Seattle Sustainable Urban Farming Startup Keeps it ‘Hyperlocal’, Growing Food on Rooftops
Competing against 101 other teams, UrbanHarvest won the $25,000 grand prize and $2,000 for the Best Clean-Tech Idea
By Missy Smith
July 30, 2012
Among the businesses and institutions UrbanHarvest is in ongoing discussions with are Microsoft and the University of Washington. “We do not have signed deals in place yet,” he says. “But hopefully those will come soon.” A partnership with Microsoft would mean that the corporation would no longer have to receive its produce from a supplier in California, which is 12-hour drive away from its headquarters. Instead, the computer software company would source its food directly from its rooftop.
Though Bajuk does not foresee many hurdles arising for UrbanHarvest—mostly because of the strong interest brewing in their community—he says that one challenge will be to expand their reach outside of the Seattle area, at which time they will have to consider each municipality’s land use and zoning regulations. But, for now, Bajuk says the UrbanHarvest team will stick to Seattle while it nurtures its new endeavor. “From an operational perspective, it definitely makes sense to concentrate on building a brand and putting systems in place to service the local geography before expanding to other geographies, lest we get out over our skis,” he explains.