Monday, December 10, 2012

Chief Operating Officer

Kijani Grows

Kijani Grows is an early-stage food systems company based in Oakland, California that produces and installs Smart Aquaponics gardens for schools, homes and corporate settings. Our Smart Aquaponics use a variety of sensors and actuators to allow for remote monitoring and service - an automated garden!
Aquaponics emulates natural cycles by combining traditional fish farming with hydroponic agriculture.

Aquaponics is superior to traditional farming because:

  • It uses only 2%-10% of the water used in traditional farming
  • Removes the need for soil or expensive fertilizers
  • Enables 10x the produce yields of traditional farming
  • No weeds or soil-based pests
  • Provides a steady source of produce and fish

Kijani Grows has developed software that collects data from sensors and microprocessors installed within the aquaponics system. The software sifts and analyzes through farm data in real-time and beams the synopsis to the Kijani Grows website where automated processes maintain the gardens. We're also able to post all data in real-time to Twitter and Facebook. Check out a sample on Kijani Grows’ website:
We've recently launched our social venture program, One School One Garden, and we need help to expand it! The overarching idea of this program is to use Smart Aquaponics to increase food security and enhance educational opportunities worldwide. American schools that buy in to the program will receive a Smart Aquaponics Garden and 10-module school curriculum that spans topics from biology to malnutrition. Part of the school's fees will then go to support a matching garden in a developing country.
Our pilot program is between Castlemont High School in Oakland, CA and El Infinito in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. More information about our pilot can be found on our site:
Job Description:
As a new position, the COO role will consolidate some management, organizational development and business support oversight responsibilities at Kijani Grows that are currently split by an engineer and marketing person. Essentially, this is an opportunity to help define the role of COO at Kijani Grows and institute a long-term strategic plan and more formalized business processes to prepare the company for the next stages of growth. We've already created a working prototype that sells and now we're looking to prioritize our R&D, program initiatives and marketing to bring Smart Aquaponics to the mass market. Your focus will be managing the development and productization of our automated technology, creating sales channels for our technology and driving the growth of our One School One Garden program. We are based out of Oakland, but this position will be based remotely with weekly Skype meetings.
  • Coordinate the ongoing development and execution of organizational strategic objectives and goals including budget development, sales goals, manufacturing needs
  • Design individual and department goals in order to achieve overall organizational objectives
  • Perform ongoing financial and market analysis to maintain focus on optimal sales growth strategies
  • A minimum of 10 years of business experience with at least 5 years in roles of successful leadership experience in managing people and processes
  • Track record of effectively scaling a performance- and outcomes-based organization
  • Graduate-level training in management, public administration, business, law, organizational development or other related field preferred
  • Interest in urban agriculture or food security issues
What you'll get:
Working with us will give you an awesome opportunity to work on bringing food systems back from the brink of extinction. Because we ourselves aren't paid, we unfortunately can't offer you a salary. But we're happy to provide any letters of reference or anything else that can assist you. Not to mention you can take part of a project utilizing new technology to tackle an age-old problem.
Please send resume and cover letter to Mike Mitchell at

  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners


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