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Head of Horticulture & Hydroponics

Hydroponics | Oakland, CA | Full Time

Job Description

Company Vision & Background

We envision everyone anywhere can experience the joy of harvesting and eating their food.  Verdical is a platform for growing food.  More than that, we are a platform for growth and connections. We will provide a new model for highly distributed and connected indoor food production.  An elegant design enables Verdical to easily scale up or down to grow food on site for a household, a restaurant or a community.

Verdical uses horticultural LED's along with various sensors and modulators to make growing as easy as inserting seed pods and pushing a button. Verdical’s unique triangular design maximizes the production capacity, making this system uniquely suited to restaurant and commercial kitchens.

We are looking for a key team member who wants to join a dynamic early stage start up company.  

The Market

Indoor Agriculture is poised to be the next major enrichment to the American food supply, estimated at $9b or 17x the current US market size.  US agriculture has reached a tipping point: it’s now possible to buy greens grown indoors for the same price as those farmed in California fields thanks to the falling price of LEDs.  At the same time, consumers are prioritizing local food options.  Year round there is a premium being paid for food steps over food miles for great tasting hyperlocal fresh produce.

The Opportunity

Own the formulation development and launch of new hydroponic system that includes both organic and synthetic liquid nutrients, water soluble fertilizers, horticultural substrates, and soil amendments.

The Scientist will be responsible for finding and implementing new technologies, create enticing product claims, developing new products and processes, and identifying cost savings opportunities. The Scientist will constantly mine the realm of technologies and apply them to best meet business and/or consumer needs.

In this role you will help build our business strategy by providing thought leadership on technology, research, hydroponic trends and practices that can be applied to sustainable products by developing commercially viable formulations.

Primary Responsibilities

Be the Plants Ambassador. We are a hardware startup building a Platform for Growth.  Business, product and botany all need to work together, checking and balancing one another, for us to create the maximum viable product. You will be the voice of the plants.  This means we are counting on you to tell us when a specific product vision needs modification or a claim made for marketing is not realistic, etc.

  • Own great harvest outcomes for customers

  • Develop standing indoor hydroponic growing environment that creates the most efficient, and tasty plant outcomes

  • Challenge industry standards

  • Plant and raise seedlings in our nursery for customers

Knowledge and Experience

  • Proven success experimenting with and developing hydroponic growing methods including species-specific nutrient regimens, pest/disease/algal control

  • Experience working with beneficial bacteria in a hydroponic set up is a huge bonus

  • Experience growing in container systems with soil and hydro, as well as understanding temperature and humidity manipulation

  • Track record of precision horticulture under Controlled Environments or Soilless Systems

  • Deep knowledge of plant diseases, insects and fungi, as well as plant treatment options

  • Thrive in a dynamic start up!

Nice to Have  

  • MS or PhD in Botany, Horticulture, Plant Science, or Agronomy