Sustainiverse

Sustainiverse: Sustainability and Community good hub, empowering people

Jerusalem, IsraelJerusalem, Israel
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

We create community hubs and build aquaponic farms on unused rooftops and courtyards. We also have projects creating waste water treatment with algae, and micro-financed shipping container homes, and train people in poverty, and women, in entrepreneurship and sustainability.

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, they would be well educated to see both blessings and room for improvement everywhere
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

1 Every 30 seconds a child dies somewhere in the world from malnutrition. 2 Big Agriculture problems: 40% of produce loss before reaching the dinner table, excessive waste of water and usage of synthetic chemical pesticides/fertilizers 3 Urban heat island effect 4 Slavery 5 Ocean degradation 6 Income/food security, especially for single mothers 7 clean water problems in developing nations 8 health problems 9 expensive city housing

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 GrabAFruit.com 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.

We have a small aquaponic system at a school for youth at risk. Now every kid at this school has access to some synthetic chemical-free vegetables in their diet and the school is saving money, and the families can learn how we are growing fish and vegetables together in plastic containers. Soon when we set up algae, the students can dream of what else is possible. When we can increase the size of the system 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.
Sustainability

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

AP systems have ROI in < 2 years, Shipping Container homes in 2-5, and a simple recycled AP system pays off in 2 months, we aim to not only be sustainable but offer to millions of people in the world to live a little more sustainably. We can sell fully designed systems and only request 10% of the profits Maintain the location and offer the land owner 10% of the profits 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. Any current aquaponics specialist, which number in 100's, can be a potential partner, depending on where they work and the connections they have for sourcing materials.
Team

Founding Story

It sickens us to think every 30 seconds a child dies from malnutrition somewhere, or that slavery still exists, and not only are we not doing anything to help, we are kind of helping prolong the system. So we after working many years and just volunteering part time to help solve them, we decided to quit our jobs and work full time because we realized we can also make a profit while doing so. There's no reason to work for money when you can work for a cause and still make enough money to support a family.

Team

Alan Greenspan, CEO, has over 10 years of bizdev experience and sustainability. He is currently managing several different teams of interns and volunteers, and has managed projects for marketing companies worldwide in alcohol, computers, clothing, events, and cleantech. Mark McManus is the COO with over 40 years of construction, computers, civil engineer experience both with the USAF and private sector, and over 20 years running LLcs and NPOs.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

changemaker

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Just this successfully as a founder.
Been a director in several other startups.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Many volunteers, some partners such as Engineers without Borders.