Ares, Jacopo, Massimiliano, Giulio, Christian, Gaia. In one word Wallfarm. A young Italian startup born with the aim of bringing the green you need in homes, offices or, why not, in a club. After all, not everyone has a green thumb, the time and space to take care of plants and vegetables, but perhaps many would like to do it. So Wallfarm comes to meet these desires developing systems for hydroponic and aeroponic cultivation (the special soilless cultivation system in which the earth is replaced by an inert material) of tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, wasabi, celery, radishes, garlic, carrots , cauliflower and much more. You only have to contact them through their website and request an advice. They listen to you recommendingthe most suitable solution. We’re talking of a vertical garden easy to manage, but also good to see, given that fits like a piece of design within each housing situation. We met them and found out that everything began during InnovactionLab, the workshop/intensive course dedicated to startup aspiring creators, just a year ago, but initially was not expected any vegetable garden: only a micro desktop garden. We also added a few (tricky) question and their responses have shown commitment, dedication, creativity and the desire to do, knowing how to give a wise suggestion to those who, like them, want to do something cool, kind follow their dreams.
Five boys, who do not know each other, in 2015 meet up themselves at InnovactionLab, the course dedicated to startup. You start to talk together and the Wallfarm idea immediately born: a cultivation system that also allow the blacks inch of cultivating vegetables in their own home in a simple and fun way, taking up little space. If you look back at your story, which have been the main difficulties you faced with? Is there anything you would change?
Let's start with an easy question, isn’t it? Surely it’s not easy to enter inside the wonderful startup’s world with an hardware product, but what drives us is the desire to innovate and experiment. Only three guys of the first group of four born at InnovactionLab are still here, and three other joined us after. This is the final cofounder group that in December 2015 constituted WALLFARM SRL. Perhaps this is another sore point due to the oppressive bureaucracy, but it was a necessary step, and now we go on looking at the bright side: we are Barilla’ suppliers and we have seen a strong interest in our product from the company.
And now, what about the future? How do you see yourself and what are your most pressing goals and what the long-term ones?
We hope to be ready soon, in July 2016, to launch the pre-order button on the website and we look forward to delivering our product to all those who believe in us being pleased to order it. We look step by step, but as many others startup we try to do things as quickly as possible.
Do you think Wallfarm is a chance to reconnect with nature? Or do you think that this connection has never stopped?
In our opinion this is a mandatory passage in order to give a rest to the land too exploited and too under stress due to the mass-production pressures. Also the smog increase in the air led us to create and to think an indoor product. Our Smart Home Garden is definitely a solution to bring man closer to nature in a technological version.”
Treedom is inherently careful with nature and to everything that happens around it, being aware in advance respect to other subjects of the various events. How do you see the environmental and climate situation, in the light of the latest news and considering a normal day-to-day life?
As you can see from the previous answer we started exactly by climate and environmental issues to think about and to create our product. Inside Wallfarm team there is a representative of Greenpeace and we took part in the Rome Climate Parade in March with our friends of Slow Food Italy. In fact, our Smart Home Garden has a very low power consumption, and we are working to realize it more environmentally sustainable as possible.
My last question is not very green and it’s not on topic, but I honestly think it's important for all those young guys looking curiously at their future, with a great desire to realize their dreams as you did with yours. Lately there has been a lot of rumors about startup and many CEOs made important statements on the Italian university system, stating that it doesn’t really prepare for work. Moreover, often and often the recommended courses of study – like economy or law – create unemployed as well every year. For many the solution is to abandon all the old theories and just follow its own true vocation. Could you give an advice to a young man who is about to choose his university career and to one that has already finished it?
Our opinion is the same of our CEOs colleagues, I think it's also a mindset problem and of priorities. Today the majority of students have the priority to take high grades and achieve a permanent job, and it’s exactly the opposite that the world is looking for. Or rather, obviously the degree mark is an important determinant on the CV, but it’s not the most important, even not one of the most important, but it’s still on it that students work the most during their collage years. In the US, however there are no students who do not work while attending college, already in the first year, and the new generation of Americans are getting used to change job on average every four years. This is what is meant by the expression ‘get their hands dirty’, and that's our advice for college students and all the guys like us: don’t care about what you parents and teachers tell you. Just get your hands dirty!