A tool for a new generation of food consumer and producers.

BitGrange: A platform to educate kids on agriculture using technologies the already love and inspire them become urban farmers.

Use Case

It is becoming very rare for kids to practice agriculture at schools. We live in an era where we lack the time, space and the knowledge to do gardening successfully and learn how to grow our own food. BitGrange is an intuitive way to grow vegetables indoors. We have distilled farming down to the raw essentials of what it takes for edible plants to grow and packaged it into a capsule that can fit on a shelf. BitGrange is an automated hydroponic system, designed to teach kids about growing plants indoors. We have integrated sensors and controls in a tiny greenhouse that does not need the sun or soil. BitGrange makes it easy to do agriculture at home by using a gamified smartphone app with visual explanations.


Every year more people migrate to big cities from small towns. In the same way, an increasing trend shows that kids no longer want to become farmers. This drift sets a gigantic challenge in feeding so many people with very few hands willing to do the job. At the same time, this lack of labor also implies concentrating the power of feeding us in a very few people capable of funding such a massive food-production task. Our principles are simple, we want to provide the tools, and potentially decentralize the vegetable production system, to a new generation of food consumer-producers with a safe and a fun way to learn how to produce their own vegetables without the use of any pesticides, herbicides or GMOs. We want to offer them the power of knowing what it goes into what they eat.

Business Case

BitGrange is a learning platform for educators and parents to teach kids about agriculture and healthy eating habits. After more than 200 interviews made, it was noticed a strong interest in using BitGrange as an educational tool. The principal revenue streams for our for-profit venture will be mainly come from our grower internet-enabled device, sells of supplies and support for third party products. All products and services will be provided via direct channel using our website BitGrange will grow and expand to grow other plant varieties such as flowers and herbs. Along with this increase of available plants to grow in the grower device, new sensors and other add-ons will be included to the platform to meet the needs of our residential and commercial customers.


  1. Educate a future generation on urban agriculture and create a place for innovation and entrepreneurism.
  2. Create an efficient tool to produce edible and ornamental plants right where the user is with minimum use of water and energy.
  3. Make obsolete the use of pesticides, herbicides and GMOs and let people be sure to know what it goes into what they eat.

Team BitGrange

College Station, United States of America

IoT Exploration / Published February 13, 2017 by Zhoucheng Li

IoT Exploration

As an important part of BitGrange, IoT microcontroller connects everything by its "transparent" power and serves as a foundation for a more interesting and diversed educational platform. We feel pleasured to apply this emerging technology into our products.
There are many factors that can influence the platform performance: power disspation, availability in different region, signal intensity, and safety.
We are willing to corporate more features into the platform, such as social connection, game modes. All these cannot come true without a powerful IoT system. Therefore, we are keeping exploring this new tech!!

#LettuceBeYourValentine / Published February 12, 2017 by Alfredo Costilla-Reyes


It is incredible to see how some very disruptive brands had very humble beginnings, some of them even started in a garage, while others faced numerous struggles to become what they are right now. I personally enjoy watching documentaries about great entrepreneurs and their companies. And if something I could say about these founders, is that I have noticed just one thing in common among all of them: they truly love what they do.

A long time ago, I heard from one of these documentaries someone said something in these lines: “I don’t do what I’m doing to make money, I make money to keep doing this thing that I just can’t get enough. And the thing is, that I want this to become so great and amazing that I’m going to need a lot to get to where I’d like to be”. Today I could say, that this small fragment of conversation had a gigantic impact in how I do things.

We are living in an exciting era of big disruptors, such as being the largest taxi company without owning a single car (Uber), be the largest accommodation provider without owning real state (Airbnb) or the most popular media provider which creates no content (Facebook). Imagine to see in the world the largest farm that doesn’t own a single square inch of land. This vision has become the best reason to jump out of bed every single morning.

TFF-people, this February 14 we want to be your valentine, support us and be part of this project!


No, we are not getting famous... / Published February 6, 2017 by Alfredo Costilla-Reyes

No, we are not getting famous...

Yes, you read that correctly, we are not getting famous, that is actually called getting supported! And that support is coming from our very own on-campus incubator and accelerator Texas A&M University's Startup aggieland.

