Lorenzo Hernandez ’12 returned to the PD campus earlier this year and visited Jack Hudson’s AP Environmental Science class to talk about their final project for the semester - a business plan for an urban farm in the Charlotte area.
The students asked questions about how hydroponic operations work, fundamental economic principles of a business, how to choose locations, how to select products to grow, and how to market their products.
Hernandez applied his knowledge to answering their questions based on his experience in starting his own company, agroco. Agroco creates “economic opportunities, while sustainably increasing global food production.”
After attending Appalachian State University, double majoring in international studies and business, and minoring in supply chain management, Hernandez traveled to Germany and Asia, learning as he went. He eventually took a position with Lidl, a German international discount retailer where he “really learned the food industry.”
He then received his master’s degree at Northwestern University “in engineering with a focus on corporate sustainability and energy.” While at Northwestern, Hernandez competed in VentureCat, a competition for start-ups. Winning this led to the first investment of money into agroco.
Hernandez now works with his brother, Nicolas Felipe Hernandez ’09, and alums Yates Downing '12 and Malika Rawal ’20.
“It just shows how amazing the PD community is…it’s cool how it all came together because we all went to PD,” said Downing.
And even cooler that Lorenzo came back to share his experiences with current students.