Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tesla's Former Battery Director Joins Farming Startup—UPDATED

Update below.
Original post:

We've been hanging out at the intersection of batteries and farming for ages, wondering "Where is everybody?"

From Bloomberg:
  • Kurt Kelty joins as an executive of operations and development
  • He is focused on expanding Plenty’s indoor vertical farms
Tesla Inc.’s former director of battery technology has joined Plenty Inc. to lead the vertical farming startup’s plan to build indoor growing rooms around the world.

Kurt Kelty, who joined Tesla in 2006 and left earlier this year, was one of the longest-serving executives at the carmaker led by Elon Musk. He joins SoftBank Group Corp.-backed Plenty as the senior vice president of operations and market development. Kelty had previously spent more than 14 years at Panasonic Corp.

"At Tesla I was employee number fifty or sixty,” Kelty said in an interview. “It’s a very different company from when I joined. I wanted to figure out where I would contribute to the next big wave. I see my next 10-year-run as growing Plenty."

Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank led a $200 million investment in Plenty in July....MORE
Be right back with an added twist to the story.

As promised:
Update, "The Other Musk: Overthrow Big Agriculture?"