See, getting famous is actually not that difficult in this era where "instantaneous satisfaction" rules social media. Support, on the other hand, is something you build, is in most cases a bidirectional exchange, a win-win relationship which in my opinion is an essential component of an entrepreneurial project that wants to solve world's biggest challenges, such as that to educate our youth on agriculture.


BitGrange goes to TigerLaunch's Chicago Regionals! / Published February 5, 2017 by Alfredo Costilla-Reyes

BitGrange goes to TigerLaunch's Chicago Regionals!

We are thrilled to announce that BitGrange has been selected to present at the TigerLaunch entrepreneurial competition that will take place at University of Chicago! Cloud Gate, here we go!!!!

TigerLaunch is described as the nation's largest student-run inter-collegiate entrepreneurship competition, put on annually by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club at Princeton University!!, and with the support of many other student partner entrepreneurship associations across the country.

We just wanted to share with y'all our funding story, be sure we will stop at nothing to see this project up and running, we hope we can transmit our enthusiasm among other teams here. The future is in our hands guys!


I don't eat apples anymore! / Published January 31, 2017 by Alfredo Costilla-Reyes

I don't eat apples anymore!

This is something that bugs me a lot! These are the same apples I took a picture with (for TFF challenge) several weeks ago. See, sometime ago I read that the average apple at local super markets here in the US, has an average age of 14 months [Lindstrom, Martin. Brandwashed: Tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy. Crown Business, 2011.]. Yes, you read that correctly, that is more than a year! By the time a person eats one of those apples, all antioxidants inside the fruit are just gone.

But they look so shiny and pretty, you said? Here is the thing, some fruits have a fine edible wax layer that prevents water loss, which extends their shelf life, and improves appearance [ Leo J. Klotz, Walter Reuther, E. Clair Calavan, Glenn E. Carman, et al., The Citrus Industry Volume 5 Crop Protection, Postharvest Technology, and Early History of Citrus Research in California, ANR publications (University of California, Oakland) 3326, rev. ed. Berkeley: University of California, 1989, p. 182]. These practices allow companies to have more time to make a profit on fruits before reaching their natural expiration time.

All of these are more motives why I believe in BitGrange, I believe in a future when people don’t have to worry about these kind of tricks, I envision a future where we, at BitGrange, empower people with tools for a new generation of consumers and producers of their own food. I see in BitGrange a way to let people learn what it goes into what they eat.


Our Team

Our Mission

BitGrange: a hydroponics platform to educate kids on agriculture and encourage them to become urban farmers.

Our Background

There is an increasing disconnection between people and where their food comes from. Even though agriculture is very important, some schools, students and parents often see agriculture as an activity that can only be performed in farms miles away from their house due to the lack of space, time and sometimes the knowledge to do agriculture successfully. BitGrange is an automated soilless gardening system, that removes all the guesswork to a simple educational device that provides with light and all that is needed to grow an edible plant, everything in a space smaller than a shoebox. BitGrange is a tool for a new generation of producers and consumers.

Our Badges

  • Power Team
    Your team has at least three members
  • Design Lab Experts
    Attended at least one of the weekly TFF Design Lab “office hours” sessions.
  • We Famous
    Your project has been covered by your university or other media outlet
  • Get #Social
    Created team Facebook or Twitter page and attached to team page
  • Fan Club
    You have 100 likes or followers on your team Facebook or Twitter
  • Interior Architect
    Posted three pictures of your team workspace
  • Idea Parkers
    Shared a picture of your teams unique “idea parking”
  • Global Foodies
    Posted three facts about global food issues learned in the Explore mode
  • Insight + Insight + Insight
    Shared three new insights your team formulated in the Define mode
  • On Time, On Target
    Shared your Design Statement created during the Define mode
  • Post-it Fiends
    Shared pics of the chaos of the post-it filled Ideate work mode
  • Brain Food
    In the Ideate intro video, Richard shares an important tip while eating an apple. Share a team-apple-eating pic!
  • Expert Input
    Shared three pieces of expert feedback on your concept
  • GIF Masters
    Shared a GIF of the prototype building frenzy
  • Live Testing
    Shared a video of a user testing your concept
  • Way To Go
    Shared a picture of your plan for iterating your project
  • Etch-A-Sketch
    Shared your logo sketching session on your team blog
  • WE DID IT!!
    Submitted Final Pitch, including videos and concept details
The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.