Episode 85

Hiroki Koga ·  Building the World’s Largest Indoor Vertical Strawberry Farm

The U.S. agriculture industry is constantly evolving as technological innovations continue to change the way we cultivate food, and shift consumers’ attitudes on the importance of eating fresh, clean and locally grown produce. Recently, indoor vertical farming has further proven its potential to support communities with hyper-locally grown produce while being rich in nutrients and taste.


The first thing Hiroki Koga noticed when he moved to the United States from Japan – where fruit such as strawberries are a delicacy – is that produce in the U.S. is less flavorful than what he was accustomed to growing up in Japan since the U.S. agriculture industry prioritizes yield and shelf life over taste and nutrition.


Since then, Hiroki has made it his mission to grow the finest Japanese strawberries in the U.S. for the consumer market and founded Oishii – the company behind the world’s largest indoor vertical strawberry farm and the Omakase Berry – in 2016 while he was pursuing his MBA at the University of California, Berkeley.


With Hiroki’s leadership and integration of ancient Japanese farming techniques, Oishii is the only player in the industry to produce pollinated fruit – considered the most sophisticated crops to grow indoors because of long cultivation cycles – at a commercial scale using AI and machine learning technologies   as well as zero pesticides to cultivate perfectly ripe, delicious strawberries year-round for consumers.


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