Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Bryce Nagels, founder of NutriTower, a vertical hydroponic system that makes indoor gardening easy and accessible. We caught up with him to find out what inspires him and what advice he would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I spend my days dreaming up the future of how we’re going to feed the planet in a more sustainable way. NutriTower is a good first step.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
It’s actually my mom. She had a huge garden in our backyard when I was a kid. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time. But seeing her harvest fresh food in the summer and can foods in the fall really laid the groundwork for who I am today.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
The day our first NutriTower shipped. Watching everything go from an idea to a real product really opened my eyes to what I’m capable of doing with my life.
4. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
Five years from now, I’d like to be advising our public school system on food education and helping to shape our curriculum nationwide. In 10 years, I hope NutriTower will have become an international powerhouse that’s helping millions of people grow healthy food right at home. Long term, I plan to return to my roots – working with kids to help them reach their full potential.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
“Dream something and make it real” to quote a Wild Beasts song I’m really into at the moment. I just kept telling myself that I deserve to see my dreams come true. Slowly, the right people showed up to help me learn and support my vision. It’s never been easy, but I learned to trust that what we do has value and the world wants to see it exist.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution foundation. It falls directly in line with my own quest to educate children on the impact of food on your life.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Overcoming self-doubt. It’s been hard as an entrepreneur. Noone’s around to tell you what to do, and I’ve had to learn to trust my gut. Truly believing that I can be successful has been key for me. When all else fails – good old hard work and patience always pays off. No one else will create your dreams for you.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
To be recognized by my peers for my accomplishments. I don’t believe in recognition without hard work and vision, so to be selected for this profile is very special to me and a testament that I’m on the right track!
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
As a Montrealer, that’s a seriously tough question. On casual nights, the NextDoor Pub and Grill is my go to. It’s almost a second home and the owners and staff are like family to me. When I want to fancy things up, Sel Gras and Joe Beef are always high on my list.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
urbanagnews.com is a pretty frequent destination for me. It helps me keep track of what’s going on in the industry. As for music, anything from the Walkmen, or lately I’m on a ‘Drake radio’ on Spotify kick.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Elon Musk. Hands down. For the sheer volume of game-changing ideas that he has been able to make real. And for his ability to remind us that greatness is achievable to those that want it bad enough.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
So far, a mountaineering adventure in Argentina has been my crowning travel memory. The views from the top of Aconcagua were unbelievable. Bali and Nicaragua are likely up next. They’re mythical for rock climbing and surfing – two sports I’m really big on.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Not being available for my friends when work takes over is the hardest thing for me. I missed an important birthday recently, and all the “where are you” text messages really got me in the feels.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
The new Justin Bieber album. I used to pride myself on not even recognizing any of his music until someone caught me signing along to the song “Sorry” without me even knowing it was his.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I’ve never had an issue spending money on quality things. But I probably spend too much on food. I love sharing my success with my loved ones, and food’s a great way to do that.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is about feeling that the things I’ve done were worth my time. Whenever I’ve felt unsuccessful, it’s had nothing to do with money or status, and everything to do with feeling separated from purpose.