A Slovenian start-up Horticool will present itself to 30.000 visitors, 1.000 investors and 1.200 journalists from all over the world at the largest technology event in Europe, Web Summit in Dublin.
More than 10.000 start-ups have applied for Web Summit and Horticool has been invited to participate as one of selected start-ups for Web Summit Alfa class of 2015, which means it is one of the most promising start-ups in early stage (alfa) of development. The team heads for Dublin with an ambitious long term vision: A garden in every apartment in the world.
"Horticool re-establishes the contact of urban population with nature in our own homes and enables us to be successful indoor gardeners even if we don't know the first thing about gardening. It is the first gardening assistant to help urban dwellers, who have no land and usually very little time, grow food in their apartments, garages, attics and even in offices and waiting rooms. But that's not even close to being all. Our goal is for Horticool to become an engine for in-door apartment gardening movement which is starting to emerge all over the world," Katja Goljevšček, one of the founders and in charge of content explains.
Massive business potential and a huge social bonus you would not expect
In Europe 547 million people live in urban areas, a number which climbs to 4 billion if we look at the whole world and which is expected to reach 6.3 billion by 2050. Combine these numbers with intense healthy, locally produced and fresh food trends and with steeply rising popularity of gardening it becomes clear how massive Horticool's business potential is. This potential has not gone unnoticed and Horticool has already landed a pre-seed investment while a placement to Web Summit Alfa class only confirms it. However, one could speculate that perhaps this wouldn't have happened had a huge social impact not been hidden at the very heart of Horticool.
Jaka Verbič Miklič, a founder and lead designer, paints the bigger picture: "We made some calculations about the potential global impact of apartment gardening and the data is truly amazing. Let me give you just a couple of examples: for every percent of European households using Horticool and growing a part of their own food the CO2 emissions would drop by 6,1 million tonnes and the quantity of pesticides used would drop by 7.3 thousand tonnes."
So what's in it for the user?
Horticool is a bridge between a massive amount of gardening information on one side and a person living in an urban environment who wants to garden but has neither land nor time to go through all these sources to learn the theory. It is a one-place stop for all an indoor apartment gardening needs. Horticool helps you plan your indoor apartment garden, supplies you with verified libraries on plants, pests and diseases and also sends you reminders for each task that needs to get done in your garden. When a gardener is faced with harder questions there is live expert help available and absolute beginners are led through every step by wizards and tutorials