Square Roots is a vertical farming startup that pretends to grow hundreds of pounds of leafy greens inside 10 steel, 320- square foot shipping containers.
The idea was the product of a partnership between Kimbal Musk (Elon musk’s brother) and Tobias Peggs. The startup is looking for young food tech entrepreneurs to develop this project in the middle of New York City.
“These are people who are likely just starting their entrepreneurial journey,” Peggs says. “They will get hands-on experience running a vertical farming business with us — but we’re here to help them become future leaders in food, wherever that journey leads.”
Each young millennial will receive a designed shipping container farm for one year. The plants will be rooted in water, cultivated with LED lights, and every shipping container will have its own sound system, so the entrepreneur can hear the music they want while growing the veggies.
Musk and Peggs say that using vertical farms have many benefits, among them, they spend 80% less water and requires much less space –One Square Roots shipping container farm will grow the equivalent of two acres of outdoor farmland– says Peggs.
“Young people who can articulate issues with the industrial food system contact me all the time. They are frustrated by their perceived inability to do anything about it,” he says. “It’s relatively easy to set up a tech company, join an accelerator, and progress down a pathway towards success. It’s more complex to do that with food.”
If the Square Roots project has success, more farms will be built within New York City and other US states.
The investors of this food startup include food-tech VC’s Powerplant Ventures (a company that invests in plant-centric and better-for-you food) GroundUp, Lightbank (a firm that specializes in making venture capital investments in “disruptive” technology) and FoodTech Angels (food-tech investors).