You no longer have to go through the struggle of knowing how to plant a crop, figuring out its suitable temperature, the lighting, fertilizer and all of that, because ApolloGreen designed a product that’s going to make planting ten times easier for you.
We had the pleasure of talking to ApolloGreen’s team which consists of Hussain AlJaafari, Ali Suhrab, Adil Shafeeq, and Fadi Rezq. They gave us an interesting overview of their project and their experience through it all. Read along if you’re interested in learning how you can create your customizable greenhouse.
What does your startup do? What do you aim to achieve?
ApolloGreen is a consumer agri-tech solutions provider. We provide products that help households grow their own choice of crops at home for personal consumption and more. Our primary initial product is the automated smartly controlled 5×4 greenhouse for home use; the greenhouse contains a control system which monitors and controls a number of variables such as temperature, humidity, lighting, and irrigation to ensure the optimal growth of crops being cultivated. The control module can be interfaced to a remote device such as a mobile phone or PC through the ApolloGreen application in which the user can monitor the greenhouse and select the appropriate preset per the needs of the crop being cultivated.
In a region where intense heat prohibits outdoor garden farming for most of the year, and where most countries are not self-sufficient in their food supply, ApolloGreen aims to make it easier for the average household to learn about agriculture and grow its own supply of organic products at home without any previous gardening or farming experience.
Who’s your target audience and why?
Our products are tailored towards households in the GCC region, specifically 3 types of home users as per our market research: retirees, gardening hobbyists and health conscious users seeking their own supply of organic food. Retirees have more spare time than most and many take up gardening at home as a productive activity to pass the time and more. Hobbyists are passionate users who take up gardening as a recreational activity while health conscious users are dissatisfied with local sources of organic produce and use ApolloGreen to grow their own at home.
How was your experience through the MITEF Arab Startup Competition Program? How did it impact your startup?
The MITEF competition was an invaluable resource in many ways that illuminated the proper direction and focus needed for ApolloGreen. The boot camp training provided for the participating startups was an eye opening experience that allowed us to better identify the problem and the target market we were tackling; so our solution/product was reevaluated and modified accordingly. Furthermore, interacting with the many other startups was an added learning experience and an amazing networking opportunity.
What were the challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?
Condensing our idea into an interesting and informative 3-minute pitch for the MITF judging process was certainly a challenge and an interesting experience. Practice, confidence and a more solid understanding of the problem and solution were enough to create a good pitch. Other challenges included working out and testing the control system, extensive research and utilizing the right people was needed to overcome them.
What sets you apart from all the other startups in Bahrain?
Our product is unique and tackles an aspect that receives little focus in the region. we are certainly treading uncharted territory in terms of what a usual startup does in Bahrain; ApolloGreencan be the start of an entirely new market of homegrown products, and we aim to be the lead in it. While tackling such a unique market and field has an undeniable element of risk, big risks are also often the source of big rewards.
What are your future plans for ApolloGreen?
We hope to expand in the GCC and build different and more complex control systems that can be used in other fields or in conjunction with the ApolloGreengreenhouse, such as hydroponics and aquaponics among others. All of these would be used with our user application which can be expanded to allow users to network with one another or sell and exchange their produce. We also hope to have DIY kits as a variant of ApolloGreen products that would allow users to easily build and install it on their own.