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Charlie Guy (LettUs Grow)

Charlie Guy won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in March 2018 for his business, LettUs Grow

Business Description

According to the WWF, commercial farming and agriculture cause huge strains on the natural environment because they are energy, water and land intensive.1
Globally, the agricultural sector consumes about 70% of the planet's accessible freshwater2 and around 50% of the world's habitable land has already been converted to farming land.3
LettUs Grow, a start-up based in Bristol, has developed a system to grow vegetables, such as lettuce, using 95% less water than traditional agriculture methods. They do this through an aeroponic grow bed that can be installed in vertical farms. Aeroponics is a methodology of growing plants without soil, where the roots are watered using a fine mist. Not only does this allow greater oxygenation of the roots, delivering better flavour and faster growth, but it also uses much less water than traditional agriculture as the water used for the mist is recirculated in a closed loop system.
As well as using less water, aeroponics is also much less carbon intensive than other growing forms as it uses significantly less land than soil growing. Crops can be grown all year round in any environment – including in urban spaces – removing the need for large areas of land or the need for crop imports from abroad.
Alongside their aeroponic hardware, LettUs Grow are also developing software and data services that are integrated into hardware and provide information to optimise growing conditions.
LettUs Grow’s funding has come from a mixture of grants, awards and some private investment. In March 2018, the company was awarded £5,000 as the winners of a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award. Charlie Guy, the start-up’s co-founder and Managing Director, was drawn to the Shell LiveWIRE programme due to the brand strength of Shell: “As the company, and the programme, is instantly recognisable, it provides us with some real credibility.”
From his experience, Charlie has a key piece of advice for would-be entrepreneurs: partner with the right people early on. “Collaborations and partnerships with the right people is really important for your business early on, particularly if they have a bigger reputation than you. We’ve benefited from being alongside other people who have got behind our mission and given us a real boost.”


You can follow LettUs Grow on Twitter @LettUsGrow and Facebook.

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