October 21-23, 2015


Ohio Agriculture Research & Development Center, Wooster, Ohio


35 Tickets


16 Professional Speakers

FOR ATTENDEES - Download the Speaker Presentations

DOWNLOAD Presentatoins

About the Conference / What we learned

agrown_site_logoAGROWN’s AgTech Investing Conference was designed to bring the world’s leading experts in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) vegetable production with investors actively seeking to expand their investment portfolios in commercial scale greenhouse production.

With technological advances in CEA greenhouses and the availability of power/energy and fresh water in many regions of the U.S., commercial scale vegetable production can now be “distributed” far beyond historical growing areas.

Who Attended / This conference was open to:

  • Investors actively seeking to expand their investment portfolios in commercial scale greenhouse production
  • Agricultural professionals exploring new avenues in the CEA industry
  • Students pursuing a career in sustainable agriculture

Conference Schedule / What a great line up!

Thursday sessions were designed to bring you up to speed on CEA and focus on five key areas: Growing Technology, Energy Cost Independence, Hardware and Software Distributed Ag Equipment and Systems, Knowledge Transfer, and Food Wholesalers and Retail Food Chain Logistics

After spending Thursday getting up to speed on trends and factors effecting the CEA industry, we spent Friday getting our hands dirty! We dissected critical steps at each level of the CEA investment process – seed funding, early stage, and expansion – and then we built the first CEA Investor Blueprint together. Attendees left the conference with an expanded network, and the confidence to propel forward as an active investor in the North American CEA industry!

Dr. Sue Raftery,

Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Sue Raftery, CEO, AGROWN Tony Logan, Director of Rural Development, US Department of Agriculture In this rapid-fire session, attendees will briefly introduce themselves and share what phase of Ag/CEA Investing
John Juhasz,

Getting Inside CEA – Part I

This session will be held in OARDC CEA research and OSU Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) greenhouse on the OARDC campus where participants will be able to see example of the technology used
Sue Raftery


John Juhasz

Getting Inside CEA – Part II

Building upon the morning tour, this session is designed to take a deeper “dive” into the factors that drive ROI and ROIC in a CEA commercial growing facility –
Sue Raftery

Dine Around Wooster Dinner (included)

The group will be departing from the Hilton Garden Inn to enjoy an evening exploring the culinary delights Wooster has to offer.
Sue Raftery

Building your Investment Blueprint! Now it is Your Turn

We want to provide, a collaborative and thought-filled plan of action for YOU, the investor. Expanding on the previous session, we’ll leverage the collective knowledge, experience and creativity of

Conference Sponsors / Meet our sponosrs

Great Feedback / See What the Experts Have to Say

Conference Speakers / A Job Well Done

Ron Pelger

President/CEO, RonProCon

Ron Pelger is president and CEO of RonProCon, a produce consulting

Anthony Totta

Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Produce Consultant, Grow My Profits LLC; Consultant, FreshXperts

Anthony J. Totta, founder, chief executive officer and produce consultant for

Meiny Prins

CEO, Priva, NL

Chief executive officer Meiny Prins joined Priva in 2003, having previously

Marc Ferguson

Founder and CEO of Hungry Planet Farms

Marc is a serial entrepreneur who has started and led emerging

Nate Rudy

Executive Director, Waterville Creates! and AGROWN Board Member

Nate Rudy is a student of agronomy, engineering, and economics; has worked

Dr. Gene Giacomelli

R&D and Education Leader, CEAC, University of Arizona

Gene Giacomelli is the director of the CEAC, or interdisciplinary education,

Dr. Beth Scheckelhoff

PhD, Extension Educator - Greenhouse Systems, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences OSU Extension

Beth Scheckelhoff (PhD) is an Extension Educator in the Department of

John Hoogeboom

Greenhouse Designer, Rough Brothers

D.O.B.: 7 October 1941 Langweer, Netherlands Johannes (John) Hoogeboom was educated in

Col. Mark Mykleby

(USMC Ret), Founding Co-Director, Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University

Mark Mykleby is the founding co-director of the Strategic Innovation Lab

Dr. Sue Raftery


Dr. Raftery is a graduate of The Ohio State University, College

Gordon Garrett

I am Associate State Director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center

Executive Profile Gordon is a high profile, innovative and dynamic business executive

Gaetano Verdoliva

CEO of Aeroponica international LTD

Gaetano Verdoliva is the founder and CEO of AeroponicaInternational LTD. He

Dr. Peter Ling

Dr. Peter Ling

Associate Professor of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, The Ohio

John Juhasz

Systems Engineer, NASA Consultant

Mr. Juhasz is a practicing systems engineer and entrepreneur with 40

Jay Famiglietti

Hydrologist, UC Irvine Professor; Senior Water Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology

Jay Famiglietti is a hydrologist, a professor of Earth System Science

Gary Jinks

President, GLJ Group

Gary has worked with a wide range of companies, from early

Dr. Michelle Jones

Dr. Michelle Jones

Michelle Jones (PhD) is a Professor and DC Kiplinger Floriculture Chair

Dr. Luis Cañas

Associate Professor & Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology, OSU/OARDC

Dr. Luis Cañas (PhD) received his MS and PhD in Entomology

Registration Fees / What's included



Attend all Thursday and Friday conference sessions
Includes Breakfast and Lunch on Thursday and Friday
Complimentary reception on Wednesday, October 21
Complimentary dinner on Thursday, October 22
Greenhouse tour on Thursday, October 22
Investment Blueprint
Post-conference supporting materials and attendee list



Attend all Thursday educational sessions
Includes Breakfast and Lunch on Thursday
Complimentary reception on Wednesday, October 21
Greenhouse tour on Thursday, October 22
Post-conference supporting materials and attendee list



Attend all Thursday educational sessions
Includes Breakfast and Lunch on Thursday
Greenhouse tour on Thursday, October 22
Post-conference supporting materials and attendee list

Register now / For attendees and sponsor registration



Dissect critical steps at each investment level, build your CEA Investor Blueprint and leave the conference with the tools, network and confidence to move forward as an active investor in the North American CEA industry.

