connect with Nicola and Contain

Tweetables:

“The biggest challenge that indoor farmers face is not necessarily technical or growing, it’s just they can’t finance their farms. So, that looked like a problem I could solve.” (03:03)

“It’s been a fairly circumlocutious route, but I think every entrepreneur has to hustle. And we certainly do that every single day.” (06:41)

“Lenders don’t work like equity investors or like private investors. They have checklists and black boxes that they use and you are not going to be able to charm them, or impress them with your vision, into committing earlier.” (16:55)

“There are many more sources of funding than there were when we first started. And actually that’s great for us because you never want to be one hundred percent of a deal. You always want to get to share it with someone.” (24:56)

Links Mentioned:

Nicola’s LinkedIn

Nicola’s Website

Contain Website

Contain’s Email

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