Contribution
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Just Vertical

At Just Vertical we provide vertical hydroponic growing systems that fit seamlessly into your living space. Whether in your condo or your family kitchen our system can grow up to 10 pounds of produce per month, using less water, no pesticides, and saving you money. Bring fresh, clean, sustainable food back to your home with the most space, water, and energy efficient system there is. We can grow anything, anywhere, any time of year.

Customers

We are targeting primarily urban dwellers in the Canadian and US market.

They are environmentally conscious, living in an urban center, care about where their food comes from, want to eat healthy but may not always have the time and are most likely to be female between the ages of 25-49.

Value Proposition

At Just Vertical we provide vertical hydroponic growing systems that fit seamlessly into your living space. Whether in your condo or your family kitchen our system can grow up to 10 pounds of produce per month, using less water, no pesticides, and saving you money. Bring fresh, clean, sustainable food back to your home with the most space, water, and energy efficient system there is. We can grow anything, anywhere, any time of year

Channel

We sell through our e-commerce website. The product is then delivered directly to their residence.

Customer Relationships

We establish a learning and development relationship with our customers. From when we first interact with them (trade shows, social media, website, etc) we strive to teach them how to they can improve their diets, living spaces, and save money while lessening their environmental footprint.

We continue to teach our customers through content marketing as well as encouraging an active community of growers who can encourage each other.

Key Activities

We ship all the seeds, nutrients, and growing machines from our HQ in Canada. We use third party delivery systems to help lessen the burden on our companies supply chain. Because the growing happens in the individuals home their is less volume to ship (seeds vs. full plants).

Financial Resources

250000

Human Resources

We have a strong scientific background but are trying to find someone to add to our strengths with their marketing abilities

Physical Resources

Storage for unit stock

Intellectual Resources

Patent on the unit and trademarks for the trade name

Key Partners

Our key partners are:
1. The University of Toronto: has helped to incubate the idea and guide the team
2. Inertia Engineering & Design: has helped to develop the product for manufacturing
3. Daniels Capital: has helped develop our financial plan and cash flow forecasts

Unanswered Questions

World Vision as a partner can help us magnify our social impact. We are very strong on the environmental side but we need help on the human side of the equation (how can we best feed those in need, how do we expand to under served-markets, etc).

Revenue

We operate on a hardware + subscription basis where we earn revenue by selling the hardware outright and then build up an additional revenue stream through a monthly seed and nutrient subscription.

Costs

Our major costs are manufacturing and R&D. Manufacturing costs cannot be avoided. R&D we prioritize in order to keep finding ways to minimize our environmental impact while increasing our social impact.

Profit/Breakeven

January 2018 when over 50% of first manufacturing run is sold.

Mission

We are committed to 3 Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG's). Before the 8 billionth person is born on earth we want to accomplish three things: Eliminate 8 billion food miles. save 8 million liters of water, and grow 800 000 lbs of fresh, local sustainable food.

We chose these challenges because we feel like they are not being taken seriously by the agriculture industry.

Competition

Alterus Verticrop in Vancouver failed. They failed because they did not understand the market, they bought expensive land and tried to compete with farmers at wholesale costs in a centralized production model.

Aerogarden is a successful example. They are doing well by empowering individuals to grow at home. However, where they fall short is in their ability to produce a meaningful amount like we do at home. They also have a design that works only for the 'tech-y' type of consumer.

Measurement

We track KPI's for water, food miles, and food grown. Internally we also track financial and marketing KPI's as well as GHG abatement.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Our biggest strength is our scientific background with two MSc degrees from the University of Toronto as well as our depth of knowledge in the field. Our advisory team also has a great deal of experience in building and scaling companies.

Our biggest weakness is our scientific lens that we see the world through. We know we need to take more of a business view to scale our company and scale our impacts.

Critical Assumptions

We have made assumptions in extrapolating our customer data on buying patterns, views, and tastes to various markets. Most of our customer research was done in Toronto but we assume this data would be mostly true for a market like New York City.

Most Significant Challenge

Our most significant challenge with hardware is having the capital to build a reliable user case to show that our model works. This is where World Vision can help us by championing our idea and letting us show the world what a sustainable future looks like.

Brief URL

justvertical.com

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