Hailed as a solution to ever growing global demographics and food demand, vertical farming is gaining increasing interest by governments, companies, and investors. The technology promises to transform high-density metropolitan areas in sustainable and clean producing vegetable farming zones. Yet, despite the increasing number of solutions out there, vertical farming still requires large economic resources and intensive human labor.
That’s where our startup Wallfarm enters the game with LIA, an innovative control unit and software solution, that makes it affordable and easy to maintain vertical farming on any large scale implementation.
We met with Ares Ferrigni, CEO of Wallfarm, to learn more about their startup and journey.
G: “When did you start working at the idea?”
A: “It was almost 4 months ago, September 2016. We were developing a compound hydroponic product for Barilla when we realized that all the value was actually in the box that we created to automate it. So we just said: “why don’t we just sell this automation box to all the companies that want to do hydroponic stuff instead of competing with them?”. And…puff! We called that box LIA (Lean Intelligent Agriculture) and since that moment our number of endorsements had a huge boost.”
G: ”What is the problem Wallfarm is solving and how?”
Indoor Gardening companies have a particular care to get their devices automated and connected. This means that besides all the improvements in growth optimization, structures, logistics etc., they also have to build their own automation systems or outsource it to an electronic company that builds a custom made one. Of course, both of these solutions cost thousands of euros. On the opposite, our system is easily applicable on any kind of vertical farming system for a very small amount of money and makes your plants grow by themselves.
So, would you prefer to give us €100 and let the box do its job or you prefer to spend thousands of euros and lose a lot of time?
G: “What’s the biggest challenge Wallfarm faced so far?”
A: “Getting clear results from experimentations. Despite hydroponics optimizes plants growth to the maximum, it takes a long time to have the final result of any single modification you make on the system. Luckily we’ve been experimenting for more than one year and now we moved to the next step.”
G: “How do you expect to arrive at the Demo Day?”
A: “We aim to have the product ready for the industrialization and close two pre-sales agreements with big customers for at least 10k units in total.”
G: “What’s your main goal for 2017?”
A: “After the demo day, we aim to raise €1,5M seed investment to finalize everything related to patents and certifications and start producing those 10k units.”
An amazing team with a very clear mission: make the vertical farming easy and affordable on any large scale implementation.
Interested in our Demo Day? Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an invitation
Read also our previous FoodTech Startup Of The Week: