Bachelor of Engineering, Environmental Engineering (2011)
Hub Spotlight: Plant Snorkel
After spending the spring season at home during quarantine, it was easy to notice that many people found themselves taking a shot at starting their own plant and vegetable gardens. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or someone with a brand-new green thumb, successfully keeping plants healthy can be a challenge and nearly all plant-parents have experienced over-watered plants.
Over-watering is considered one of the most common problems facing plants and a leading cause of early plant death. With this in mind, and after seeing a common theme emerging as their friends struggled to keep their plants alive and healthy, Cody and Jordan decided to create a solution: the Plant Snorkel.
Plant Snorkel manufactures and markets a product that can be inserted into plant containers to mitigate the effects of overwatering. The patent-pending design can be used in plant containers of many different shapes and sizes, including pots with no existing drainage. The goal is to make sure customers “never drown another plant.”
We chatted with Cody and Jordan to learn more about Plant Snorkel and how they took the next step in their business.
How did you come up with the plant snorkel idea?
We both had a lot of friends that were having trouble keeping their indoor plants alive and healthy. Almost immediately, we noticed a common theme: very few pots contained a drainage system, especially those with stylish designs. Using our backgrounds in environmental and water resources engineering, we decided to see if we could find a way to provide drainage for pots without any existing draining system. After more than two years of experimenting and testing, we came up with the Plant Snorkel, a simple yet effective device that can be inserted into any plant container to provide drainage without compromising on appearance!
What motivated you to take the next step and apply to the Hub?
We had both been testing and using the Plant Snorkel in our own homes for quite some time, and we kept hearing the same story of friends and family killing their plants. We decided it was time to share our invention with others by launching a business selling the Plant Snorkel online.
What do you hope to get out of the Hub?
Through the HUB program, we are hoping to learn how to launch and grow a successful business, while also developing a professional network in the Guelph region.
Do you have any advice for someone with a business idea in mind, but are not sure what to do next?
In our experience, we have found that if you find a solution to a problem, others will be interested in your solution, too! Putting together a simple business plan will help you better understand whether or not your idea is financially viable, and how to take that next step.
PhD Student in Water Resource Engineering
Housed within the John F. Wood Centre for Business & Student Enterprise (Wood Centre), the Hub is a business incubator designed to support early-stage business ideas with high-potential, but unproven business models. The goal of the Hub is to provide University of Guelph students (undergraduate and graduate) and alumni the opportunity to build a successful business enterprise in a supportive learning environment.
The Hub has a tiered program that ensures a good mix of start-up companies at varying stages of growth. “Hub Start” is for ventures still getting their idea off the ground. These ventures typically have a great team and a great idea, but still have not demonstrated product-market fit with traction. “Hub Build” is for ventures with traction looking to refine their business model and/or scale.