Founder & CEO BE Food AG & TopFarmers GmbH
Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann is founder and CEO of the StadtFarm group of companies. They aim at making sustainable food available in cities by producing fish and vegetables in urban areas in closed loop systems, applying leading-edge robotics and sensor-driven automation. The concept of smart urban farming has been proven to work in the first commercial StadtFarm located in Berlin; a second farm is opening this year, with Munich and Hamburg set to follow shortly.
The core part of the circular system of Stadtfarm is fish that is bred in aquaculture. The water from the fish tanks is used to supply vegetables with water and nutrients. In intermediate steps the water is filtered and the excrements of the fish are converted into fertilizer by bacteria. When the water has passed the soil basins with the plants, it is clean enough to be returned to the fish tanks to close the loop, making this the only aquaculture without wastewater in the world. Low water usage, effective nutrient cycling, and needing little land to operate makes this system very interesting in particular to feed people in big cities saving long transports. StadtFarm is working on transferring the concept to other cities in Germany and later on all over the world.
As a serial entrepreneur, Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann is also co-founder of the initiative “Villages on the Move” of ZERAP Germany e.V. ZERAP is an association focusing on environmental education in the field of zero emissions research and projects and supporting village inhabitants to take the development of their villages into their own hands. In addition to all this, she lectures on the subject of entrepreneurship and general management at several universities. She works and publishes mainly on social business and corporate social responsibility and is writing her doctoral thesis.
Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann studied Business Administration in the European Business Programme of the University of Applied Sciences at Münster, Germany and the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom. Her background has also included several years spent in Brazil and Canada, working with the Rainforest Program of the World Bank, as a management consultant and as a board member for several companies.