20 Under 40: New leaders, classic values

Daegan A. Gonyer, 25
Blue Sphere Industries Ltd.

Hometown: Groveton, N.H., presently lives in Potsdam
Professional position: CEO, Blue Sphere Industries Ltd. and Illusion All Terrain Concepts
Family: Parents, James and Roxann Gonyer; sister, Mandy Valdez; fiancée, Rachel Redden
Education: Bachelor’s in physics and material science, Clarkson University, Potsdam. Presently studying for a master’s degree in engineering science, an MBA and a Ph.D. in electrochemical physics, all at Clarkson University.
Community involvement: Oversees the technical aspects of the Clarkson University greenhouse and mentors aspiring entrepreneurs through the Shipley Center for Innovation.
Last book read: “Most of the books that I read are textbooks these days.”

While growing up on a farm in his small New Hampshire hometown, Daegan A. Gonyer had a thought that would eventually shape his career, leading him and his ideas
to Clarkson University.

“There’s got to be a better way to grow plants.”

Mr. Gonyer is the founder and CEO of Blue Sphere Industries Ltd., a company that designs aeroponic farming equipment.

Aeroponics allows plants to be grown without soil and with very little water.

Blue Sphere’s aeroponic systems are based on an experimental NASA prototype that was designed in the 1980’s. Mr. Gonyer and his team were able to work out the kinks and turn it into something that could be sold.

“We’ve managed to overcome almost every technical issue,” Mr. Gonyer said.

The end result was a system that reduced water and nutrient consumption, while growing plants 20 percent more quickly than traditional farming, regardless of season.

“We can grow plants anywhere, continuously,” Mr. Gonyer said. “We can grow almost anything.”

- Jacob Tierney
[Editor’s note: This is a truncated version of this story. For the full version, please see NNY Business in print or subscribe.]

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