#64 Mike Zelkind, co-founder, and CEO of 80 Acres Farms
Mike Zelkind, co-founder, and CEO of 80 Acres Farms knew that food wasn’t what it used to be. He wanted to make it better by creating a new kind of farm, one capable of producing an abundance of crop varieties year-round, grown completely indoors. A farm that can produce 100 times more food than an ordinary farm. Using 100% renewable energy. Without any pesticides or excessive food miles. In 2015, 80 Acres Farms was born.
80 Acres is a founding member of the Infinite Acres partnership venture, along with Netherlands-based Priva Holding BV, a leading provider of technology solutions, services and automation systems to horticultural and other industries, and Ocado Group, one of the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailers, operating its own grocery and general merchandise retail businesses. That partnership is now building large-scale, fully automated indoor farms in the United States, Asia and Europe.
Over Mike’s 30-year career, he held Senior Executive roles within leading Domestic and International companies, including Fortune 50 Food & Beverage, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods Companies, as well as major Consulting and Private Equity Firms.
Mike has played competitive Chess since the age of 12, competing in several of the most prestigious International Chess Tournaments around the world and achieving a title of FIDE Master at the age of 19. He ranked #1 in his Master of Business Administration class of a top 20 Executive MBA program. In addition, he earned the top Leadership Award: John Robson Scholar and was selected for a very prestigious Community Leadership Program by the Wexner Foundation. He is fluent in Russian and has basic Spanish communication skills.