It starts with a spark...

With over 40 years experience in the lighting industry, Woody Smith recognized the potential applications of lighting and automation in agriculture.
Woody formed VERTAAG™ with the goal of significantly improving productivity and efficiency of growing environments while radically reducing the demand on our limited resources.  Woody assembled a team of entrepreneurs and innovators who shared the vision of transforming our world through sustainable agriculture.  What they created is a fully automated, completely customizable, systems-based global solution for the greater good.
In development since 2014, VERTAAG™ is an advanced automated vertical farming application which utilizes our experience in automation and multi-chromatic LED lighting to achieve unprecedented efficiencies in crop production in inner cities, adverse environments and anywhere high quality organic product is in demand.  Whether it’s growing more nutritious mushrooms, enhancing therapeutic benefits of cannabis, even creating faster growing, healthier tilapia, VERTAAG™’s potential is limitless.

To create the world’s most advanced agriculture growing system optimized to maximize yields and lower operating costs.


To empower sustainable agriculture anywhere in the world, so that all people have access to high quality nutrition.

We Believe

All people should have access to high quality, nutritious food.

We Believe

Our environment is worth protecting.

We Believe

Technology can create a better future.


We are dedicated to building the world’s most advanced growing systems. We strive for ingenuity as we adapt to changes in our industry and environment.  We aim for innovation not only in our solutions, but also in our approach to all aspects of our business.


We relentlessly pursue excellence by providing outstanding, solutions-oriented systems.  We deliver the highest quality product with superior support.  We embrace change and are committed to growth – both for ourselves and those we serve.  As such, our success is intrinsically tied to that of our clients.


We are passionate about doing good for the planet and humanity.  We care deeply about our clients and work collaboratively to build solutions that meet their needs. Our passion drives us to explore new possibilities, invent superior systems, and produce transformative outcomes.


Our community is what inspires us.  We cultivate community by fostering meaningful connections with our clients and partners.  We work collaboratively on a global scale to ensure the health and sustainability of humanity and ecology. We contribute our time, talents, and resources to our communities and our planet.

What do washing machines, tape recorders, Van Halen, Britney Spears, churches and vertical farming have in common? They're all part of our story-- which begins with our Founder, Woody Smith.


Woody’s first exposure to green houses was in college while studying engineering.  He built a greenhouse for an orchid grower where he used washing machine parts to automate things as much as possible, given the lack of PCs at the time.
Woody also worked at a hi-fi store during college repairing tape recorders, speakers and a bit of everything else.  That eventually evolved into designing state-of-the-art 24 track recording studios, from the equipment specification to the architectural design of the facilities.  From there, Woody began designing lighting and audio systems for small regional touring.
The lighting side was advancing technically faster than the audio, so Woody designed and built lighting fixtures with color mixing, digitally controlled with the DMX “standard” at the time. This attracted the attention of a leader in lighting, High End Systems, who hired him as Director of R&D.  Working with a team of engineers, Woody designed two automated lighting fixtures there that were used on major concert events for just about every big act touring in the US, including Britney Spears.
Woody worked for other automated lighting companies including Martin in Denmark, Hubbell in the US and Coemar in Italy.  Every one of these opportunities helped him develop his understanding of the technology and its potential applications.
In the early 90s, Woody dove headfirst into LED lighting, designing some of the earliest high power LED lighting fixtures for applications in arenas, churches, gyms, and theatres.
As technology advanced, the question arose of how it could be applied to address humanitarian issues of our times.  In 2014, after completing an arena installation in Chicago, Woody engaged in a conversation with the mayor about repurposing old downtown buildings into vertical farms to revitalize downtown areas and to provide inner city residents with fresh nutritional foods– prompting a broader conversation about how to take this technology further and do something really good with it.  This sparked the concept for VERTAAG™.




Nicholas Toms

Nicholas Toms is an accomplished executive with experience in operating both within the US and Internationally.  Nicholas has extensive M&A experience, initially with the law firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York City, and then as an M&A investment banking advisor and principal with Edwardstone & Company. Nicholas is a motivating leader with a background in mobile systems and healthcare staffing.

FW Pearce

FW Pearce is an experienced, versatile, and profit-driven financial executive with extensive background providing strategic and organizational leadership in dynamic, high-paced, and ever-changing markets.  Accomplished in multichannel product branding and distribution, P&L oversight, and sales management involving high-growth multi-unit retail, manufacturing, food and beverage, and CPG companies, FW has a proven record in company growth, profit upsurge, ROI improvements, and increased shareholder value.


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