Whether for-profit or not-for-profit, you can receive the support to grow or begin your startup. The Hub offers U of G students and alumni funding, dedicated office space and access to experienced entrepreneurs so that you can develop a strong business model that can be rigorously tested and intelligently scaled.
Supporting agricultural production in urban environments
WaterFarmers Urban Agriculture is an environmental design/ build firm that supports the next generation of growing food in urban environments. This ranges from backyard vegetable gardens, to community gardens, to highly sophisticated indoor agriculture production. The company also supports clients who are looking to live in greener environments, and provides ecological landscaping services that include the installation of pollinator gardens, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting systems, and green roofs.
At the heart of WaterFarmers are two young entrepreneurs, Garrett Tribble and Evan Bell. Garrett is a University of Guelph graduate, and Evan is a graduate of the University of Waterloo. The tandem has a passion for tackling the challenges of urban food production, food waste, and food security, and they aim to help people be more successful when growing food locally and in the creation of greener communities.
Crucial to the duo is their vision to stay grounded in an exciting and often over-hyped urban agriculture industry.
“WaterFarmers exists to support sustainable agricultural production in urban environments, and to help people make their surroundings greener and more beneficial to their communities and the wildlife living around them. We believe in providing appropriate solutions to clients and work hard to resist idealistic expectations when it comes to growing food in cities. We strive to keep things simple, cost-effective, and realistic, in order to help our clients reach their goals in the short run and to succeed into the future”.
The WaterFarmers team builds on a diverse set of skills and experience from their individual passions, education, and careers, and has built on that skillset over the last 3 years of business to be able to confidently tackle a wide range of business offerings and activities. They offer a "one-stop-shop" value to customers by providing in-house consultation, design, project management, and installation services to ensure the successful execution of client projects from start to finish.
Garrett and Evan joined the John F. Wood Centre’s Hub incubator program shortly after founding the company to help build their early startup venture. They found that being part of the Hub program helped define what their roles should be within the company, the markets they should target, and their value to potential customers.
Garrett and Evan also found the office space on campus to be a valuable asset, as they could hold weekly meetings with their team and utilize the Centre’s networking opportunities to make connections across the Guelph community.
With active projects and partnerships across the country and internationally, the WaterFarmers label has secured a reputation that rivals the best in the business.
Navigating through the hype of the emerging indoor agriculture industry has been a challenge, say the tandem. However, with their experience and the training received from the Wood Centre, the team is ready to tackle the challenges before them, continue to grow their business, and help others grow healthy food and greener cities.