BitPonics And The Hydro Revolution
It’s just another example of Startup Synchronicity. Two young California guys, both with an avid interest in gardening end up in the much less green world of New York City. When they meet they realize that they have both been harboring the same dream: A Digital Hydroponic Gardening system. BitPonics was planted in California, but sprouted in Brooklyn.
A Learning Process
Every gardener tweaks their growing process with successes and failures, but imagine a world where a computer-run sensor system keeps track of all these adjustments and tracks their results. Imagine if that information could be shared on a network that allows everyone to benefit from the knowledge gained and leaps and bounds can be made across the board in hydroponic gardens across the nation.
A Digital Green Thumb
This is the dream of BitPonics, a new startup run by Amit Kumar and Michael Doherty.
The fact is that the world’s distribution of people is rapidly shifting. In 2008 the population was split for the first time, 50% in urban environments and the other 50% in rural ones. New and innovative forms of food production are a growing necessity
“If your only option is to grow indoors than hydroponics is the best solution.” says Michael.
And it is indeed space effective. Since you are directly feeding nutrients to the plants through water, the plants need less root space and room to grow. This means that you can grow more plants in the same amount of space. It also means that you can grow year round. Imagine delicious tomatoes from your garden in the dead of winter.
Amit explained the concept. “The Bitponics system is a simple one. A device and website that simplifies hydroponic gardening. You tell the computer what kind of plants you’re growing, and it will give you a growing plan to help you achieve the best possible results. Sensors in your garden send information to your account on the Bitponics website, the website then processes the information and then sends information back to your gardening station to control things like pumps and lights. You can track your results and share them online so we can all help each other become better gardeners.”
Though the first iteration of the project will be marketed towards users already familiar with hydroponic gardening, later incarnations should allow first timers to hit the ground running.
Getting The Kids In On The Fun
Both Amit and Michael have always had an interest in gardening. Amit’s began in the fourth grade when his class had a gardening center.
“I ended up being the gardening center manager,” he said.
“But when I first moved to New York I tried growing things on the fire escape, until I was told by my landlord it was a hazard and had to take it down. I really missed being able to cultivate my own garden.”
Perhaps inspired by their own childhood introduction to the world of gardening Michael and Amit also plan to help get middle and high school science classes involved. Their model is cheaper and more efficient, and it will allow the schoolchildren to have a more detailed understanding of what makes plants grow and life work. They’ve already partnered with Boswyck Farms in Brooklyn to bring Bitponics to make that a reality.
With their manufactured product slated for release in September, and 5 members on their team, they now have to get all of the moving parts in synch. Their Kickstarter campaign was more than successful, raising 118% of their initial goal.
“What we’re doing touches on so many different topics and sciences. We have our proof of concept, and this last push is to make everything come together,” says Michael
Soon there may be more than just trees growing in Brooklyn.