Kale growing in Sustenir's Singapore-based vertical farm facility.

How a Facebook post drove a banker to launch a multimillion-dollar vertical farming business


Next time you feel guilty about idling away your commute on social media, remember that inspiration can come from all sources.

That was certainly the case for Benjamin Swan, whose subway scrolling sparked an idea that led him to quit his corporate job and embark on a multimillion-dollar business venture.

"It all started with an article on Facebook," Swan told CNBC's Christine Tan in a recent episode of "Managing Asia."

Benjamin Swan, co-founder and CEO of Sustenir

"I was on my way home from work and I read an article by (microbiology professor and author) Dickson Despommier on the future of farming and vertical farming very specifically," said Swan, referring to the practice of growing crops in stacked layers, rather than horizontal fields.

"I was looking at a lot of the illustrations and thought to myself ... (this) just wouldn't work for Asia.