Dr. David Meszaros established SMARTKAS in 2020 to provide Food Security As A Service. The Dutch-based agtech disruptor utilizes artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, renewable energy and water neutral systems together with high precision farming technologies and a climate neutral smart farming process.
One month after establishing SMARTKAS, the agtech was awarded first prize in each of the three categories it entered – ‘Best Innovative Startup', 'Best Agriculture' and 'Best SME' – at the Startup Olé Innovation Against The Virus, organized by the Spanish government. In 2021, Dr. Meszaros ranked in the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list and the following year attended its coveted annual Residency Program in Bermuda.
Driven by a desire to feed the world, it is Dr. Meszaros’ goal for SMARTKAS to be present in all countries around the world; become a dominating power of plant artificial intelligence & data; and establish fully automated, community farms managed by local farmers in impoverished countries who are able to sell their proceeds independently.
Prior to establishing SMARTKAS, Dr. Meszaros led the successful completion of 43 projects with the European Union, providing solutions for renewable energy, smart cities, blockchain, drones, robotics and AI.
Wim Roosens brings with him more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry as Chief Operating Officer at SMARTKAS. Wim joined SMARTKAS in 2021 to utilize his knowledge and network to structure and provide funding for its growth. With a focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, he established SMARTKAS as a ‘zebra’, a startup that approaches issues from a social impact lens that’s focused on generating revenue.
In March 2021, SMARTKAS issued a €25m green bond on The Frankfurt Stock Exchange to raise finance for its European projects, which are now under construction. The structured product allows the team to explore financing options with institutional investors without fear of diluting equity. Such a structure enables the SMARTKAS projects to be financed through special purpose vehicles, each with their own balance sheet, allowing them to be independently run and operated.
Prior to joining SMARTKAS, Roosens owned and operated his own financial services company providing structured investment solutions to the Benelux and offshore market. Through his excellent service and communications skills he has built strong relationships with Wealth Managers and Family Offices around the world.
Throughout his career, Roosens has worked on both the operations and sales sides, providing him with a holistic understanding of the asset management industry. He has worked in the communications and marketing industry, and held several positions in the Life Insurance, Wealth and Asset Management sectors.
Roosens holds a BA in Business Communication from Thomas More University of Applied Sciences in Belgium. He speaks French, Dutch and English fluently.
Tess Danis brings more than a decade of experience in international communications and marketing with European Union projects to her role as Chief Marketing Officer at SMARTKAS.
Tess established and leads the SMARTKAS marketing team. Just one month after its official launch, the Dutch agtech was awarded first prize in each of the three categories it entered – ‘Best Innovative Startup', 'Best Agriculture' and 'Best SME' – at the Startup Olé Innovation Against The Virus, organized by the Spanish government.
A multilingual and passionate communicator, Tess is an advocate and educator around topics related to sustainability. She is member of the Municipality of Amsterdam’s Urban Farming Trade & Innovation delegation, which focuses on innovative solutions to urban and societal challenges. As part of her responsibilities, Tess regularly takes part in trade and innovation missions in and around Europe.
As a marketing and business consultant for various public and private projects, Tess participated in sustainable and smart city projects all over Europe, Africa and the Middle-East, assisting Fortune 500 companies, governments, as well as international organizations. The focus of these projects was always green and renewable resources, sustainable development, emerging technologies and how innovative solutions can create a better tomorrow. Tess is a drone, artificial intelligence and blockchain enthusiast.
As Founder of her own agency, Potharst Consultancy, Tess provided content creation, communications and translation services for European e-commerce, finance and tech companies looking to expand to international markets.
Tess holds a Degree in International Communications with a focus on doing business in and with China, from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen and the Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg. She speaks 3 languages fluently; Dutch, German, and English.
As Chief Commercial Officer, Mark Kirby is responsible for the design, planning and execution of SMARTKAS smart farms in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Mark joined SMARTKAS in 2021, overseeing the development and execution of the UK’s largest and highest yielding vertical farm in Harlow, Essex. The strawberry smart farm is built over 12 layers with 300,000 sq. ft of growing space. Mark oversaw and managed the partnership agreement between SMARTKAS and a leading soft fruit specialist to off take all strawberry produce for distribution to the UK’s biggest supermarkets. The agreement marked a key moment in the UK’s food supply chain amid rising consumer demand for locally grown and pesticide-free produce.
Mark has extensive experience supporting startups to grow internationally, taking strategic positions in several businesses to generate growth. He was a Strategic Advisor at Varius Online eXchange (VoX), an industry-specific payment solution, which stems many of the pain points within the betting and gaming sector, and CEO Coincierge, a London-based SaaS company, providing solutions to manage and automate the lifecycle of digital assets.
As Managing Director of Consulere he oversaw real estate development and investment; private equity investments in emerging technologies; and FX Deliverables, broking services on all the G7, local domestic and emerging market currencies.