VertiFarms

The Pitch

VertiFarms builds and operates aquaponic and hydroponic farms that sustainably grow greens onsite for grocers, schools, and restaurants. Their goal is to grow a large percentage of all salad greens consumed by New Orleanians.

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VertiFarms
Douglas Jacobs & Kevin Morgan-Rothschild

Douglas Jacobs & Kevin Morgan-Rothschild

The Entrepreneur

As CEO and founder of VertiFarms, Doug is responsible for designing systems, developing partnerships, and raising capital. He has been an aquaponic and hydroponic enthusiast for over ten years constructing and testing his own systems. Born in Miami Beach, Doug grew up with an appreciation for plants and nature. His interest in aquaponics began during a trip to Disney World as a child and re-emerged during his studies in Complex Emergency Management. He is the primary consultant behind the Rouses ‘Roots on the Rooftop’ Project.

Kevin holds a degree in Sociology and Social Policy and Planning. He has studied urban agriculture, urban planning, architectural design, rural sociology and New Orleans urban geography. His past work with non-profits, alternative energy companies and a local farmers cooperative led him to implement aquaponics and other soilless farming technology to the urban landscape of New Orleans.

The Opportunity/Challenge

Aquaponics is a process that symbiotically raises fish and vegetables simultaneously. Its benefits include 90% less water usage, higher yields in smaller spaces, 90 steps from farm to retail, and recycled rain water.

The Impact

  • 1,500 lbs of lettuce and herbs grown at Hollygrove Market and on the rooftop of Rouse’s Market on Baronne Street
  • Helped to create and manage the first aeroponic rooftop urban farm on a grocer in the United States.
  • Earned nearly $270,000 in system sales, management, and produce sales
  • Named number three in the “World’s 8 Most Inspiring Urban Farms” by farmxchange.org.

Class

2012-2013 Ventures

Sector

Consultant

Press Coverage

News Posts

“The various workshops that the New Orleans entrepreneurial communities have provided have been very important. Propeller-hosted accounting workshops have helped us stay organized, and a Propeller-hosted public relations workshop helped us land a spot on national television after a cold call to a show called, ‘America’s Heartland.’”

Kevin Morgan-Rothschild
Co-Founder, VertiFarms ('13)