To sprout the first version of its automated indoor gardening sets, a recent Techstars grad with roots in Denver and Boulder has raised $500,000.
Ryan Woltz, 28, founded his startup EDN in 2014. A civil engineer by training, Woltz is developing a shelf planter that automatically pumps house plants with water and vitamins, dims or brightens a light and lets its owner know if the house is too warm or cool for the plant.
As for the capital raise, disclosed Oct. 5 in a filing with the SEC, Woltz said the investment will go to the two ingredients that EDN needs to thrive: “People and products.”
The company is currently looking for engineers as well as marketing and sales staff, Woltz said. It currently has two full-time employees.
EDN is readying its first two products to launch in the coming months. The startup is putting final touches on a countertop planter that automatically adjusts a lighting strip and signals when it’s low on water. It’s set to go on sale for $100 in time for the holidays.
For February, it’s developing a WiFi-enabled shelf planter, letting its owner check water, vitamin, light and temperature levels from a smartphone app and adjusting them automatically. (Later versions of the countertop planter will also connect to EDN’s app, Woltz said.)
They can then use the app to order more plant food or seed pods, small cartridges that contain seeds implanted in a growing mix. The plan is to continue releasing different pod varieties – microgreens, herbs, vegetables and even decorative indoor plants – although customers may plant their own seeds.
“The system just works. It’s not an app that you’re required to engage with on a daily basis,” said Woltz.
That’s by design, he said, so that people without much space in their homes or time in their days can still enjoy fresh herbs or pretty flowers. He said the planters could also fit at restaurants, schools, offices and nursing homes.
The idea is that as EDN collects more information about how factors like water and air temperature, plant food, pH and light intensity affect plant growth, the planters will become more efficient.
The company has a warehouse in Boulder and offices in both Boulder and Denver. Many product components – including wood, aluminum and lighting pieces – are made by manufacturers in Denver. EDN assembles them in-house.