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#kickstart2023 – We present: Amelie Plants – sustainable balcony planters

With KICKSTART, Hof University of Applied Sciences has launched a funding program that starts at a very early stage of a potential start-up – with the ideas or prototype development. The KICKSTART teams have six months to develop their idea into an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or prototype. In the second episode today, we present “Amelie Plants – sustainable balcony planters”.

Amelie Pörschmann from the textile design course; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

The mission

To develop a biodegradable plant bag, which grows with the plants from cultivation to harvest due to the properties of the textile used. The consumption of plastic pots and the resulting plastic waste should thus be eliminated.

How did you come up with this idea?

“I came up with the idea of plant bags through hobby gardening on my balcony. When I was researching balcony tubs, I found only bulky tubs everywhere, and they were mostly made of plastic to boot. Immediately the thought occurred to me, “Why isn’t there a more sustainable and manageable alternative?”

A study or profession alone is already very time-consuming and exhausting. Yet, in parallel, you still deal with the development of your own start-up idea. Where do you get the motivation from?

“In this case, I had the opportunity to integrate the project into my studies, as a design project. I take motivation from every report in social media where you see how our lives are changing due to climate change. I can’t watch it quietly, but using the knowledge in my field of textiles to help, I can.”

The Kickstart program is meant to support the further development of ideas that are at a very early stage. Up to 7,500 euros in financial support is available to you for this purpose. How do you use the funding specifically?

“I used the funding to buy the materials such as natural fiber fabrics and sewing threads for prototypes. Also used were the funds to buy measuring equipment or for the soil or soil.”

The biodegradable planting bags; Image: Hof University;

At the end of the six months, do you already know what you want to do next? What are your long-term goals? Are you aiming for a start-up?

“So far, I have no idea how to continue, since I will only finish my studies.”

What are your findings from the project so far? What would you like to pass on to other people interested in founding a company?

“My learnings so far are to always keep going and learn from failure. It is a long and ongoing design process that you have to optimize piece by piece. In the process, it helps to talk m also with people about your idea.”

In the next episode of #kickstart2023, you will learn how a biological substitute for natural gas is being developed at the Institute for Hydrogen and Energy Technology.

More information about the Startup-Lab…

Camilla Lenz

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