Sustainiverse: Vertical aquaponic and algae farms for unused urban space

GermanyJerusalem, Germany
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Sustainable Marketing and design firm to leverage unused urban wall/roofs/courtyards for vertical aquaponic and algae farms. We will also have an app( and forum for increased community education and feasibility for use by anyone like Uber w/ decentralized approach to provide food and jobs to needy.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if people were so passionate for positive change thed be educated to see both blessings + room for improvement everywhere
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

1. 40% potential loss of produce from logistics 2. Urban heat island effect and high energy required for heating/cooling 3. Lack of STEAMS education and desire, especially in sustainability in a majority around the world 4. Lack of nutritious food to people in poverty 5. Chopping down rain forest which could be avoided 6. Delinquent children, and others with special needs, including the elderly, not having access to good jobs

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Sustainiverse's goals are to solve long term climate and health problems by integrating more science, engineering, and sustainability education in everyone's lives, regardless of socio-economic, race, sex, etc statuses around the world. Our main project to do this is by utilizing unused walls/roofs/courtyards/bus stops to grow vertical aquaponic and algae farms, and partnering with schools, community centers, NPOs, municipalities, warehouses etc. We started If everyone (grew) or purchased from local sources 10% of the food they eat, it would save over $1 billion a year in the short term, plus the benefits from the increase in health is exponential. Aquaponic systems use only 10% of the water needed for regular agriculture
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

So you have a school with a huge courtyard surrounded by 3 empty walls on buildings. Now our project comes in and builds a vegetable garden on one wall, algae farm on another wall, and a fish tank on the third wall. Now every kid at this school has access to some organic vegetables in their diet, any family in need can also benefit. Every family in the school learns about the benefits of algae, and children will be doing reports on growing algae. 10 years from now we will have increased the amount of people getting science degrees by at least 10%. Not to mention the chance for a genius discovery to help the world by one of these kids, or with it’s integration a desire for more philanthropy.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date we have 1 aquaponic farm a school for troubled youth, and are expanding it into an algae and mushroom growing/learning area, an art exhibit at a central bus station, and are starting a community green roof on the central business building in the center of Jerusalem. To be a part of many inspired people to open their minds to trying to see potential when there was just a blank wall and roof is exponential. By inspiring kids at a young age to learn about science, by having it be more integrated in their lives, we will have a better future just from the effect knowledge and wisdom can have on a person. Throw in more philanthropy, and profit, and you have a sustainable solution that can solve many problems. Plus we have a constant supply of freshly organically and locally grown fish and produce.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are discussing with many more schools and are partnered with the city. Eventually we will connect with other groups around the nation and then the world to make a network of locations and volunteers, so we can expand to developing nations.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

With full systems paying off in less than 2 years, and a simple recycled system paying off in 2 months, this business plan has the aims to not only be sustainable but offer to millions of people in the world to live a little more sustainably. Sell fully designed systems and only request 10% of the profits Maintain the location and offer the owner 10% of the profits Partnered with an app already. VC and grants as well can help

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are hundreds of other companies out there building solutions for the problem of current agriculture, including in Japan who are growing 10,000 heads of lettuce a day in a renovated factory, there is a whole movement for windowfarms, (using plastic bottles to grow vegetables in windows), and thousands of people around the world promoting gardens on rooftops of buildings, or who have living walls, some of which grow herbs, but there is no real publically marketed solution of leveraging unused walls/roofs in schools, NPOs, etc. There are also many educational programs all over the world too

Founding Story

One day we decided to go to a ‘whole foods’ store and see what was all the hype. We learned some interesting things about organic food, and noticed the prices were at least 3-4x higher than regular produce. Months later, in a sustainability class we learned about people producing bio-fuel from algae. Months later, noticed someone on a website called show how to make an algae farm at home with just plastic bottles. Being the resourceful guys we are, thought about growing organic produce and algae locally, and plastic bottles on walls just struck. From there it developed to what is the best solution we can have, that can generate profit while also helping people in need.


Our team currently consists of 2 part time founders and 1 volunteer. Alan, the CEO, is quitting his job to work on this full time starting December. We have partnered with a volunteering organization to get full time volunteers on an international program, and are expanding from there. We also have one adviser, Pinni Raveh, who has many years of experience in the tech field. Once we receive funding, many others have offered their services
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About Your Project
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How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Regional government, National government, Customers, Other.

Awards: What awards or honors has the project received?

This project has not received any yet, however our partner organizations have received many. won an award from the UN and is developing a pilot program there currently.

Where have you learnt about the competition?

Ashoka changemakers

Tell us about your partnerships:

Our partners include NPOs, schools, municipalities, warehouses, organic/urban farms and gardens, and restaurants. and other aquaponic experts in the world. Next a connection with IsraelElwyn who employs over 3,000 handicapped in different jobs. Each of these locations they work at could potentially have a wall/rooftop available.
City of Jerusalem. etc.

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

This is no challenge. The challenge out there is for people not realizing our goal is to help others in the world who are less fortunate. You could say politics and lack of philanthropists might pose a challenge, but we aim for sustainability.