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Earth Day (Part 3): Vertical Farming Podcast featuring Harry Duran with Guest Eric Levesque, Co-Founder of Cultivatd

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S4E48: Eric Levesque, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Cultivatd on Overcoming Obstacles When Starting an Indoor Farm, Finding the Right Partner & Raising Funds

Episode Summary:

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes back to the show Eric Levesque, co-founder and Managing Partner at Cultivatd, an organization that works with some of the indoor farming industry’s best product developers and technologies to help people discover which vertical farm tech is best for their projects. Since he was last on the show, Cultivatd has made some incredible strides, including raising $3.5 million in funds during the past year.  Today, Harry and Eric discuss the increasingly evolving vertical farming industry, what makes a great team and the process of educating larger, more entrenched corporations in the field of vertical farming. Eric expounds on how Cultivatd’s business model has changed in the past year and a half and their expansion efforts into the United States (USA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Australia. Finally, Eric speaks to what continues to drive and motivate him and speculates on new technologies that excite him about the future of vertical farming. 

Episodes Sponsor

Cultivatd –

What We Covered:

03:41 – Harry welcomes back to the show Eric Levesque who provides an update on the insightful work he and his team are doing at Cultivatd and how they identify companies to partner with 

12:13 – How Cultivatd’s business model has changed over the past year and how it has changed the trajectory of Cultivatd

17:38 – Massive Fundraising

25:12 – Eric shares what he’s seeing in the vertical farming environment in places like Dubai 

32:09 – How Eric approaches building an effective team  

33:48 – More and more vertical farming companies entering the industry 

35:47 – New tech that has Eric excited about the future of AgTech 

37:19 – Educating larger corporations on vertical farming 

41:24 – Eric speculates on the evolution of the industry and how it impacts Cultivatd’s role 

45:14 – The importance of continual education in the vertical farming space 

46:33 – What keeps Eric driven and motivated 

50:15 – Harry thanks Eric for joining the show and reiterates where listeners can go to learn more about Cultivatd and connect with Eric 

Tweetable Quotes:

“The majority of our clients, on the small side at least, are telling us, ‘I want to grow something but I’m not sure how to get there.’ And so what we do is we will tailor a solution that we feel adequately resembles what they are trying to accomplish. And then we can tailor it from there depending on what they actually want to do. Do you have a building? Do you have funding? What scale do you want to start at? What market are you trying to serve? What crops in your area are commanding a price and then we can just give them some tips.” (09:22) (Eric) 

“Any entrepreneur knows that, at least in the beginning, you have to be a little bit agile with your business. Sometimes the model seems to pivot quite a bit and that’s definitely what we’re seeing here.” (14:33) (Eric) 

“One of the biggest issues for funds is that usually there’s not enough projects for it and you’re always searching for something. In this industry it seems to be the complete opposite where we have too many projects that need funding and too many great businessmen with good ideas who are in great locations.” (21:02) (Eric) 

“There’s definitely never a lack of companies coming into this space, but that makes it super exciting. We’re bumping into new partners, new innovations.” (34:13) (Eric) 

“We’re actually looking to potentially open up a hybrid farm that we’re gonna turn into a vertical farming university, hopefully this year. That’s kind of an ambitious plan that we have.” (45:40) (Eric) 

Links Mentioned:

Eric’s LinkedIn – 

Cultivatd Website – 

Link to Upstart University – 

Link to Agritecture – 

Sponsor Info:

Cultivatd Website –

Cultivatd Instagram –

Cultivatd’s Twitter –

Cultivatd’s Facebook –


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  • Harry Duran

    Harry Duran is an avid podcaster and host behind The Vertical Farming Podcast is the #1 show dedicated to the Vertical Farming market. Tune in every week for fascinating conversations with CEOs, Founders and luminaries from the exciting and fast-growing world of Vertical Farming. Vertical farming is a revolutionary approach used to produce food and medicinal plants in vertically stacked layers such as in buildings, warehouses, or shipping containers, to name a few. It facilitates production of huge quantities of nutritious and quality fresh food without relying on favorable weather, high water usage, skilled labor, and high soil fertility. This ensures reliable yield and consistency in crop production year-round with climate control, and no effects of external environment factors such as diseases, pests, or predator attacks. Harry also enjoys connecting with podcasters and uses his first podcast, Podcast Junkies to connect with podcasters about their challenges, successes, and love of podcating. He is the founder of Fullcast, a full-service podcast production company.

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