Babylon Micro-Farms

We are creating the next generation of automated hydroponic systems.

Babylon Micro-Farms creates next generation technology that automatically runs and regulates indoor hydroponics farms.

Use Case

Shannon and her kids live in New Orleans and have not had access to produce since her local grocery store never reopened after Hurricane Katrina. After years of the family eating low quality, processed foods, she has noticed their deteriorating health and is looking for creative ways to eat healthier. After she saw a local restaurant growing their own food using a Babylon farm, she purchased her own low cost, automated farm. She found it so easy to use that she continuously expanded on the initial system to the point where she could grow enough food for her whole block using just her small backyard. When she ran out of room to grow more plants, others kept up the momentum with their own farming as a part time side job, in turn feeding their own neighbors.

Potential

We don’t just want to feed 9 billion people, we want to feed each person with fresh, healthy food. Traditional farming is becoming less sustainable and providing food that is less healthy due to pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers. Hydroponics is part of the solution, but it is currently too difficult and expensive to become mainstream. Our technology will first bring hydroponics, and with it, fresh, organic produce to the 23 million people living in food deserts in the US, but it is valuable anywhere in the world where quality food is scarce. Because production is easily and cheaply scaled up on our modular system, we have an exponential reach as initial users establish microenterprises, expand production, and provide their neighbors with high quality food.

Business Case

While hydroponics automation technology is at the core of our business, we make a profit on the complete hydroponic systems and the preseeded consumables that they require to operate. We sell three grades of hydroponic systems, all with about the same yield:enough produce for 8 people. Our high-end system sells for $6,000 and costs $2,000 to make and our low-end system sells for $1,500 and costs $900 to make. The social potential for our technology is focused on our hyper-accessible fold-out farm, which has all of the same electronics and can be made for as little as $300. Our consumable trays cost us about $4 to make and grow up to 2lbs of produce. This can provide incredibly cheap organic produce on any of our systems, with margins of up to 200% on our high-end appliances.

Objectives:

  1. Reduce our cost of growing plants hydroponically to below the cost of conventional soil farming.
  2. Reduce the time it takes to run our system to less than 1 hour a week so that any person can take advantage of hydroponics.
  3. Make our farms so easy to run that children can grow their own food for their family.

Team Babylon MF

Charlottesville, United States of America

Our Team

Our Mission

We are dedicated to creating a new generation of Micro-Farms that make sustainable hydroponic agriculture accessible to anyone. Our team is a passionate group of young entrepreneurs with backgrounds in engineering, software development, plant biology, and marketing. We believe the path to a sustainable and equitable future relies on innovation to create pragmatic alternatives that remove traditional barriers to entry to advanced and efficient agricultural practices.

Our Background

We are dedicated students from the University of Virginia and the University of Colorado at Boulder with backgrounds in engineering, software development, plant biology, and marketing dedicated to reshaping the current agricultural system. We have been prototyping affordable automated hydroponic farms that can allow anyone to grow their own fresh organic produce for the last two years and we are really excited to be releasing our first products this year.

Our Team

Our Mission

We are dedicated to creating a new generation of Micro-Farms that make sustainable hydroponic agriculture accessible to anyone. Our team is a passionate group of young entrepreneurs with ...Read More

Our Background

We are dedicated students from the University of Virginia and the University of Colorado at Boulder with backgrounds in engineering, software development, plant biology, and marketing dedicated to ...Read More

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
  • Introduction
    Completed the Introduction section of the Design Lab
  • Explore
    Completed the Explore section of the Design Lab
  • Define
    Completed the Define section of the Design Lab
  • Ideate
    Completed the Ideate section of the Design Lab
  • Conceptualize
    Completed the Conceptualize section of the Design Lab
  • Prototype
    Completed the Prototype section of the Design Lab
  • Test
    Completed the Test section of the Design Lab
  • Iterate
    Completed the Iterate section of the Design Lab
  • Pitch
    Completed the Pitch section of the Design Lab
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.