Register Today! Limited Availableity


Event FAQS / find your answers

What are the dates & location of the conference?

  • October 21-23, 2015
  • AGROWN has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn, 959 Dover Road Wooster, Ohio
  • Conference sessions will be held at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, Ohio

What are the fees to attend?

  • Investors: $1,995
  • Aagricultural Professionals: $995
  • Students: $295
  • Ohio College STEM Students (with ID): $50
  • Speakers/Staff: Complimentary

What meals are provided?

  • Wednesday Evening Reception
  • Breakfast and Lunch on Thursday and Friday
  • Dinner on Thursday

What should I do for dinner on Wednesday evening?

A list of restaurants is available here:

What sponsorship opportunities are available?

Sponsorship opportunities are open to any domestic or international corporate entity in the horticulture industry, horticulture/CEA consultants and consultant groups, academic institutions, not-for-profit, or any qualified individual  investor, institutional investment group, venture capital group  are limited and include: Platinum Sponsor $12,000 (2 available)
  • 8-foot exhibit table
  • Two registrations
  • Additional attendees may register at the reduced rate of $1,750
  Gold $7,500 (4 available)
  • 8-foot exhibit table
  • One registration
  • Additional attendees may register at the reduced rate of $1,750
  Silver $3,000 (8  available)  One registration   Bronze $1,000 (6 available) Registration not included   October 21 Reception Sponsor $1,000 (3 available) Registration not included   October 22 Dine-Around Wooster Sponsor $1,000 (3 available) Registration not included  

What's included with sponsorship?

All 2015 Exhibit and Sponsorship Opportunities include:
  • Your company logo and url displayed on the conference web site
  • Your company logo displayed on conference signage
  • Your company logo displayed during between-session advertisements
  • A full contact list of attendees 2 weeks prior and post-conference

How can I receive a list of participants or attendees?

The participant list is sent to registered attendees twice: once after the early bird registration deadline, then one week prior to the event. A full participant list will be available at the conference.

Can I participate if I am a start-up or early stage company in the CEA industry?

While attendance is limited to qualified investors and not start-ups/entrepreneurs. This conference will be a "pitch-free" zone, allowing investors new to this industry sector that need a place to learn and ask questions. If you want to receive exposure for your start-up or early stage CEA related business, you may become a sponsor at the bronze level, reception or dine-around sponsorship, and in return we will provide a copy of your company overview to the participants/investors in their participation packet. And, after the conference we will share investor contact information that express interest in following up with you and/or your team.

What is the cancellation policy for the conference?

Registration fees are refundable, less a $75 processing fee, up until September 30. No refund will be issued for cancellations starting October 1, 2015. Registrations are transferable within your organization until October 15. Starting October 16, transfers will not be accepted.   All cancellations must be sent in writing to AGROWN is not responsible for problems beyond our control such as weather conditions, campus conditions, travel difficulties, health issues, etc. No refunds will be given in these situations if occurring after October 15.

What opportunity exists for networking?

There are many opportunities for attendees to mix and mingle during the conference. With the Conference program, delegates can discuss the day’s events and make plans for the rest of the Conference. There is also a complimentary tour on Wednesday and Dinner on Thursday hosted by AGROWN. This, coupled with the intimate setting of conference setting, refreshment breaks and lunches, ensures attendees will have ample opportunity to make connections.  

How can I reserve a hotel room, and what are the rates?

AGROWN has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at a discounted group rate of $135/night + tax for a standard room with single or double occupancy. The discounted group room rate will be available until Monday, September 21, 2015, or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Reserve by calling 330-202-7701 and be sure to mention you are attending the Agrown AgTech Investing Conference in order to receive the discounted rate.

Is there free WiFi?

Complimentary internet is included in the guest room rate, and available in the OARDC meeting rooms.

When should I plan to arrive?

We encourage all attendees to participate in the tour on Wednesday. We’ll be departing from the Hilton Garden Inn at 4 p.m.

Where are the nearest airports, and ground transportation options?

The following airports serve the Wooster area:
Akron-Canton Regional Airport (CAK) Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

What should I pack?

We recommend:
  • Tablet / Laptop and plugs
  • Business cards
  • Comfortable shoes for evening activities
  • Dress in layers as temperatures in the meeting rooms can vary
  • Travel umbrella

My question is not listed in FAQs. Who do I contact?

Send your questions to

Venue and Location / the basics

Hotel and Travel

Hotel The Hilton Garden Inn Wooster 959 Dover Road Wooster, OH 44691 Agrown has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at a discounted group rate of $135/night + tax for a standard room with single or double

Event Location

Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
1680 Madison Ave,
Wooster, OH 44691
(330) 263-3700

Get Directions