Meet Our Members

Jason Biegel

An experienced software engineer, Jason's passion for urban agriculture developed after he stumbled into a hydroponics store in New Jersey. One of the things Jason finds most appealing about hydroponics is the potential for creativity in the engineering of grow systems.  His belief in collaboration is demonstrated via the work he does at a community garden and a maker space. Jason also showcases a commitment to sustainability by running his Volkswagen on recycled cooking oil.

"I am excited to join the Co-Lab to turn my hobby of indoor growing into an urban farming business. It will be beneficial for me to be around people already in the urban farming industry as I establish my business so I can gain from their experiences. I plan to develop a solid grow process and business plan for selling culinary herbs to restaurants. Using cutting edge technology, I will grow my produce efficiently and well."

Anina Stanton

Brought up by Australian parents to be water and energy conscious, Anina is always looking for ways to repurpose and minimize waste products - both material and energy. Driven towards closed loop design, she is looking to incorporate radically integrated mechanical systems and renewable energy sources into controlled environment applications, focusing on the synthesis of the natural and technological.

"I spent many years considering my personal impact as a consumer and exploring types of production to control that impact. I believe people need better options to maintain a lifestyle in accordance with their consciousness regarding 'sustainability.' I'm so excited to take those efforts out of my private sphere and into the public. I cannot wait to meet people to collaborate with at the Co-Lab."

Wythe Marschall

Wythe is an anthropologist of plant-based startups, currently finishing his Ph.D. in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. His dissertation examines the production of value—in all senses of the word, including ecological—using indoor agriculture. Previously, Wythe worked in the world of advertising and co-produced exhibitions on art and science in Brooklyn, critically exploring biotechnology and visions of future cities. Wythe received his BA in literature from Bennington College and his MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, where he taught in the English Department for five years.

"In addition to meeting many inspiring growers and other experts, I'm excited to acquire more hands-on training with hydroponics at the Co-Lab. I think we're in a period of intensive creativity regarding what an urban farm is, should, or can be. Spaces such as AgTech X can play a vital role in curating relevant discussions and providing business and horticultural training, in the heart of Brooklyn."

Vidyadhar Thatte

Vidy is a rising senior at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he majors in computer science and is currently working on a healthcare startup, Sentience Inc. Vidy believes that sustainable agriculture, just like renewable energy, is an important vertical that is going to affect the future of the planet and is pursuing research in this area on the side.

"I'll be working on getting the Personal Food Computer completely functional and enabling people at the Co-Lab to start hacking plants."

Dan Nelson

Since falling in love with the Urban Agriculture world in 2016, Dan has pivoted his life and career toward learning more about driving technology and innovation into urban areas to help people eat better, fresher, and healthier food. Through Techbrainstorm, Dan provides strategic and financial consulting to startups, particularly those in the Urban Ag space. After graduating with degrees in economics and accounting from Michigan, Dan has had a crazy and winding 12-year career. He currently considers himself a recovering accountant.

Personal Food Computer v2.0 is a unique, high-tech example of a fully controlled micro-environment for growing plants hydroponically. The device is a key node of MIT Open Ag's global network of #nerdfarmers, and I am excited to have it reside at the Co-Lab as a tool for entrepreneurs and innovators to learn more about AgTech.

Are YOU our next member? Apply here.

Come meet the crew! Schedule time here.