Founders: Arthur Georges and Isaac Conrad McNamara
Did you know that your food loses 30% of its taste just 24 hours after it’s harvested? And if that’s just in the first 24 hours, imagine what it’s like getting your tomatoes all the way from Morocco! Quality, taste and accessibility of food is a concern for 73% of the British population, and HydroGrow was born to tackle this issue. This is due to the UK importing 45% of its vegetables and 84% of its fruits from overseas, making locally grown produce less accessible. 67% of respondents shed light on their dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency in the food industry, whereby information on what chemicals were used for plant growth is concealed. Some barriers our respondents acknowledged included plants requiring too much effort (59%), care (52%) and space (46%).
HydroGrow brings sustainable smart gardens into the kitchen, allowing you to efficiently grow tasty and organic plants, all year long. With our low cost, low waste and entirely autonomous smart gardens, plants require 90% less water than traditional agriculture. They also grow 40% faster and twice bigger without the use of fertilizers nor pesticides. The Halo’s smart chip makes it 100% autonomous, requiring no effort on your side: just plug it in, flip the switch and wait to enjoy your fresh plants. And guess what? It’s made from 100% recycled plastic.
HydroGrow started through Enactus, a global NGO which works to facilitate the UN Sustainable Development Goals through creating entrepreneurial products and services whilst helping local and international communities. We saw the opportunity to make HydroGrow not only a social enterprise but a viable startup.
Dedicated to tackling the problem at its root, HydroGrow was born to provide accessibility to fresher and more nutritious herbs, fruits and vegetables in areas where growing is not as easy, whilst tackling the environmental issues which arise from traditional agriculture.
Our research highlighted that agriculture is the second-largest polluting sector, releasing more than 6.457 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere yearly. Furthermore, it is the most water-consuming industry worldwide, and 91% of the water used is lost to the ground, thereby destroying ecosystems with toxic chemicals used for plant growth.
We are 9 entrepreneurial-minded individuals with a common objective of making the world a better place. All students at King’s College London, we come from 8 different countries and have various academic specialities, including Electronic Engineering, Business Management, Psychology, Digital and Environmental Science.
Taking part in the Tata Varsity Pitch 2021 has been an amazing experience so far. The advice and guidance enabled us to efficiently review our business model and value propositions, allowing us to increase our impact and improve our vision. We would definitely recommend the experience to any aspiring entrepreneur!
"Deal with a problem that needs to be fixed - whilst a solution may be great, is it really needed now?"