Accelerating the Future...
- FINALIST : Food
- Award Year: 2019
- Nominee URL: http://www.alescalife.com/
A growing and increasingly urban population coupled with climate change is creating significant challenges to global food security and safety. Currently, there are dozens of food insecure countries, 600 million food-borne illnesses annually, and $1.2 trillion of food waste.
Alesca develops indoor, urban farms and farm digitization tools to optimize food production. Our indoor farms use 20~25 times less water, fertilizer, land, and no chemical pesticides, and our farm management software improves productivity, efficiency, and traceability for conventional farms.
Our team developed all core hardware and software technology in-house to increase customer accessibility and affordability in our target emerging markets. Alesca also developed a unique farming-as-a-service model to enable more localized food production by urban hospitality and F&B locations.
Three key risks include: 1. lack of access to capital to further develop/deploy our agricultural technology, 2. lack of access to key talent, and 3. lack of support from governments to modernize legal frameworks/policy to promote next generation farming technology.
Alesca has a strong commitment to community engagement, education, and entertainment to demystify agriculture and inspire the next generation of conventional and urban farmers. Since 2015, our team has welcomed thousands of students, employees, and policymakers across Beijing and Dubai to visit our indoor commercial farms and urban customer installations. We’ve worked with NGOs, academic institutions, corporate partners, and government entities to organize urban farming/harvest events, agricultural technology masterclasses, live cooking demos, and even developed augmented reality/virtual reality content to create new and immersive ways to communicate the future of food production. The single most memorable event was an urban farming day organized for a group of elementary school students. At the conclusion of the event, a young student told our team, “When I grow up, I want to be an urban farmer.” Since the founding of Alesca, it is the only compliment that I can vividly remember.