Startupbootcamp, here we come!
After many sleepless nights, a strenuous driving trip and the excitement of the Selection Days, we finally did it!
We are taking part in Startupbootcamp FoodTech and are looking forward to the journey ahead of us.
In November 2015 the idea of a fully automated, scalable greenhouse was born. But because we had to attend university we could only work part-time on the project. After recieving a lot of positive feedback und requests from people, who we presented the idea to, in September 2016 we decided to work fulltime on Neofarms.
We started to search for a professional partner to strengthen our position and accelerate our progress. We soon found the accelerator Startupbootcamp: it is one of the three biggest startup-accelerators worldwide and it was also the first one to launch a program solely focused on food-tech. What a perfect match!
In October 2016, we contacted the Startupbootcamp FoodTech for the first time. Although we were at a very early stage of the idea, we decided to submit our application. In this context we applied as one of 600 international startups.
The accelerator Startupbootcamp Foodtech supports ten young companies each year during a period of three months. It provides a skilled team, weekly workshops by entrepreneurs and the help of many corporate partners.
The young companies are specifically prepared for the big finally, the Demo Day, in which the start-ups present their idea to more than 300 investors.
In November, we learned that we were going to take part in the Selection Days in Rome together with 20 other start-ups. Our joy was great, but there was no time to celebrate because at the same time we were told that if we were able to showcase a prototype of our indoor garden, it would greatly increase our chance of being selected. So it came about that we built our first neoFarm prototype within three days, in day and night work. On the 19th of October, we went on our journey from Hanover to Rome, where we arrived after 18 hours of non-stop driving. We fell into bed being very tired but happy with what we had accomplished.
The next three days went by in a blink. At this intense three days event we talked to almost 100 industry insiders, investors and entrepreneurs (see the mentors here) in one-to-one meetings. In those, our idea that everyone can grow their own plants in the neoFarm indoor garden, its potential and our team was judged and a ranking was generated. Based on this ranking and the opinion of the Startupbootcamp Partners; Barilla, Gambero Rosso, Cisco and Lventure the top 2 % of all applicants were chosen Saturday night:
And Neofarms was selected! We were told that the neoFarm prototype was an important plus. We could not have been happier! Our efforts had paid off!
In these three days we have gained a lot of experience, have got to know inspiring people and even have become part of the Startupbootcamp family.
The adventure has begun!