I recently had the chance to interview Swiss entrepreneur Roman Gaus who is the Founder & CEO of UrbanFarmers, a pioneering Clean-Tech company developing rooftop farming systems.
As a Spin-off company from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), UrbanFarmers is a technology leader in Aquaponics, saving water, energy and nutrients to grow fish and plants in closed-loop.
Roman is a global opinion leader in the newly emerging urban agriculture movement and has been widely followed in the international media. Prior to UrbanFarmers, Roman’s career spans a 10 year corporate career in food & health companies such as P&G, Novartis Consumer Health and Franke Group where Roman worked in various managerial positions in the US and Europe.
In the interview below, we talked about how to build a crazy venture in a brand new market, why impact investors don’t exist and how Urban Farmers raised CHF 3.5 million.
About Urban Farmers
The revolution began in July of 2011. A corporate outlaw and a technology maverick teamed up on a clean tech mission. Together, Andreas Graber and Roman Gaus began developing their vision of the urban rooftop farm. Their breakthrough innovation has been awarded several prizes, and is ushering in the new urban agriculture zeitgeist, which will feed far more people with far less environmental impact. Some people call them crazy. They’re fine with that.
Rooftop farms provide a new experience by revolutionizing fresh. When food is grown directly on your roof, just a few steps away, you will see, smell, and taste the difference. What’s more, rooftop farms enable enterprises to monetize their currently vacant real estate assets and reduce their environmental impact.
20% of all food should and could come from the city! UrbanFarmers builds the commercial food production systems in and around cities, deploys state-of-the-art technology, operational know-how, and establishes a consumer brand (UrbanFarmers) that warrants safe (organic), ultra-local, and ultra-fresh produce.