A Chat with Felipe Hernandez: The Rise of Urban Aeroponics

Felipe Hernandez's Pioneering Path in Urban Aeroponics and the Birth of Hexagro

Image provided by Hexagro

In a recent episode of the Vertical Farming Podcast, host Harry Duran welcomed an inspiring guest, Felipe Hernandez, the Founder and CEO of Hexagro. Hernandez's journey from Colombia to Italy, coupled with his passion for sustainable agriculture, offers an intriguing story about innovation and determination.

From Colombia to Italy: A Journey of Passion and Innovation

Felipe Hernandez, originally from Colombia and raised in Costa Rica, now calls Milan, Italy, his home. His journey to Italy was fueled by a childhood dream and a scholarship for a master's in design. His love for Italian culture, arts, and food turned into a professional pursuit, where he found opportunities to blend his industrial design background with his newfound interest in agriculture.

The Genesis of Hexagro

While studying in Costa Rica, Hernandez was shocked to learn about the high pesticide use and its correlation with stomach cancer rates. This revelation led to his thesis project on sustainable agricultural practices, eventually giving birth to the Hexagro project, focused on soil-less agriculture technologies like aeroponics and hydroponics.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Biomimicry

Starting as a thesis project in Costa Rica, Hexagro evolved through various stages. The challenge was to redesign existing agricultural systems to make them more accessible and integrate them into daily life. The concept of biomimicry played a crucial role, drawing inspiration from nature to create efficient, sustainable systems.

Image provided by Hexagro

The Growth of Hexagro

The journey from a bachelor thesis to a flourishing start-up wasn't smooth. The COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges, but the dedicated team at Hexagro persevered. Their focus shifted to creating modular, scalable products, suitable for both outdoor and indoor urban farming. Hernandez emphasizes the importance of an open platform, allowing users to grow a wide variety of plants.

Technology Meets Agriculture

Hexagro's approach combines hardware with a user-friendly app, enhancing the urban farming experience. The app offers plant care tips, recipes, and a community for urban farmers. The goal is to make urban farming accessible to everyone, reducing the reliance on traditional agricultural supply chains.

The Kickstarter Campaign

Hexagro took to Kickstarter to fund their latest project, Clovie. This decision reflects their commitment to rapid testing and market adaptation. Crowdfunding offers a direct line to consumers, helping refine the product before mass production.

Building a Community and Looking Ahead

Felipe Hernandez envisions a world where everyone can grow their own food, reducing waste and promoting healthier lifestyles. His journey with Hexagro is a testament to resilience and innovation, overcoming cultural and financial barriers to bring his vision to life.

Felipe Hernandez's story is more than just a tale of business success; it's about reconnecting with nature and our food sources. Hexagro's mission to decentralize urban farming technologies promises a greener, more sustainable future. As Hernandez rightly puts it, "Growing your own food makes you happier," and Hexagro is here to make that possible for everyone.

Check out Hexagro's Kickstarter campaign and follow their journey on social media. Let's grow our own and be part of this sustainable revolution!

As we conclude this exploration into Felipe Hernandez's journey and the innovative strides of Hexagro, a special acknowledgment is due to the Vertical Farming Podcast. Hosted by Harry Duran, this platform is instrumental in shedding light on the stories, challenges, and triumphs within the vertical farming industry.

Interested in listening to the full episode? 

Check out the Vertical Farming Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and YouTube

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