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Interview with Douglas Fyvolent, CEO of Hyperponic

On February 26, 2019, Douglas Fyvolent, CEO of Hyperponic, will be speaking at Kahner Global's Cannabis Private Investment Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The event will host more than 130 industry leaders and investors for a day of collaboration and networking.​

1. What brought you to the cannabis industry?

We started developing this aeroponic system that became Hyperonic, thinking it was going to be the first sustainable urban farm to feed people in what are known as “food deserts” all over the country. It was going to be farm-to-table for both restaurants and communities. As we were developing the technology, getting everybody involved, and growing lettuce and herbs in our towers, all the investors we spoke with were fixated on cannabis. They kept asking, “Can you grow pot?, can you grow pot?,” so we understood that’s where the demand, money and margins were. Eventually, we started redesigning the system from an outdoor urban farm to an indoor cannabis growing system.

2. How did your previous experience prepare you to take on the role of CEO at Hyperponic?

I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Prior to Hyperponic, I had a uniform and ad specialty business here in Florida that began as a small company. Over time, I started working nationwide with Walmart, Sam's Club, Office Depot, and Publix. I learned the struggles of bringing a small company to these big conglomerates and working with them to develop a line and to sell product to them, so I've learned what it takes for a start-up and how much hair you lose when you go through it.

3. What issues within the cannabis industry does Hyperponic help resolve?

Most of the industry grows in pots hydroponically: flooding water into horizontal trays under the plant roots on a regular basis. We grow aeroponically: the plants can be grown in vertical towers. This allows us to maximize space and grow more efficiently. We also use LED light, so we save energy as well. The plants are easier to manage, too.

Cannabis is becoming more and more of a commodity, so it will be critical for growers to invest in systems that are much more efficient. What we've developed is significantly better than what is currently in the marketplace. We’re making that possible with our CropTowers, technology, water usage and improved growing techniques.

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of growing indoors compared to growing outside?

Growing indoors obviously requires more energy than sunlight, but we can control the environment much better. Outdoor growers have to deal with many unpredictable environment issues like pests, fungus, too much or too little rain, and in some states, even hurricanes. We don't have to worry about those issues. By controlling the environment and all the aspects of the grow, we believe our indoor grow system creates a higher quality product than an outdoor grow. Also, in an indoor environment, we can grow year ‘round in what we call a perpetual harvest. We can far exceed the harvest of an outdoor farm compared to our indoor system. For example, for hemp, a 40,000 square foot (1 acre) indoor location can compete with a 100-acre outdoor farm.

Another issue is lighting. Lighting technology has come a long way in the last ten years. Competing with Mother Nature and natural light will always be an uphill climb, but LEDs are pretty close to being able to compete with the sun.

There’s also consistency. One problem with growing outside is that you can't be consistent. The soil is not always consistent, the environment is always not consistent. And to be a high-end quality consumer or pharmaceutical product, you have to be consistent and be able to document that you can grow it the same way every time. We believe we’ll fill that void. We've developed our system with the goal that it will create growing conditions precise enough so that it will produce pharmaceutical-grade plants and oils. That's one of the areas where we will excel and outpace the industry.

5. How does Hyperponic's system differ from other indoor and hydroponic growing systems?

Our roots don't grow in a medium like soil or coconut husks. By growing aeroponically, we use no grow media. The roots hang inside our CropTowers and are watered constantly and consistently. NASA and Disney have proven that this way of growing can produce a ten percent more efficient method of growing. Previously, the big flaw of aeroponics was the use of fine spray misters to water the roots. These misters send the water and the nutrients to the roots for growing. But these misters tend to clog. We have developed a new system to solve the mister clogging problem and have developed a proprietary and patent-pending water flow system