Where did our journey begin? It was actually in China. Max Loessl was still a child when his mother, who was a development aid worker in the country, took him to her work in the countryside on the weekends. Max saw a real contrast that he would never forget. The misery that people were suffering from malnutrition left him with a burning sense of injustice as he grew up and became an adult.
After completing his education in Germany, he decided he wanted to help Greenpeace in New Zealand, driven by a desire to make the world a slightly better place. He didn’t want to just go with the flow but wanted to actively shape the future. Every single day for 6 months, he talked to people about the vast challenges facing our planet and the climate crisis. The urge to do something to make the world a bit better continued to grow.
While Max was still in New Zealand, he read a book that really inspired him. He discovered a possible way to combine the two issues that really mattered to him – nutrition and environmental conservation: Vertical Farming. He decided to move to Den Bosch in the Netherlands - the only city in which you can study the subject. This was where he learned the basis of his concept today. He did not hang around for long because his urge to do something was too great.
His mind was full of ideas. Why is there no Vertical Farming for the home? The place where vegetables, leafy greens and herbs are actually consumed. Ultimately, it is transportation and the emissions associated with this that create huge harm to our planet. It did not take long for Max to exploit the full potential of his idea: Harvesting ingredients as required prevents food waste and also uses no pesticides or soil. You cannot get Greens as fresh and full of nutrients as this anywhere else. He realised that he needed to act now or it would be too late.
And so he picked up the phone and called his basketball teammate Philipp. They met in Max’s parents’ kitchen and this was where the journey really began. Why did he team up with Philipp? He is a trained mechatronics engineer, studied maths and industrial engineering, and he loves not only designing things but also turning them into reality. So within a very short time, there was not just a sketch of a first Plantcube on paper, but the pair were sitting together in Max’s parents’ garage building the first prototype.
Agrilution has been part of the Miele Family since December 2019. If you walk around the company in the west of Munich, you will find some 30 employees from all over the world who all have a real sparkle in their eyes.
The journey continues in the minds of Max and Philipp. The destruction of our natural habitat and soils by conventional farming in the last 200 years and the resulting consequences for biodiversity and our climate have been dramatic. By 2030, we need to stop the destruction of the soils so that we can put our planet back on the right path. Agrilution wants to be part of the solution by making food production more sustainable, decentralised and healthier for people and the planet.
Maximilian Loessl - CEO & Co-Founder
Max grew up as the son of a development aid worker in China and experienced at an early age the real contrast between the comfort of technology and abject poverty and malnutrition. He was instantly impressed by the idea of Vertical Farming and he came up with the vision of bringing the revolutionary concept to every home in the long term. He wanted to create a perfect ecosystem which will allow everyone to grow their own nutritious plants in the future. Agrilution was launched in Munich in 2013. With his co-founder Philipp Wagner, Loessl assembled a team of scientists, engineers and salespeople to develop a viable Personal Vertical Farming System. Today this team boasts more than 30 members.
In 2013, inspired by the potential that Vertical Farming offers, Max together with Philipp and other pioneers also founded the Association for Vertical Farming e.V. (AVF) - a global, non-profit organisation which aims to accelerate the expansion and implementation of Vertical Farming Technology in industry and research through synergies and public relations. He was Vice Chairman of the Board until the end of 2017 and has been a member of the Advisory Board since 2019.
Philipp Wagner - CTO & Co-Founder
In 2013 Philipp co-founded the non-profit “Association for Vertical Farming e.V.” where he held the role of Vice Chairman of the Board until the end of 2015.
At Agrilution Philipp is responsible for research, development and production of the whole Agrilution eco-system. Agrilution has been part of the Miele Group since December 2019. “Miele is a strong and reliable partner, and working together will be enormously beneficial for our business concept, in terms of both technology and marketing,” says the Agrilution founder with great delight. The business concept, the values and the shared visions of the future are the perfect fit.