Today’s episode features Jeff McKinnon of TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture. Jeff and I have a really frank conversation about the current state of controlled environment agriculture. He holds nothing back in talking about the industry’s struggles, but also about why he is still more bullish than ever about what they’re doing to provide local, fresh, indoor-grown produce. He also has some interesting ideas about other products that might be uniquely suited for these growing systems, and some great insights into the current state of fundraising and venture capital.
Some background on Jeff: he has been working in senior financial Leadership roles over the past 18 years within a variety of sectors including financial services, real estate, retail and food & beverage.
Jeff has always been active in the start-up to growth phase food & agtech ecosystem in Canada but more recently has developed a passion for assisting these companies capitalize and execute their growth strategies. He is currently the SVP of TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, a Canadian based agriculture-technology company that uses technology to displace field-grown produce. In 2018, the company partnered with McCain Food Limited to develop and execute an international expansion strategy. During Jeff’s tenure at TruLeaf, he has served as CFO and SVP, leading the company through a number of significant financing rounds (both debt an equity) and has led corporate development and government relations.
Under Jeff’s leadership, the company has completed farm builds in Nova Scotia, Ontario and has two significant projects underway in Quebec and Alberta. Jeff is also a General Partner in a carbon-tech venture fund.