Vertical Innovations, LLC’s founding members, Jim Kerns and David Geisler started the company in December of 2014 in their hometown of Springfield, Missouri. After many discussions regarding potential options for the Company’s initial location, Vertical Innovations entered into a lease agreement with Missouri State University for the old MFA Grain Elevator, owned by the University and located in downtown Springfield, Missouri. In concert with the City of Springfield and general contractor, Borton, LC, Vertical Innovations was able to facilitate the clean-up of the MFA silos for implementation of Vertical Innovations’ patent-pending technology and ultimately the creation of the world’s first true vertical farm. Since its founding, the Vertical Innovations team has expanded to four members, with David Losse and Paul Tinlin joining in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Vertical Innovations primary purpose is to provide locally-grown, pesticide-free food, primarily produce, to institutional customers in a manner that has limited negative impact on the local farming community. By focusing on the utilization of existing agricultural structures that are located in both urban and rural communities, with existing infrastructures in place, from rail lines to waterways to substations to processing facilities, Vertical Innovations customers will receive the freshest locally grown product as possible. Additionally, in targeting the institutional customer/client, Vertical Innovations’ effect on the local farming community will be minimal in that the scope of these relationships are beyond what a local, traditional farm would even be able to produce both in terms of quantity and supply chain.