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What’s your backstory?
In 2013, I enjoyed my first homegrown lettuce, tomatoes and basil and was instantly hooked. This simple start was the catalyst for Grobo, a company dedicated to improving people’s health by directly connecting us with what we consume. With this desire for homegrown food, and with another cold Canadian winter on the horizon, my next step was to move my garden indoors to continue enjoying this delicious food.
With no good solutions on the market, I built my own mini greenhouse out of wood and painter’s drop cloths. It took days of research and building, but eventually I had built a system that fit in my living room and would grow plants for the next four months. The design was far from perfect and it performed that way, too, but the idea sparked the interest of friends and family and that’s how the development of Grobo officially began.
We started with Grobo Pods, a modular growing system, and the idea was simple — design a growing system that allows everyone, regardless of time, space and knowledge restrictions to grow their own fresh food.
After a year and a half of development, we built a team, won some funding and Grobo Pods was almost complete, but something had changed. Throughout this time, many medicinal cannabis patients had asked us if we could help them grow their medication. As a result, in January 2016, we started over and redesigned Grobo from the ground up to make it the absolute best growing system for both food and medicine.
With our team of six, we moved to Shenzhen, China, to participate in HAX, the premier hardware accelerator in the world, and build prototypes faster than ever before. Since our initial launch of the Grobo One system, it has gone through numerous design iterations to make it the best possible growing system. In April 2019, we officially renamed it the Grobo Premium. At the same time, we launched the Grobo Solid. The Grobo Solid is designed to be a more affordable growing system since it does not have our patented fluid glass technology. That’s how we started.
We read about how Grobo works.
It looks like we don’t need to be green thumbs to grow. What’s the feedback from customers been like?
Exactly! It’s designed to be as easy to use as possible and customers are really enjoying that experience. Customers are enjoying the system and how easy it makes growing. They also love our customer support. With a challenging process such as growing plants, we promise to be there for our customers every step of the way. We also have a great forum and community building over at allgrowers.com.
What are you currently working on in terms of innovation and technology?
We’re actually working on cleaning up our technology to make it more scalable and robust. It’s not often talked about but after spending years developing, testing, trying, failing, and succeeding, it’s now time to clean up. We’re focused on making everything repeatable, squashing the bugs, and preparing ourselves for the next stages of research and development. This is being done through hardware, firmware, and software. The result will be an improved customer experience, better grows for the customer, and a robust platform for us to continue developing on.
What’s next for Grobo?
At Grobo, our goal is to make growing easy. We just launched the Grobo Start seed starter, which allows our customers to start their seeds before their current grow is complete, or grow smaller plants like herbs or lettuce. Our next steps will be to continue creating an ecosystem of products that all make home growing as easy as possible. This will include even more automation and leveraging our data sets to improve grows.