Our Team

Technology Leadership

We have deliberately split our CTO office into our two symbiotic technology functions under the leadership of Dr Deane Falcone and Steve Montoya. We believe that our plant science innovation, interacting with our hardware inventions, will allow us to continue to lengthen our technology leadership.

Dr. Deane Falcone

Chief Scientific Officer

UT Austin BA, MA, Ohio State PHD, Stanford Postdoctoral
  • Previously Chief Molecular Science Officer and Founder, Naprogenix, Inc, a biotechnology company. Developed platform to access the chemical diversity of plants
  • Served as Faculty and Principal Investigator at the University of MA with a research focus on plant stress and metabolism
  • Conducted plant cell research as a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Plant Breeding Research, Max Planck Institute, Cologne, Germany
  • Developed a growth-performance based screen to identify genes to improve plant growth and stress resistance
  • Identified and isolated plant genes that confer stress tolerance and yield increases in plants
  • Conducted research in several areas of plant metabolism: photosynthesis, carbon dioxide fixation, plant fatty acids/oils, plant biochemical diversity, including health-promoting plant compounds
  • Published over 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles in the above areas and is an inventor on 4 issued patents

Steve Montoya

SVP Advanced Technology

UC Davis BSEE, UC Berkeley MSEE, Pepperdine MBA
  • Over 30 years of experience in technology development
  • Directed launching 3 start-up companies, including StrataCom acquired for over $4B by Cisco Systems
  • At Cisco he led as Director of Engineering for Internet Appliance & Applications Business Unit
  • Developed a growth-performance based screen to identify genes to improve plant growth and stress resistance
  • Steve then co-founded Nayna Networks Corporation as Vice-President of Engineering/Operations, built and managed the hardware, software, systems engineering and operations. He raised $55M in Series A/B rounds
  • He was most recently VP of product management, R&D and operations building energy efficient lighting at HID Laboratories and Topanga Technologies

At present, industry and venture capital interviews indicate that our platform is 4 times more capital efficient than both modular and warehouse based hydroponic competitors.

Furthermore, our units produce revenue in most of our applications within 9 weeks of being commissioned from our manufacturers.

Business Leadership

Our management team is comprised of highly experienced investors and entrepreneurs, with a number of successful exits.

Sonia Lo

Chief Executive Officer

Stanford AB, Harvard MBA
  • Founder and Managing Partner of Chalsys LLP, an advisory and direct investment company focusing on business building, restructuring and asset management. Chalsys has made investments in impact venture funds, industrial lighting, natural cosmetics, and “digital” agriculture
  • Angel investor in over 15 companies with 4 exits
  • Served on three UK PLC boards and eight private company boards as non-executive director
  • She is an experienced operating executive, including having been the Director of Global Content for Google, Inc
  • Co-founder and CEO of eZoka Group. Sonia was appointed as one of the top Global 100 Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2000 and 2001 and she has also been named one of Management Today's leading 35 businesswomen in the UK under 35
  • Speaks 7 languages and has lived and worked in 16 countries
  • Holds a third-degree blackbelt in Tae-Kwon Do
  • Was a professional private chef in London for two years
  • Certified in Green Supply Chain Management and Zero Energy Architecture

Dave Vosburg

CFO & VP Strategy

Notre Dame BA, Yale MBA
  • Launched the first fully electronic version of any curriculum as CCO of ED-Tech start-up, with over 5,000 flash-animated lessons in seven languages
  • Co-Founded an HR-outsourcing firm and a serviced offices company in Lusaka, Zambia; drove company to profitability in two years (currently in sale discussions)
  • Acted as CFO for Zoona, Zambia and Malawi’s largest money transfer company taking it through its first audit with a big-four and managing financial projections for $4m equity injection
  • Voted as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Zambia where he worked with Government leaders to increase US – Zambia trade

Investors & Board of Directors

Our investors are like-minded families and individuals from around the world. Each of them believes strongly in the power of our technology to transform industries ranging from food to pharmaceuticals.

Max Duckworth

Board Member

  • Co-founder of MaSa Partners, an impact investment venture that provides capital and advisory services to companies seeking to innovate and disrupt their industry. Since inception in 2015, MaSa has made over a dozen investments in sectors including food & agriculture, renewable energy, healthcare and technology.
  • Previously an energy industry executive who held senior commercial leadership roles at Constellation Energy in Baltimore, MD. Over a fourteen year span, Max led the structured deal, trading, and asset management groups; co-headed the entire Commodities business between 2009 and 2012; and served as Constellation's commercial lead in the $5B transaction with Electricite' de France (EDF) that created Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG.)
  • Serves on a number of private company and charitable boards, including UNICEF USA and Halcyon Incubator, and also served on the board of CENG.
  • Holds a B.Sc (Hons) from Imperial College, London, and MA from Boston University, both in physics. Max is an Associate of the Royal College of Science, and his work on climate change and renewable energy policy has been published and cited in dozens of journals. He speaks English, Italian and French.

Bill Spire

Board Member

  • Mr. William Spire, also known as Bill, serves as the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Aspire Ventures, LLC. From 2001 until 2013, Mr. Spire served as the Chief Executive Officer at DISFA (Dynamic Intelligence System for Financial Analysis). From 2002 through 2009, he led fundraising and business development as President at Heathside Ventures, LP. Also since 2002, Mr. Spire has served as the Director and Financial Advisor of The Seraph Foundation, Inc. He serves on the board of trustees at the Garrison Forest School, the Alumni Corporation Board at St. Andrew's School, and the President's Council at Franklin and Marshall College.
  • Mr. Spire has been an investor in technology-powered ventures specializing in artificial intelligence for much of his career. He is a registered investment advisor (RIA) and a serial entrepreneur. Mr. Spire received his bachelor of arts from McDaniel College.

VK Rajaram

Board Observer

  • VK Rajaram has over 20 years of experience in the software industry, specifically in business transformations, globalization, applications development, implementation, and operations of both a high‐growth business and businesses at scale.
  • He joined the Band of Angels in the fall of 2012 and has been making investments in the bookends of the private equity financial chain (seed and pre-IPO) since then through the Band, AngelList, and through personal references.
  • VP-Enterprise Applications Development at Intuit, responsible for enabling the company’s transformation from a desktop software company to a cloud and mobile player.
  • Before Intuit, he spent a number of years at Oracle, where he led various initiatives that saw the transformation of solutions at Oracle from character-mode to client-server to web. He was one of the original leaders of Oracle’s transformation to an eBusiness, which resulted in the elimination of billions of dollars from its cost structure.
  • Prior to leaving Oracle, he led the CRM Cloud operations team for a high-growth product that competed with SalesForce.com and was specifically responsible for insourcing and building the company into a 24x7 global organization.