Urban gardening start-up ‘vooms’ ahead in Virgin competition
Press release issued: 9 May 2016
A group of students and graduates from the University of Bristol are trying to revolutionise how people consume salad - and their idea could soon be pitched to none other than Richard Branson.
The team behind LettUs Grow, a new start-up which allows anyone to grow salad at home, are currently competing in VOOM 2016 for the opportunity to pitch to the Virgin boss and win a share of £1 million in prizes.
The team came up with the idea for their unique products, which use a blend of LED and soilless-growing techniques which were inspired by NASA, after learning that 45 per cent of salad products are wasted.
LettUs Grow’s vision is to have a salad garden in every kitchen. They've designed the products to be attractive and affordable, providing families with the freshest food possible.
As part of VOOM 2016, LettUs Grow has launched a crowdfunding campaign to sell pre-orders of their products. They've raised 71 per cent of their £5,000 target with 20 days remaining and are doing well in the start-up category, which relies on public votes.
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Ben Crowther, who's in his fifth year studying Engineering Design, said: "We are extremely excited to be doing so well this early on. The more support we can muster from our growing community will allow us to provide even greater functionality in our products.
"If we break the £5,000 mark there is scope to look at stretching our goal, allowing us to incorporate more advanced technology in our products, such as UVB lighting or humidity control."
Co-Founder and CEO Jack Farmer, who graduated last year, said: "The team are all passionate about making sustainable, fresh food accessible to everyone. To really launch LettUs Grow properly we must complete this crowdfunding campaign and build as big a support base as possible."
The first products include a kitchen-top herb garden with capacity for four basil-sized plants, and a larger salad bar that can grow up-to 16 salad plants at any one time.
Energy efficient LED lighting allows people to grow plants anywhere in their homes, not just on a crowded windowsill.
Both products are focused on making growing food as simple as possible. Via a web application, named the E-cosystem, you get reminders about when to water your plants and can automate all of the lighting.
The team are all young entrepreneurs from the University of Bristol who are passionate about sustainability. Between them, there’s expertise is both biology and engineering.
If you would also be interested in finding out more about LettUs Grow and helping out, please contact Jack Farmer on firstname.lastname@example.org.