Sprout Company Grows Great Greens
Last year’s 2018 cohort would not be the same without the memorable, motivated, and good natured team: Micropod.
Their desire to see people consuming microgreens was unmatched and led them to the Accelerator with an ambitious idea. Within a short time and strategic Sprout mentorship, they pivoted and ended up developing a popular seedmat that grows microgreens within 14 days.
They also listened, learned, engaged with their audience; utilising fieldays and Sprout tools to launch their business. Their involvement in the Sprout Accelerator, saw them connect with an Auckland based mentor, who’s helping them with their marketing and hundreds of sales in the last six months.
Read about their progress in the last six months below.
Since completing the Sprout Accelerator, what are three of your key business highlights?
“First of all, scaling up for production – we have gone from an idea/prototype to production in a couple of months. Like all things in the start-up world, it wasn’t without its tribulations. Last minute production delays and Quality Assurance (QA) issues to name a few.
Second, making our first sale and selling out of pre-order within the first week.
Third, Jonathan Good joining our team. This really helped us create a framework around roles and responsibilities, being accountable and setting ambitious goals for the future. He also has a really infectious positive “can-do” attitude that’s fun to be around!“
Those sound great! You already alluded to some of the challenges that come with a start-up but can you name three specific growth challenges you are facing and how you are approaching them?
“Deciding where to focus– we’ve had numerous enquiries from overseas, retailers, distributors and even commercial growers interested in using our seed mats for large scale production. For us, it’s about not taking on too much, and really focusing on a few key growth areas to really understand them well.
Marketing and creating brand awareness has also been a unique challenge. This is such a dynamic area with so many different possibilities! Right now our focus is on understanding our customers; what prompted them to buy our product, their habits, what value it creates for them. We are finding ourselves going to a lot of markets and trade shows to better engage with customers. We are using that feedback to continually work on and refine our pitch.
Finally, raising capital and scaling. Looking ahead, we want to be a global business. Currently we are focused on learning and improving our product here in NZ. The challenge is knowing when to put our foot down and get the right funding to scale. I’m sure that moment will arise and we will be ready. “
Thanks for sharing. Do you have any additional milestones achieved to date?
“We are seeing an uptake of loyal customers subscribing to our ‘autoship’ seed mat refill service. This is critical to our business, it means our customers are not just giving it a try but actually creating a habit of regularly growing microgreens at home.“
Anything else you would like to share?
“Best of luck to the 2019 cohort. All the companies look amazing and I can’t wait to learn more and follow in their development over the coming months!”
Thanks so much Micropod. Best of luck in the rest of 2019 - we look forward to watching where you go.