OUR STORY

When urban dwellers have access to fresh,
affordable, produce year-round, everyone wins.

OUR COMMITMENT

 

We’ve set some serious goals: Before the 8 billionth person is born we want to accomplish three things: Eliminate 8 billion food miles. save 8 million litres of water, grow 800 000 lbs of local, sustainable food. No biggie.

 
 

OUR MISSION

 

The ability to grow food promotes resilience in cities and communities. Environmental damage (fertilizer run-off, ocean “dead zones”, top soil degradation, water usage, food miles), is mitigated. We want to empower you to be a part of the greater solution, and enjoy all the personal benefits that come along with it.

 

 

THE TEAM

 
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Conner Tidd MSc. BA.

Conner is an avid sustainability strategist and innovator. His sustainability work has brought him around the globe. He has experience working in international management roles in the charity sector, tackling sustainability and innovation challenges in the agricultural industry, and doing academic research coast to coast. 

Kevin Jakiela MSc. BSc.

Kevin is a chemist and plant scientist with years of experience. Kevin has tackled health challenges across Canada. He has worked with Oxford County Health Department screening water for potential contaminants as well as working with First Nations Cree in Northern Quebec as an educator. He also has a breadth of experience working with hydroponics at a commercial scale.

 
 
Ellen Bjorvatn
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Ellen Bjorvatn

Ellen will soon graduate from the Norwegian School of Economics with a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration with a major in Marketing and Brand Management. She has experience communicating issues related to sustainability and circular economy through social media and content marketing while working at TOMRA Systems ASA. She has a strong passion for environmental issues and loves sustainable solutions, and never goes anywhere without her tote bag and metal water bottle. Ellen is enrolled in the entrepreneurial program of Gründerskolen at the University of Oslo and the University of Toronto.

Amund Hol

Amund is pursuing his MBA, with a major in strategic management and holds a B.A., in Business development. Studying at the Norwegian University of Life Science, he has a strong environmental focus and has high hopes for the future of hydroponic systems and their possibilities. Having previous experience with business development and customer loyalty from Norway, he is exciting to help Just Vertical expand its growth over the summer.

 
 

ADVISORS

 
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Robert (Bob) Daniels, BSc.

Bob is long-time creator and developer of new business opportunities, with a history of investing and scaling multiple successful business ventures and initiatives in the real estate and sustainability fields. Bob is Founder of the Sustainable Alliance Group of Companies, a consortium of related companies involved in renewable power development and investment, carbon finance, energy management and clean tech and low-carbon investing in North America.

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Nate Van Beilen, MSc. BA.

Nate is a highly motivated sustainability professional currently contributing to a variety of organizations that are meaningfully working towards a sustainable future. His business development work has helped multiple companies grow from idea to reality. He has experience managing projects and teams in areas such as real estate, urban agriculture, the circular economy, and carbon markets.

 

TOGETHER WE'VE ACHIEVED

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WHY OUR STORY MATTERS
(and all the exciting science behind it)

 

Had you asked us a few years ago where we thought we'd end up, the vertical hydroponic farming business would have been an unlikely guess. However, as the story often goes, our destinations can be unexpected.

We are excited to be where we are now. 

As graduate students at the University of Toronto we often hear about so many environmental and social problems which lack real solutions. These include: 

 
 

 

The two of us have unique backgrounds in agriculture, science, and the environment. Our passion for these issues brought us to a collaboration in plant science and international development. 

We are solutions driven individuals. We saw a unique opportunity to take on many of these challenges by empowering people to grow their own food. 

We started Just Vertical in pursuit of solution that takes pressure off of the environment, enables individuals to grow their own food, and ultimately changes the way cities feed themselves. 

 

Our first crack at the hydroponic thing

 

We tried licensing and reselling other products on the market with our own plant science. It worked on a small scale and we achieved a positive reception. At the time, however, we spent all our time in the lab with our heads down instead of keeping a finger on the cultural pulse.
 

The #1 question we got was:
"Can’t you make it look a little nicer?"
Fair point.
Our answer?

