VertaGROWTH: My Month 2 Report


We have now completed month two of our smOffice journey! It is difficult to express the total value that we have received over our time here at The Ceative Space. Over the past 2 months we have made alot of progress as a group and I believe that we are closer to launching our company than I expected. This month we have created connections in our industry that can potentially be a catalyst to our VertaGROWTH. From local community connections in Barrie as well as international connections from individuals and organizations in the United States. As an optimist I believe that we could launch as early as September but that will be decided by the productivity and planning of month 3 in smOffice!

menotgridIn month 3 I hope to make the connections with the rest of the mentors, Marc Castel, Angela Baldwin, Chris Adams and Shelby Taylor! As we are now more focused, their expertise can truly benefit our group and growth of our products and services. Our goal is to reach commercialized growing by year 2, as we are seeking funding to start a growing research project going into this winter. Our focus will be on providing food and improving community health, but we realized that there is A LOT of planning & operational expertise that we still need in order to reach consumer demand consistently.In order to be sustainable in income and start to grow our company we are making affiliation deals to sell sustainable & efficient agricultural products and also building one of our own! That is the part we are looking to launch in the near future. As individuals and as communities we can GROW food to GROW as individuals and GROW as a community. What better medium to connect on than food!? We all need to eat and we know that we need to eat healthier. Please check out our facebook page for more info on what other communities are doing worldwide to have more sustainable food systems. We are in the middle of a food REVOLUTION and we are so excited to be a part of it.

When you encounter a wall, don’t stop, PIVIT!

I had a great brainstorming session with Chad Ballantyne in month 2 about pivoting towards building a personal vertical growing system. I was becoming very frustrated and down from the barriers we would have for the larger commercial growing idea.  Chad was very helpful to inspire me and the group to build a small growing kit, something great for kids! (or any age). Most verticall growing systems cost 500-$100 so we thought to build a smaller and less-expensive one so that its easier for people to get started. Out of that meeting my mood and motivation was lifted so we got started!

simcolab-vertigrosignFor the last month I have been attending SimCoLab every Tuesday to collaborate with them on vertical growing systems technologies. We have had time to brainstorm concepts and going into month 3 we will be making DIY versions and adding microcontrollers to make growing food easier and more interactive for users. My vision is to have the majority of people growing their own food at home, and ALL YEAR. For those who know what happened during and after World War 2 with the “Victory Garden” movement… alot of people grew their own food and more food for their community in order to save other commodities. Check out this link here for info. With the help of new technologies, we can make this even easier for individuals to GROW. Our focus will be inspiring and educating kids (and adults) to grow food. With our Vertigo Kits – personal vertical growing systems, we hope to grow a new generation of food producers and “Varmers” (vertical farmers)! I hope to speak at local schools in the fall of 2016 in order to spark some interest with the kids, and hopefully start gardening projects at their schools! Im excited to teach more about urban farming, vertical farming and what we NEED to do in order to sustain our planet and sustain our health!


Using my Y-membershp!


Enjoying some culture in Downtown Barrie with Theatre By The Bay!

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Rocking the Sonders E-bike!


Chad helped me come up with a new term – Varming! Check out this video




Hanging with Alex Nuttall our MP and talking about Varming!

I just wanted to thank all of the smOffice sponsors for making this campaign happen. It’s amazing to see the support of Barrie’s entrepreneurial community. Thanks to the Faris Team for being the title sponsor, you guys rock! Im grateful for the help that I am getting from Jonathan of Venture Lab, Amanda from Catalyst, Todd from Pratt Homes,Chad & the Rhubarb Media team, Corey from 44 North and of course the amazing hospitality of the Creative Space. With Startup Barrie launching I believe that the original support of the community will catapult us into a strong growth as as a city. I have met so many interesting people that have great ideas and existing business that could help develop this area and create JOBS. So many youthful, smart & talented individuals are leaving Barrie to find jobs elsewhere & our growing community can keep that talent here.

Like us on Facebook to watch us GROW, and hopefully we can help & watch YOU grow too!



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