Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron were roommates and seniors at MIT. Both were concerned about one of the most threatening problems that we as humans face on this earth today; global food unsustainability. As this was frequently on his mind, Jamie decided to build a DIY aquaponics prototype in the room he shared with Gabe, capturing the attention of many visitors of their room. This prototype would eventually become the idea for a brand called Grove Labs. Grove Labs is a company that produces nearly self-sustaining indoor aquaponics gardens in your home. One such product is the Grove Ecosystem, capable of growing substantial yields of vegetables and herbs, frequently up to a salad per day. The entire fertilization, filtration, hydration, and feeding system is contained within the area of a single bookshelf, utilizing an aquarium of fish and LED lights to allow the plants to grow. Since its inception, Grove Ecosystem has raised nearly half a million on Kickstarter.
Gabe and Jamie’s story is interesting, because it shows how something unique can be created out of passion for a particular subject. In this case, they felt strongly about food sustainability, and brainstormed a product that can answer many of the problems in this subject by creating a self-sustaining home ecosystem. In addition, I appreciate their innovation with this product, as they have taken two concepts (the home and the garden) which are inherently separate and distinct, and merged them into something greater that they are passionate about.