Scaling and Leading a Business with Purpose – Story Of Software S03E24

Allan Noer, CTO at Agreena, talks about scaling Agreene in a short amount of time and the lessons learned in growing sustainably.


The Guest – Allan Noer, CTO at Agreena

Allan Noer, is the CTO at Agreena,  a Copenhagen-based company providing a platform that supports farmers in their transition to regenerative agriculture by issuing third-party verified carbon certificates. Allan is a technology leader with wide knowledge and expertise in innovation, scalability, fintech, development processes, and developer experience.


The Intersection of Technology, Business, and Purpose

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, the intersection of technology and purpose has become a pivotal point of discussion for companies who are ambitious about scaling fast. This convergence not only shapes how companies operate, but also influences their impact on society and the planet. In fact, a clear sense of purpose not only attracts talent and helps companies in scaling faster, but it also serves as the guiding force in decision-making, particularly in the tech sector where rapid advancements often outpace ethical considerations.

Some of the highlights in this episode include:

  • How to foster a culture of innovation to drive progress and continue scaling in the tech industry
  • The need for tech companies to prioritise societal impact and responsibility alongside financial success
  • The development and adoption of sustainable technologies to address environmental challenges
  • Use of technology as a tool for promoting equality and empowerment



Q: Can you talk about how you’ve managed the scaling of the company, especially in terms of hiring the right people and maintaining the company culture? What challenges have you encountered? 

I got to see our company in different stages. When I joined, it was in the startup phase. There were very few people, a lot of generalists who could serve many purposes in the company and could jump on things when they happened, and we tried to keep the number of people needed to get the job done as low as possible.

For the past year, we have been in a scale-up phase where we’re starting to grow quite significantly. Currently, I think we’re hiring 10 new people a month. So essentially, more than half of the company has been with us for less than a year now, and that is where you move away from generalists and start onboarding more experts with deep knowledge in each of the fields.

[…] In the first year, one of my big tasks was doing interviews, and actually, most of the interviews I did were not really about the technologies or methodologies we used… It was more about the purpose. What are we doing as a company? What are we solving? Of course, people want more money in their bank account, I think that’s a need for living, obviously, but people also have a big focus on having a greater meaning to their work, leaving the planet a little better than they found it. That has actually changed the way recruitment works for us a lot.

When people ask me whether it’s hard to find engineers for our setup, I usually say it’s not. Well, it’s hard to get to talk to them because they are bombarded with recruiters, but once we talk to them and we tell them what we do, it’s actually not too hard to convince them that it’s a very good idea to join our company.

Obviously, we also have a lot of exciting technologies and work on cool projects and so on, but it’s the purpose that is really the glue of the company. Of course, you always have day-to-day problems, but once you are on the same mission, these become small problems you just solve along the way.



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