It has been a tumultuous but exciting 2016 for us here at LettUs Grow HQ.
We took what was simply an idea in 2015, through an early prototyping stage, to a company launch in Summer 2016. We ran our successful Crowdfunder campaign, gained national press coverage, and reached the top 80 of one of the UK’s largest national start-up competitions, VOOM 2016. Since then we’ve scoped out the feasibility of building larger installations for restaurants and offices, whilst steadily conducting product development through to the end of 2016. All to ensure that when launched our products will grow the tastiest, freshest salad and herbs on the market, with minimal environmental impact.
Recent global events have knocked back many within the environmental movement, which only reaffirms our need to succeed this year in delivering a more resource and energy efficient solution for the food system. However, this is also a new year, which has given us a good chance to sit back, assess our direction and set some resolutions for the oncoming year.
In no particular order:
· LettUs Grow product development is now our core focus; having conducted extensive experiments in Autumn 2016 to validate our knowledge of hydroponics & aeroponics, we are now confident in delivering a functional solution in Winter 2017. This year-long timeline is one of our resolutions – that you can’t rush hardware development. It’s got to function as expected and deliver a great service, otherwise why waste time!
· We are committed to delivering an in-depth “life-cycle analysis” to evaluate using LettUs Grow products in comparison to competitors. This will essentially involve examining all parts of our supply chain and quantifying our environmental impact (in waste, water, emissions, etc.). Whilst this is a significant undertaking, it is an invaluable piece of research that forms the base of our sustainable brand, and validates our decision to launch this start-up.
· We are now in a strong position to accelerate development and engage with funding bodies. This will allow us to broaden the full-time team and access programs of funding and expertise that will be invaluable in scaling LettUs Grow into the future.
· We are excited to continue our partnership with the University of Bristol, and build new ones within the local Bristol environmental movements and design communities. This broad range of expertise will help us launch beta prototypes, then market-ready products later this year.
· We are particularly excited to be working with a number of local schools and early-adopters to user-test products later in the year. Keep your eyes peeled for ways to get involved and make sure you're signed up to our newsletter for regular updates on our progress!