The TECHdotMN team would like to introduce you to each of the startups featured in the upcoming BETA showcase. Over the next couple of weeks, we will highlight each company, so you can get a better idea of the talent, hardwork, and dedication held within each of these startups.
The next company in our BETA Startup Showcase series is: Harvest Nation
Harvest Nation is an indoor vertical aeroponic farm whose revolutionary design makes heathy living a viable option in communities challenged by location, climate, and economic constraint.
Tell us the story of how and why you started your company:
Working as an architect in NYC at her dream job, founder Denise Pieratos was asked by her supervisor to find competitions for her firm to enter. The History Channel’s Cities of the Future Competition was a good fit and her team ultimately was a finalist in the Atlanta competition. Her research for the competition underscored the looming energy crisis the world faces and the collapse of the current transportation infrastructure. After the competition, her father’s health deteriorated and she moved home to take care of him. She realized she had to secure a viable food source for her family and greater community. At the same time her daughters, Nicole and Danielle, co-founders, were finished university and moved home to also help the community: Nicole researched, founded and ran the Bois Forte Bsnd’s Northern Eagle FCU and Dani served as an office manager in Housing. Her sister and co-founder,, Tracey Dagen, has worked for the Band both in tribal government and community event planning. The climate and remote location of the Bois Forte Band defined the solution: an aeroponic farm selling locally using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of selling subscription shares.
What’s your most recent success or milestone hit:
Semi-finalist in the MN CUP Competition. It has coalesced with making many wonderful connections: members of our advisory board, (all wonderful capable people with matching hearts), MCAD’s offer to devote a class’s semester work developing a branding and marketing campaign for Harvest Nation, wonderful mentors whose insight and humanity have inspired us.
Where do you see your startup in 1 year:
We will be finishing up our pilot program- necessary to establishing the performance of over forty heirloom vegetables and fruits in an aeroponic environment and to establish our systems operations using the latest inventory software- and ready to secure funding for a 20,000SF facility.
For more information, please visit: Harvest Nation