grobo

Grobo grows up, launches from the Velocity Garage

The Grobo team has grown quickly over the last few years at the Velocity Garage, and along the way they have won $25,000 from the Velocity Fund, participated in Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto, and HAX in China, and pre-sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in products. And they did it all while Co-founders Bjorn Dawson and Chris Thiele completed their engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo.

Now, their team has grown and moved out of the Velocity Garage into their own space to continue to roll out their product, the Grobo, which they hope to begin shipping early next year. The Grobo is a sleek unit that grows your plants for you, and puts you in control of what you consume by minimizing the time, space and knowledge required to grow high-quality food and medicine at home, all year-long.

Grobo recently launched from the Velocity Garage, so we caught up with Bjorn, to talk about his experience at Velocity and how it has shaped his company.

What brought on the decision to move out of Velocity?
We needed more space! Over the past six months we have raised a round of investment, grown our team to eight full-time employees, and we now have hundreds of pre-orders that need to be built. In order to keep our final assembly in Canada, and to increase our plant growing R&D, it was time to move into a much larger space.

What future goals do you wish to accomplish after your time at Velocity?
Our first goal is to ship product to all of our excited customers. In the long term, we are extremely focused on discovering the best ways to grow plants and make them easily accessible to everyone.

Where was your company at when you joined Velocity, and how has it grown since then?
I was accepted into Velocity as a sole founder with a crazy idea of changing how people grow their food. Since then, our incredibly talented CTO and Co-founder Chris joined me, and we have built up a very strong team together. More importantly, we continued to learn daily from the team at Velocity, Communitech and beyond, pivoting and adapting our strategy to become a more competitive business.

What will you miss most about Velocity, and what are you looking forward to about your new workspace?
We will miss the spontaneous daily discussions between companies where knowledge and experience is shared freely. When one companies succeeds, we all succeed. Our new space is easily 15 times larger than the space we had at Velocity… so we’re preparing for some EPIC Nerf gun battles, and more importantly, room to grow a lot more plants!

If you could give Velocity companies parting advice, what would it be?
Take full advantage of the support offered by Velocity, contribute to the community as much as possible, then move out as quickly as you can.