Philip D Bennett and Daniel Thrasher recently visited our neighbors to the north when they spent a weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia to see the Spring incubator in action. Many startups coexist in the Spring incubators work space, and graduates of the incubator go on varied and interesting paths. One such veteran is Valerie Song, the co-founder and CEO of AVA Technologies.
Now, Philip D Bennett knows a lot about growing things – businesses, funding, incubators – but when it comes to growing plants, you’d be hard pressed to find someone more knowledgeable than Valerie Song. She knows so much about growing plants, she can even grow plants indoors.
AVA Technologies has developed a device that allows you to grow all manner of vegetables in your apartment, and the technology is going on sale this month. If you want to see it now, check out the startup’s Indiegogo campaign. It has all the details about how you can get the of your very own.
What is AVA Technologies?
AVA Technologies is a company founded by Valerie Song. She and her co-founder saw a need in urban environments for a new way to garden. Take Vancouver, for example: a typical outdoor garden is 700 square feet. This offers enough room for a few different plants to grow without too much competition for sun and soil nutrients.
Unfortunately, the average Vancouver condo is only 840 square feet and does not come with a yard large enough for gardening. Valerie has worked to correct this problem by approaching it from a different point of view: If she can’t make the yards larger, she’ll make the gardens smaller!
Her solution is called the AVA Byte. AVA Byte is about four feet tall and allows users to grow a variety of plants. AVA Byte was designed to be as compact as possible, and you can even mount it on your wall to save extra space beyond its already small form factor. Additionally, the AVA Byte is a connected device, allowing users to efficiently water their plants.
AVA Technologies began at a Startup Weekend event. With only a seed of an idea (pun intended) about building a better garden, Valerie and her co-founder began down the long and winding path of a new business. After winning the “Most Impact” award, AVA Technologies’ founders met Chin and Keith of the Spring Incubator. The rest is history, and now AVA is finally seeing the fruits of their labors.
The Future of AVA Technologies
Prototyping is one of the hardest steps of any tech product, but AVA Technologies has overcome this obstacle. They currently have four working prototypes. With the help of an accelerator, Valerie hopes AVA can learn about manufacturing and distribution on a larger scale.
In the meantime, Valerie and company are planting the seeds for future success. They’ve already taken funding from family and friends, and they even received a grant from the Canadian Government. As for office space, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Homes’ nonprofit “The Next Big Thing” has granted AVA Technologies free office space for a year. You could say everything’s coming up roses for AVA Technologies.
If you’re interested in growing your own berries, herbs, and tomatoes indoors, you can preorder your own AVA Byte. AVA Technologies’ Indiegogo campaign is up. If you want to help support a great startup and the future of gardening, check it out now!