Josh Lessing

StartLife Mentor


Josh is one of the world’s leading developers of robotic and AI systems for the food industry. He was the Founder and CEO of Root AI (acquired by AppHarvest), where he focused on the integration of advanced robotics, vision systems and machine perception to automate agriculture. Josh previously served as the Director of R&D at Soft Robotics Inc, was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Materials Science & Robotics at Harvard University, earned a Ph.D. studying Biophysics & Physical Chemistry at MIT and received his Sc.B. in Chemistry from Brown University.


Josh can coach early stage startups on finding the right product market fit and developing your go-to-market strategy. He has considerable experience in team building and raising capital.


His interests include AI, Synthetic Biology, & Robotics and their application in agriculture and food tech industry.

Personal quote

“I love it when a plan comes together.”
Col. John “Hannibal” Smith