Be creative on how you achieve results without spending much

Gartenzwerg smart garden that pairs IoT Technology with a natural design

Please introduce yourself and your startup Gartenzwerg to our readers!
Hi, I’m Sabrina the CEO and Co-Founder of Gartenzwerg Technologies. Gartenzwerg is the world’s only personal smart garden that pairs IoT Technology with a natural design and an awesome user experience. Our smart gardens allow anyone to experience growing their own food from home effortlessly at the push of a button no matter how much space, time or knowledge you have.

How did you get the idea to Gartenzwerg?
During my MBA in China, I learned that NASA was using hydroponics to grow food in space without soil. I loved the idea and wanted to have something like that in my own home. After a bit of research into hydroponics, I couldn’t find a product that was easy to use or that offered me an engaging “grow your own” experience. Really I could only find super techy gadgets.

I pitched the idea to Andre, my co-founder, who loved it! He’s from Brazil where access to fresh food is easy, however in China he experienced that in many large cities this is not a given which is why he saw the opportunity and potential in Gartenzwerg.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Developing a hardware tech product is generally hard. You need to be able to test and fail fast, because the upfront investment needed is much higher than for digital and services companies.

Good development also takes time. If you get it wrong and go into production there is no quick fix to it. We’ve learnt to be very smart about how we approach our product development, and we know how important it is to build a team with the skills we need to produce the product we want. Testing your product at every stage of the development process is essential.

The advantage is, any company that would want to copy you or do something similar, will need to go through the same process which makes is harder to compete as opposed to a digital product. So it also gives a great advantage.

Who is your target audience?
Gartenzwerg is for anyone who loves fresh food, cares about where it comes from and loves the idea of growing their own food but doesn’t think it’s possible. That could be due to a lack of time, space or even because they fail terribly to keep even a basil plant alive.

What is the USP of your startup?
Gartenzwerg is a ‘grow your own’ food experience. Many of us were born and live our lives in cities, we’ve never seen food grow from a seed nor tasted something we’ve grown ourselves. There’s a huge sense of pride when you eat something you’ve grown at home. Gartenzwerg wants as many people as possible to experience that moment, and we’re using tech to make that a reality.

Our smart gardens are a really unique way to connect people to nature and to change the way we eat and produce food.

Can you describe a typical workday?
Currently we’re crowdfunding and fundraising at the same time. So most days, weekends, mornings and evenings look identical. There isn’t really a typical workday at the moment. But if there was one, working on our crowdfunding and fundraising efforts is mine.

Outside of this, I try to keep my days more organised. I like to get up early around 6am to exercise before going to the office. This could be yoga or hitting the gym, it helps me organise my thoughts and prepare for the day as well as even out the stress of my mind and my body.

After that I like to enjoy a good breakfast with overnight oats. Between 9am – 10am I go to the office. My days are dictated by what the priority is for the business, whether it be product development, defining our marketing strategy or going through our projections. I try to not leave the office later than 7pm (besides from this period) and love to cook my own dinner which also serves as lunch for the next day.

Of course I use the fruit and veg we grow with Gartenzwerg.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Gartenzwerg in five years?
The most important thing for me is seeing Gartenzwerg reinvent how we grow our own food, I’d love for our product to build a large and international community of urban food growers. That would be amazing! My goal is for personal smart gardens to become as normal as having a fridge in your kitchen.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
If you develop a hardware tech product:

Hang in there, it can be tough and you will have to recreate your designs and technology many times until you get to the final version. This can be frustrating at times, because often you think you got it now. However, with every step forward you have something tangible, it’s a great way to keep track of the progress you’re making.
Be creative on how you achieve results without spending much.
Test and fail fast, which is strongly connected to the last two points. At the early stage, any changes to your product are not nearly as expensive and impactful as they are later down the product development road. Try and test as much as possible at the very beginning.

More information you will find here

Thank you Sabrina for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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