Building robotic mushroom farms

Hedgehog builds robotic mushroom farms. Our robots eliminate labor and our AI optimizes grow conditions to increase yield. We’ll soon grow mushrooms and fungi for <1/3rd the cost of leading growers. Fungi may address our food system’s biggest problems: they transform agricultural waste into protein-rich foods with near-zero environmental impact. Hedgehog’s technology is unleashing fungi as our next major food source.

Jobs at Hedgehog

San Francisco, CA, US
Junior and above
Team Size:4
Location:San Francisco
Group Partner:Jared Friedman

Active Founders

Jamie Balsillie

Jamie is a co-founder of Hedgehog, building robotic mushroom farms. He previously founded Indigo Carbon, the largest agriculture carbon credit platform. He joined Indigo Agriculture pre-revenue and helped scale sales to >$250m as GM of two new business units. Before Indigo, he worked in software and food at McKinsey & Co. In June 2022, Jamie graduated from Stanford's MBA.

Jamie Balsillie
Jamie Balsillie

Wilson Ruotolo

Wilson Ruotolo is a co-founder of Hedgehog, where he designs robotics for mushroom production. He received his PhD from Stanford, studying the design of robotic hands. He collaborated with NASA on end-effectors for martian exploration and his prototypes have been used to retrieve artifacts off the Mediterranean seafloor. He has first author publications in multiple journals, including Science Robotics, and his work is featured in TechCrunch, Popular Science, and Spotify’s Soft Robotics podcast.

Wilson Ruotolo
Wilson Ruotolo

Company Launches

tl;dr Hedgehog builds robotic farms that grow mushrooms and fungi for 1/3rd the cost. Fungi produce protein-rich foods with near-zero environmental impact. Our tech is unleashing them as our next major food source.

Hey everyone! We’re Jamie & Wilson, co-founders of Hedgehog.

Opportunity: Fungi - our next major food source?

Fungi are unique crops. They transform agricultural waste (corn husks, wheat straw, etc.) into protein-rich, meaty-tasting food. And they do it without arable land, irrigation, or energy intensive lighting. With 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from food, this is an opportunity we must seize. Fungi are our chance to produce quality food at scale with near-zero environmental impact.

Problem: They’re labor intensive
Unfortunately, producing mushrooms and fungi is labor intensive, limiting their scale and affordability. For even the most sophisticated mushroom and fungi farms, labor is the vast majority of cost. They require delicate handling and careful monitoring – difficult jobs to automate.

Solution: Robots
Oh yeah. Robots. We’re building robotics and AI to automate each step of production. Autonomous dexterous manipulation harvests, breaks down, and packages the mushrooms. Computer vision and low-cost sensors power decisions like when to harvest. AI optimizes >60 dimensions to increase yield. Eliminating labor and increasing yield will reduce costs by 70%+.

**How you can help:**
We aim to unleash fungi as our next major food source, making these healthy, sustainable foods affordable for anyone. If you’re interested in helping out, we’d love to meet:

  • A+ talent in robotics and ML
  • Mushroom growers

Reach out at hello@hedgehogfoods.com

Jamie & Wilson