What Sydney-born startup Homefarms learned taking its indoor farming solutions to Asia

As our populations grow, vertical farming and indoor farming are becoming more important as methods to grow food in the smallest amount of physical space. Homefarms is a startup that is building the technology to increase food production, finding that vertical farming increases total food output without increasing the resources needed to do so.

From investment manager to modern farmer

Ben Lee’s first foray into business started right upon finishing high school, setting up a trade business with a friend and dabbling in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) in lieu of going to university.

“I think I was too young to the appreciate the business process and we sold it as a going-concern,” Lee mused about his inexperience.

After some time trading in the leather industry, buying and selling hides and skins, as well as graduating university with a degree in Neurosciences, Lee found himself in corporate finance as an investment manager. Responsible for investment analysis on esoteric investments for central banks and law firms, it was here after a decade that he experienced the first sparks of entrepreneurship that would later become the beginnings of Homefarms.

One day a couple of indoor farming and agricultural concepts came to the table — one of which particularly jumped out.

“I sat down with a friend and I said, “This is a great idea! Why don’t we look at it as more of an investment?’” he said.

“Over time it became more interesting to us in figuring out some of the technology behind it and the numbers. At the time I was getting jaded with the finance world, so I decided that I would leave, and set this concept up as a business.”

It was this idea that led to the move to Singapore. Read more

Isabelle Lee - Startup Daily - 13 Apr 2018

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