Enamored with all things northwest, Chris has always been an avid gardener. This passion led to his start-up, UrbanHarvest, an urban farming business here in Seattle. But he went into graduate school wanting to learn about real estate development and thought he could leave a lasting and positive impact by working to create places where people wanted to live, work, and play. This is what brought him to Runstad and the MSRE program at UW. He also wanted variety in his coursework and an MBA made sense because it offers unparalleled flexibility to be applied towards any career field. So, in that vein, he did both!
With UrbanHarvest, the concept is to use controlled environment agriculture technology to grow fresh produce right here in the city, where consumers live and work, instead of 1500 miles away. Chris has been working on this business for about two years and, although it proves challenging, remains dedicated to making it a reality.
“Entrepreneurship is about overcoming challenges,” he says. “This business, in particular, has many challenges; probably more than most due to the high capital requirements for infrastructure and the need to partner with multiple different stakeholders. But that will make eventual success even sweeter.”
UrbanHarvest measures its impact using the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. So, in addition to being a financially sustainable business, it must also yield positive benefits for its employees, consumers and the environment. Creating a hyperlocal food system will significantly reduce carbon emissions, water and land usage, and water pollution. It will create new, local, non-outsourceable green collar jobs. Consumer spending will stay within the local economy. Consumers will buy produce that is free of any harmful chemicals and tastes better than anything they can currently purchase in the store, all at a reasonable price.
Chris believes real estate is tangible, enduring, and shapes the fabric of the city. He wanted to be part of building that city. He chose Runstad because of all the opportunities it provides to do just that- a beautiful location, interdisciplinary studies, and the strong ties between Runstad, the Advisory Board and the broader real estate community.
- U.S. Naval Academy: BS, Mechanical Engineering
- Foster School of Business, University of Washington: MBA
- Runstad Center, University of Washington: MSRE
- US Navy: Officer
- UrbanHarvest: Founder
Three Favorite Things About the Pacific Northwest
Our beautiful natural setting, the vibrancy of Seattle, quality people.