Elon Musk’s younger brother is on a mission to do for agriculture what his brother has done for the automobile industry.
In 2016, Kimbal Musk, started the company Square Roots an indoor farming company in Brooklyn. A year later the younger Musk was named who "Global Social Entrepreneur" of the year by the World Economic Forum.
Square Roots is an urban indoor farming company growing local, real food while training the next generation of leaders in agriculture. It creates an environmentally friendly system of vertical farms that can provide, access to fresh, sustainable, local produce for urban centers.
"When I was a kid, the only way I could get my family to sit down and connect was by cooking the meal," Musk, co-founder and executive chairman of Square Roots, told CNN Business.
"Getting involved with the internet, especially in the late 90's, was very exciting and I wouldn't change anything about those experiences, but my passion has always been food," Musk said.
"The moment Elon and I sold Zip2, our first internet company, I knew I wanted to pursue food and become a trained chef." He moved to New York and enrolled at the International Culinary Center.
Harvesting sage at one of Square Roots' indoor vertical farms
While Musk was a very early investor to the Food tech, urban farming space, the question of food sustainability and security has come into sharp focus recently seeing investor dollars flood in. The Jeff Besos-backed Silicon Valley start-up, Plenty, is also a big player in the space.
Musk is forging a path in the vertical urban farming industry and is planning to scale up in three months with a “superfarm” to include 25 climate-controlled shipping containers, cold storage and biosecurity infrastructure.
The idea of vertical farming has been around since the 1900s, however, it is only recent technological developments such as hydroponics and LED lighting that have made it commercially viable and released its potential to disrupt entire food supply chains.