EP #08 – Roman Gaus (Founder & CEO, Urbanfarmers) – Swisspreneur



Interview Timestamps

  • 0:53 – Introduction of the Farm and Aquaponics Technology
  • 2:52 – His education at HSG and Babson College
  • 3:38 – His family background
  • 4:40 – Why he started out at Procter & Gamble
  • 7:32 – How he realized corporate wasn’t for him
  • 8:18 – His time at Franke
  • 16:40 – How the idea for UrbanFarmers developed
  • 18:36 – How he found his co-founder
  • 21:05 – The vision of UrbanFarmers
  • 22:42 – The business model of UrbanFarmers
  • 25:17 – UrbanFarmers’ distribution channels
  • 28:32 – His hiring strategy
  • 31:02 – Employee compensation/ share plans
  • 32:57 – How he handled divergent expectations within the business
  • 34:03 – How funding of social impact start-ups is different
  • 35:32 – Where to find social impact investors
  • 37:53 – How he keeps up his motivation
  • 38:30 – The problem of succession
  • 40:01 – Why his co-founder left
  • 42:39 – Problems his co-founder’s exit created and what he’d do differently
  • 45:14 – What he learned about setting and changing targets
  • 47:22 – How the entrepreneurial reality differs from what many people expect
  • 49:17 – His work-life balance
  • 55:30 – Lifehacks for young entrepreneurs
  • 56:48 – How to get in touch with Roman

Related Links


Roman is best known as the Founder and CEO of UrbanFarmers, a company dedicated to building commercial food production systems in and around cities. Together with Andreas Graber, he has developed UrbanFarmers’ vision how food could be grown in an urban space at a large scale. He noticed the trend abroad and learned about a breakthrough Swiss technology that could make it more reliable and sustainable. Since 2011, UrbanFarmers has become a technology leader in Aquaponics, saving water, energy and nutrients to grow fish and plants in a closed-loop.
Roman graduated from University of St. Gallen with an M.A. in Accounting, Finance and Controlling. Before starting UrbanFarms, he has a worked with various large companies in the food and health sector, such as P&GNovartis and Franke Group.

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