PlantIt!

PlantIt!

Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaMalaysia
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

PlantIt addresses the global problem of carbon emissions through a local solution which enables users to crowdfund tree planting in their communities. They snap a photo where they would like to see a tree, share social media & a nursery proceeds to plant & maintain it. Snap it, Crowd it, PlantIt!

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

What if we told you that you had the power to address the global problem of carbon emissions and climate change with a local solution that enabl
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our app addresses a variety of issues which stem from high CO2 emissions in cities. By enabling users to plant trees, grow community and rooftop gardens we are addressing the lack of air quality, which leads to health risks (particularly of the lungs); its impact on climate change given that carbon emission is the largest cause of it; aesthetics of the urban concrete jungles, all whilst helping users rediscover a sense of community in big cities.

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

PlantIt is a mobile app that allows users to have a say in the way their city revolves around them, whilst being able to improve air quality, reduce carbon emissions and contribute towards cities becoming more sustainable; by snapping a photo of where they think a tree should be, then donate towards that tree before crowdfunding it through social media. A nursery, then proceeds to plant the tree and ensure its growth. This targets people who would like more trees in their community but never had the time nor the expertise to actually plant the tree by making it simple and easy to become involved. It also targets people who are conscious of the quality of air they breed, or those who would like their cities to enable more sustainable living.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Imagine you are walking down the street in a city, sweating, breathing polluted air and wondering why you are unable to do anything about it. There is something you can do! With PlantIt you snap the photo of where you would like a tree to be planted. As it is uploaded to the app, it will go through a database to see where trees can be planted or not. If approved you can pledge money and share to crowdfund the rest. Once the money is raised, the app will send an alert to the local nursery for the tree to be planted, & have its progress monitored. If the tree cannot be planted where you snapped it, our app will give you options of other places in the city to PlantIt. By planting the tree you will reduce emissions, the city will become cooler.

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

Our goal is to have 500,000 trees planted by 2015. PlantIt was created by a 12 person team as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur. In finalising the app, we appreciate feedback and more design functionality so mentor workshops would contribute greatly to bring this idea to scale. Our idea of crowdfunding trees help turn a global problem to a local solution. One tree can offset the carbon emissions of an air conditioning unit running for 24 hours and absorb CO2 at a rate of 48lbs/year, releasing enough CO2 back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. With PlantIt, we want to start a tree planting revolution wherever there is available space. Added to the impact of tree planting, our plans to scale up the app to community gardens and rooftop gardens will promote urban agriculture. This, besides improving air quality, will promote sustainable living.
Sustainability

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

PlantIt requires very little revenue to sustain operations as it's not designed to generate large revenue. A 5% commission of the crowdfunding generated through the app ensures basic costs are covered, and help build extra functionality as the app grows. The 95% goes toward planting and maintaining the tree, supporting the growth of local nurseries. We will also be working with property developers and NGOs to ensure efficiency of the app.

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

There is an app in India which suggests where trees should be planted and tags the location on Google Maps. The information is forwarded to local authorities acting as a lobbying tool. PlantIt actually closes the gap by facilitating the actual planting of trees through nurseries and is financially viable. While there are other tree planting apps, PlantIt is different in that it allows users to directly benefit from it and experience the change firsthand in their community as compared to tree planting in faraway places.
Team

Founding Story

During Global Startup Youth, our team representing 7 countries, decided to address air quality issues in cities & solve it with a simple yet impactful solution. One of our members was drenched in sweat after walking barely 200m in the afternoon as there were barely any trees in the neighborhood. Initially our idea was to reduce the heat felt and beautify the surroundings, but we discovered that this solution greatly contributes to solving a greater problem which is CO2 emissions and climate change. The reason we feel this has so much potential to kick off is because it provides people an opportunity to be involved with their evolving environment while providing local nurseries a chance to gain revenue. As easy as Snap it, Crowd it, PlantIt!
About You
Organization:
PlantIt!
About You
First Name

Sonia

Last Name

Preisser

About Your Project
Organization Name

PlantIt!

Organization Country

, KL

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Kuala Lumpur

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

During Global Startup Youth, our team, representing 7 countries, decided to address air quality issues in cities & solve it with a simple yet impactful solution. One of our members was drenched in sweat after walking barely 200m in the afternoon as there were barely any trees in the neighborhood. Initially our idea was to reduce the heat felt and beautify the surroundings, but we discovered that this solution would greatly contribute to solving a greater problem which is CO2 emissions and climate change. The reason we feel this has so much potential to kick off is because it provides people an opportunity to be involved with their evolving environment while providing local nurseries a chance to gain revenue.

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Greenhouse Gases.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

We have identified the everyday citizen as our target audience, however the end costumer at the beginning are the tree nurseries. The reason we have chosen to do it so is because we believe that through there we are able to make is easy for users to participate in bigger issues without feeling too much of a burden on them. The end result will benefit them, and contribute to the larger problem we have identified. We intend on getting our solution through word of mouth, marketing, and in app stores.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

Our goal is to have 500,000 trees planted by 2015. PlantIt was created by a 12 person team as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur. In finalising the app, we appreciate feedback and more design functionality so mentor workshops would contribute greatly to bring this idea to scale. Our idea of crowdfunding trees help turn a global problem to a local solution. One tree can offset the carbon emissions of an air conditioning unit running for 24 hours and absorb CO2 at a rate of 48lbs/year, releasing enough CO2 back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. With PlantIt, we want to start a tree planting revolution wherever there is available space. Added to the impact of tree planting, our plans to scale up the app to community gardens and rooftop gardens will promote urban agriculture. This, besides improving air quality, will promote sustainable living.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

After we fully develop the PlantIt app, and have a successful relationship with users and tree nurseries, we intend to scale up the idea to community gardens and rooftop gardens. The idea is to engage users to start with easy steps, and results which can then easily be scaled up to larger projects that can easily be done, benefit the community and improve the problem we set out to solve. Once we have the pilot programmes well set in place, we intend on expanding to other cities outside of KL to include the other countries represented in the team behind the idea, namely Croatia, Australia, India and Mexico.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

PlantIt requires very little revenue to sustain its operations. We believe that a 5% cut of the crowdfunding generated through the app will be more than enough to ensure operations and build extra functionality as the app grows. The other 95% goes towards the nursery to plant and maintain the tree which also supports local nurseries who are a low growth business in most parts of the world.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

The team behind the idea has all had very different entrepreneurial experiences and it is due to that experience that we were all selected to be part of the Global Startup Youth event which was a side event to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The variety of entrepreneurial skills in the team is what makes this idea solid and easily expandable, added to the passion and diversity of each individual.

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