80 Acres CEO still uses skills learned playing professional chess


Hamilton-based 80 Acres Farms made some historic headlines this August. The vertical farming startup landed the region’s largest ever capital raise — a $160 million Series B that would position it for further growth.

But looking back, Mike Zelkind, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said 80 Acres wasn’t always such a smashing success.

“When we started our first farm on Este (Avenue in Spring Grove), you would have thought we hated plants, because we were so good at killing them,” Zelkind said. “That was the joke internally. It took us a long time to get where we are.”

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Story excerpt provided by Cincinnati Business Courier.

Written by Liz Engel.

Originally published November 24, 2021.

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