Many of us are lucky enough to have access to a range of brilliant local food and allotments. However, UK-wide over 45% of salad products are still wasted, and according to Tesco, 68% of bagged salad.
LettUs Grow is a new start-up launched by a mix of students and graduates from the University of Bristol seeking to reduce that 68% and grow affordable, fresh salad in as many homes as possible!
Their solution is to design products, using a blend of LED and soilless-growing techniques, inspired by NASA, that allows anyone to grow salad inside the home. The LettUs Grow vision is to have a salad garden in every kitchen, a chili plant in the living room. Housed in attractive but affordable LettUs Grow products, these will provide an interesting set piece for any room and provide families with the freshest food possible.
The innovative young team are taking this start-up to market by entering the Virgin Business “VOOM” competition to pitch to Richard Branson and have launched a crowdfunding campaign, selling pre-orders of their products.
On 3 May, the team flew past half way in their crowdfunding campaign and have raised 71% of their target £5,000 with 20 days remaining. They are also sitting in a great position in the start-up category of the competition, a massive public vote.
Co-founder and CTO Ben Crowther said:
“We are extremely excited to be doing so well this early on. The more support we can muster from our growing community will allows us to provide even greater functionality in our products. If we break the £5k mark there is scope to look at stretch goal allowing us to incorporate more advanced technology in our products, such as UVB lighting or humidity control. To achieve this we need people to vote for and share our competition entry as well as telling everyone about our crowdfunding campaign!”
Co-Founder and CEO Jack Farmer 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. We are currently 5th in the crowdfunder and 37th in the vote but need to keep climbing to pitch to Richard Branson. Please take a look at our pitch and support us!”
The first products include a kitchen-top “Herb Garden” with capacity for 4 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 you to grow plants anywhere in the home - and 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 on 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, but frustrated with their own impact! Their background is a good mix of biological and engineering degrees – perfect for bringing a salad garden into every home.
If you would also be interested in finding out more about LettUs Grow and helping out then they’d love to get you involved. Just email at: firstname.lastname@example.org