Fifth Season, a Pittsburgh-based vertical farming startup using robotics and AI to grow various types of produce indoors, has established The Highline in Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood as its official headquarters. As the company eyes Columbus, Ohio, for a second farming location, establishing an official headquarters became a necessity.
Fifth Season, which employs about 80 workers across the Braddock farm and the research and testing facility, doubled its corporate headcount over the past year and plans to have over 100 workers on its payroll by early 2023. According to Austin Webb, the company's co-founder and CEO, Fifth Season wants to be capable of producing $500 million in revenue annually within the next five years, and this new headquarters serves as a key element. Brac Webb, chief operating officer, and Austin Lawrence, chief technology officer, are the Carnegie Mellon University spinout company's other two co-founders.
"As we think about the next few years and the hyper-growth plans that we have, The Highline gives us the ability to really service that mission and have a place to be for us to be able to do that, and it's exciting because anytime you start moving and getting into Class A office space, it's always a great feeling and greases the skids because it's hard work," Webb said. "Everything that we're doing, it takes a lot of hours and takes a lot of effort and a lot of resilience, so being able to feel at home is always an important aspect of that."
Webb said the company signed a multi-year expansion plan with The Highline to take on additional space should the company, like its produce, need more room to grow. Fifth Season is expected to start with about 7,000 square feet of space at its new office with plenty of potential for expansion. "We are expanding into The Highline because that gets us to our next stage for our ability to go and hit our mission for all the folks that are here in Pittsburgh and in all the amazing jobs we have across all those disciplines," Webb said. "As we add in all these jobs, we need a place for us to collaborate and coordinate in order to change the future that we're talking about."
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