“We were encouraged at a young age to engage in intellectual conversations,” he says. “And my father always had a very strong fascination with the world and he’s passed that on to us.”
Caplow went on to Harvard, Princeton and Columbia where he studied first sociology, then mechanical and environmental engineering. A serial entrepreneur, he founded and ran both a theatrical company and a restaurant during his 20s. In 2004, he founded BrightFarms, a company that designs, finances, builds and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms at or near supermarkets in an effort to eliminate the cost from the food supply chain.
Two years later, he created the Science Barge, a hydroponic urban farm on the Hudson River that uses sunlight, biofuel and captured rainwater to grow vegetables in the heart of urban areas. It hosts thousands of school children each year. Caplow also invented the Vertical Integrated Greenhouse, a hydroponic growing system designed for building facades and large atriums.
More than three years ago, tired of the cold winters and enamored of the evolution he had witnessed during his visits to Miami, he moved his wife and eldest daughter here. Then true to form, he founded Fish Navy Films in Coconut Grove, a documentary film company that marries his love of storytelling with his passion for the environment.
He is enthusiastic about his new home, citing Miami’s “vitality and open-mindedness. As a newcomer, I can tell you that I find the city very hospitable, very welcoming and flexible. Mobile.”
Brosco, the UM pediatrician, believes that having the Caplow Children’s Prize based in Miami gives the area a certain cachet.
“It reflects Miami’s growing role in the global community,” Brosco said. “It suggests a maturing of Miami as a community of philanthropists.”