S6E70: Plant Genetics, First-Time CEO Challenges, & Improving the Equity & Quality of Food with Nordetect’s Keenan Pinto
Vertical Farming PodcastOctober 21, 2022x
58:1853.38 MB

S6E70: Plant Genetics, First-Time CEO Challenges, & Improving the Equity & Quality of Food with Nordetect’s Keenan Pinto

Episode Summary

Keenan Pinto is the founder and CEO of Nordetect, a real-time nutrient analysis product with cloud-connected hardware and accessible software that allows farmers to test their own soil samples and see results in real time. Today, Harry and Keenan talk about his vision for improving the equity, quality and footprint of food through technology, his entrepreneurial journey and why he chose to relocate to Denmark. They also touch on challenges Keenan faced as a first-time CEO, what indoor agriculture activity he is seeing in New York State, and what the future holds for Nordetect.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Cultivatd – https://cultivatd.com/

Netled - https://netled.fi/

Key Takeaways

07:13 – Harry welcomes to the show, Keenan Pinto, who talks about his experience at the Indoor AgTech Summit in NYC, his decision to move to Copenhagen and the origin of his entrepreneurial journey

12:17 – Any early interest in plant genetics and encountering an unknown frontier

16:59 – Keenan’s AgTech origin story

20:34 – Indoor AgTech and IKEA?!?

25:31 – The inspiration to launch Nordetect

28:35 – Improving the Equity, Quality, & Footprint of Food through Technology

31:21 – Challenges as a first-time CEO

35:30 – Nordetect’s services and offerings, reviews from early clients and the importance of educating farmers

42:11 – A unique consulting opportunity

45:02 – What activity Keenan is seeing in New York

48:55 – Keenan speculates on the future of Nordetect

52:52 – A tough question Keenan has had to ask himself recently

56:55 – A specific ask Keenan has for the audience

58:22 – Harry thanks Keenan for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can connect with him and learn more about Nordetect

Tweetable Quotes

“I think that’s one of the interesting things about this is that because it’s a young, up-and- coming, and somewhat nascent industry, you start to see activity everywhere. And if you’re in a space where you’re looking at acquiring customers, then they’re [vertical farming conferences] popping up everywhere.” (08:23) (Keenan)

“I think I’ve always been into biology through my education. In school, I was a little bit of a science nerd so science and math was a strong point. And, I think after choosing to do an engineering degree, biology stood out. So, I kinda wanted to do something that had not just this pure engineering, but had sort of the living world attached to it. I chose bio-tech because it has both elements and the plant genetics side of things was really during the choice of deciding to study a Masters.” (12:28) (Keenan)

“What you see is, with Diagnostics, you see it when it’s on the market but a lot of these MedTech innovations, what we didn’t realize, took decades to come to market. So, the first couple of years was heavy technology development. And it was all about outdoors, and soil, and farming, and enabling farmers to use less fertilizer.” (28:13) (Keenan)

“For us, as founders, the vision is really to be able to provide either a product or a service that can help de-risk cultivation for those farmers.” (30:06) (Keenan)

“One of the VCs that I spoke with said, ‘We don’t invest in vertical farms, but we want to see the Tech providers that can take technology and help upgrade or upscale the smaller farms and bring them up to the level of these larger farms with a lot of investment. Companies that can do that will be the big ones of the next day.’” (43:16) (Keenan)

“I think that coming out of the greenhouse and really moving outdoors is a future that I personally would like to see for the company and one that is not too far away.” (51:35) (Keenan)

“That’s a big dilemma. That’s a big question. How do we want to grow the company? Do we want to consider this differential mindset of maybe reaching profitability faster and maybe growing a bit slower, or do you want to take in a lot of cash and then grow very aggressively?” (54:55) (Keenan)

Resources Mentioned

Keenan’s Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/keenan510/?originalSubdomain=dk

Nordetect – https://nordetect.com/

Nordetect LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/nordetect/

Nordetect Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nordetect

Nordetect Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nordetect/

Sponsor Info

Cultivatd’s Website – https://cultivatd.com/

Cultivatd’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cultivatdco/

Cultivatd’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/cultivatd

Cultivatd’s Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cultivatd/

Netled - https://netled.fi/


Podcast Production and Marketing by FullCast

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy