KavAdemy Founders Profile interviewed Dominik Feiden about his motivation to contribute to a sustainable future, and why he started developing solutions for sustainable agriculture.
Dominik Feiden is the Co-founder and CEO of the Germany-based Organifarms GmbH, which automates complex processes in indoor farming systems to make them profitable for the cultivation of fruit & vegetables.
Organifarms' mission is related to shaping the agricultural future of our planet by taking indoor farming to the next level. The AgriTech startup is delivering on its mission by developing automated farming robots to automate labor-intensive tasks in protected fruit and vegetable farming - to contribute to a fair and sustainable food system.
Q: How would you describe yourself and your path to this day?
After finishing school, I thought about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to help people, but the question was how. This first led me to the University of Konstanz where I started studying law. However, I realized that it would take a frustratingly long time to make an impact and change anything. So I decided to take a step back to go down a different path.
This led me to the Zeppelin University, to study Sociology, Politics and Economics. I wanted a broad course of study to deal with a wide array of future problems. The problem I wanted to tackle first was the future food supply, particularly in the context of climate change. This led me to the Future Energies Hackathon in Berlin by the German Economic Foundation and the Innogy Foundation. Here I met my co-founders Marian Bolz and Hannah Brown for the first time and we decided to tackle this problem together.
I was inspired by how innovation can solve future problems, such as the future food supply in harmony with nature or the energy supply.
Q: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? How did you get started?
I was inspired by how innovation can solve future problems, such as the future food supply in harmony with nature or the energy supply. The possibility of creating something that can positively impact the people and planet motivated me to devote myself to finding possible solutions, first academically and then entrepreneurially.
Q: What is the best advice you have received on your journey as a founder?
Take small steps and validate them with your customers.
Q: What has been your most significant challenge as a founder? What steps did you take to overcome it?
Constantly dealing with new challenges due to the company development but also due to external factors such as Covid-19. To overcome this, I got in touch with mentors and experts to help me find solutions.
Q: What have been your most significant gains?
The first time seeing the robot harvesting strawberries was amazing. Seeing that all the hard work you put into your idea is finally paying off. Also, receiving the funding approval from agricultural minister Cem Özdemir was a great success and a gratifying experience.
Q: What is one book you recommend, and why?
It is a fascinating and entertaining book that shows how flawed human decision-making is and how the author became one of the most recognized economics despite many people doubting him.
Q: In one sentence, what's the best advice you'd give to young founders/someone just starting on their entrepreneurial journey?
Don't give up if your first idea is not perfect - It can't be! Rethink and adapt - then it will succeed.
Q: In terms of legacy, what is your mission – what does the world look like you want to create?
My mission is to create a more equal and sustainable world.
Thank you Dominik for joining us at KavAdemy Founders Profile today and for letting us interview you.
To keep an eye on Organifarms journey visit www.organifarms.de or follow @organifarms
If you know someone who would be a great fit for KavAdemy Founder Profile series let us know by sending an e-mail to Laura Lindholm email@example.com.