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Babylon Micro-Farms

An intelligent indoor farming system that makes micro-farming simple and accessible


Date Established 03/2017
Founder Alexander Olesen, Graham Smith
Headquarters Richmond, VA
Food, Tech
Press Contact Sharon Rettinger


At the touch of a button, Babylon Micro-Farms delivers a simple, yet engaging indoor growing experience. Babylon helps senior living communities, hospitals, schools, and hospitality companies showcase their commitment to providing fresh, nutritious produce and sustainability to their residents, employees, and customers.

They have designed a complete on-site farming service that makes growing simple for anyone, thanks to their plug-and-play Micro-Farms and Guided Growing App. Babylon offers the most affordable, efficient, and advanced vertical farming platform available, remotely managed through the cloud with unparalleled customer service. Since their humble beginnings as a social entrepreneur student project, Babylon have attracted investors from Silicon Valley, been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support their research, patented a groundbreaking technology, and received recognition by Virginia's Governor Northam for their contribution as a technology innovator following their successful application for funding from the Center for Innovative Technology. 

Babylon have designed a software platform to reclaim the decentralized food system of the 21st Century - using modular vertical farms that enables anyone to grow local produce on-site, all year round, indoors. They launched their first products focusing on the health care and senior living markets where our vertical farms provide access to food-as-medicine quality food and a variety of therapeutic activities. 

Founding Story

Founders Alexander Olesen and Graham Smith met at the University of Virginia where they first designed a low-cost micro-farm to provide nutritious produce for food-insecure refugees in the Middle East. Alexander and Graham were initially inspired by the desire to bring the benefits of sustainable hydroponic farming to those who need it the most. They set out to develop technology that would automate the complex aspects of indoor farming and in doing so make this transformative method of crop production accessible to anyone. The Babylon team has expanded this desire to bring hydroponic farming to not only include those in food-insecure regions, but also those seeking sovereignty over their own food here at home. Babylon has leveraged its remote management technology to develop a complete indoor farming platform that will power a distributed network of Micro-Farms across North America. We are proud to have partners who share the same vision as we do, and we are working towards a healthier future for how food is grown together.


Alexander Olesen


see bio

Alexander Olesen, CEO, and Co-founder of Babylon has embraced and excelled at every opportunity he has encountered, from academic challenges to bootstrapping his second company, Babylon Micro-Farms, at the age of just 21 while still taking a full course load at the University of Virginia. Originally from England, Alexander relocated to attend the University and was actively involved in the Social Entrepreneur Program, a reflection of his values and determination to incubate a socially good company. The original research into the technology that became the basis for Babylon's success was based on research to provide low-cost food systems for refugees. He maintains the vision for the company and is an expert at managing people and bringing on partners and investors. 

Graham Smith


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Graham Smith is the CTO and Co-founder of Babylon, a graduate of the University of Virginia in Biomedical Engineering.  He and Alexander Olesen met during a Social Entrepreneur class at the University of Virginia and recognized their shared vision for advancing a systemic change in food systems, beginning with a test case around a tabletop hydroponic farm for use in refugee camps. Prior to co-founding Babylon as a student in 2017, he was the lead in developing machine learning algorithms to identify breast cancer biomarkers from mass spectrometry data and invented two separate medical devices that were submitted for clinical testing. Graham’s broad skill set and experience is ideal for bringing together hardware and software in a research setting. Graham leads Babylon's R & D team of engineers and has developed the machine learning algorithms and design the physical systems necessary for the Micro-Farm platform. 


"We've gotten a huge response about the flavor of the lettuce. There's a huge difference - it has such a fresh taste. Once people see me harvesting, they go out and wait for us to serve it. It'll be gone within the hour - people seek it out specifically and keep an eye on it when it's going to be harvested."

Tim Schoonmaker

"Our Micro-Farm shows our creativity and showcases our commitment to sustainability. We have a one-up on our competitors."

John Cario

Consumption of leafy greens has gone up 35% since our Micro-Farm was installed. Our resident population will be changing, and it is changing today. And what works today may not work tomorrow, so you have to continually look at different opportunities.

Bob Raymond