THE AEVA

Our first custom product, the design-focused AEVA, empowers our customers to easily and affordably grow their own food from their homes.

 

The AEVA's advanced irrigation system delivers water and nutrients directly to the roots of the plants via submersible pump and tubing - it's as simple as that. It's also pretty easy on the eyes.

 
 

      So about all those problems, what kind of impact can we create?

 

CONSERVING
OUR WATER

 

Water scarcity is a huge global issue and agriculture is one of the largest users of water around the world. Our system uses 95-99% less water than traditional agriculture since it uses direct irrigation on a closed loop system.

In other words:

The water you use has nowhere to go but to the plants.

 

REDUCING FERTILIZER
RUN-OFF

 

Fertilizer run-off is a major cause of ‘dead zones’ in places like the Gulf of Mexico. When fertilizer is sprayed on a farmer’s field there is a chance that it will leech into groundwater or run off the top into local watersheds. When enough of this fertilizer accumulates (specifically the nitrogen and phosphorous) it creates algae blooms which are fatal to aquatic life. 

Farmers and companies have made great strides in improving fertilizer usage but we still face significant challenges.

We solve this problem by having all our nutrients go directly to the plants with no fertilizer ever running into local watersheds. 

 

SAVING OUR SOIL

 

Healthy top soil is vital to the Earth’s ecosystems. It's like the skin of the earth that produce needs to grow. Unfortunately, over half of the Earths soil has been destroyed or degraded. As one of the less sexy environmental problems this one doesn’t get much attention, but that doesn’t take away from the magnitude of the issue.  

By using zero soil in our hydroponic system, we are giving the earth's top soil a chance to recover.

 

REDUCING
PESTICIDES

 

Consuming the amount of food we do at current prices makes pesticides a necessary evil. It’s no secret that when pesticides are not used responsibly they can harm their surrounding ecosystems.

No need to worry here: The AEVA is completely pesticide free.

 

ACCESS TO
QUALITY PRODUCE

 

People just like you all over the world are frustrated with what they see as a decline in the quality of food at the grocery store, from tomatoes with tough skin to cilantro that goes bad the day after you buy it. 

These are unintended consequences of the current food system. 

Getting fresh produce when the ground outside is snow-covered means your food needs to be grown far away. Often produce is picked a week or more before you ever see it. To maintain freshness, the fruit is picked before it is ripe (think green bananas) for it to have a longer shelf life.

We are changing this by giving you access to fresh food all year long. 

 

FRESH FOOD
FOR MORE OF US

 

Cities and urban sprawl have led to some significant problems with food ‘deserts’. These can be areas of several square blocks where there is no access to fresh food in stores. This can severely affect someone’s diet and health.

We strive for towards the day where we can minimize or eliminate these food deserts by empowering individuals to grow their own food. 

 

INCREASING AFFORDABILITY

 

Have you ever gone to a grocery store and seen a head of lettuce suddenly cost $10 and somehow they’re sold out? This happens when a system of bad weather knocks our monoculture system off balance. A drought in California or a flood in South Carolina can drive the price of produce through the roof and cause a decline in quality. 

Fresh food is set to increase in price during a time where we need to feed more people with less farmland to expand into.

Remote areas in Canada and around the world struggle to bring in fresh produce. When they do have access to fresh produce it is often ridiculously expensive. By creating the ability to grow indoors, in any condition, Just Vertical can bring fresh food to the Arctic, the desert, or... even Mars (Elon Musk has yet to return our calls).

We want to ensure that families and cities will always have access to fresh produce at an affordable price. 

 

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GET YOUR AEVA

You've heard the story, you're in, let's get you your own AEVA. You have the option to purchase the AEVA outright or finance the AEVA over 18 months. 

AEVA Founders Series

$999

Be one of the first to own the AEVA with a limited edition founders series. This is our inaugural run of 250 units shipping in October.

AEVA Pre-order (20% down)

$199

Secure your AEVA today with a 20% down payment. The remainder will be paid upon shipping in November. Get excited to grow!

More Questions?

Learn more on our website or contact the Just Vertical team directly