Green Digit win the second GIMA Innovator’s Seed Corn Fund
Green Digit are the 2015 GIMA Innovator’s Seed Corn Fund winners and collect a prize of £5,000. Launched in 2014 the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund is designed to encourage new businesses, designers and innovators to enter the garden retail market.
Beating off stiff competition, the team at Green Digit are the brains behind SeedCell, a new concept in Grow-Your-Own. Put simply, its packaging you plant! SeedCell offers a fun, clever, and waste free way to plant seeds, making them the perfect tool to get children interested in growing their own food. Just snap the cells out and push them into some soil. The unique pointed triangle cell acts as a seed delivery system, removing the need for tools. The natural pulp will absorb any ground moisture and help deliver it directly to the seed aiding the germination while providing a safe, reliable micro climate in which to grow. Currently the SeedCell is available in nine varieties (Chilli Peppers, Tomato, Sweet Mixed Peppers, Sunflowers, Mixed Herbs, Chives, Parsley, Coriander and Basil).
GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall said: “We’re incredibly pleased to confirm that Green Digit are the 2015 winners of the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund. The judges were impressed, not only with the product’s simplicity, but also with the design and creative flair with which it had been put together, as well as how the concept had been thought through to a finished, shelf-ready product being offered at a competitive price. Not only this, but the SeedCell is designed to make growing your own accessible to all, whilst also offering significant environmental credentials. Finally, the product firmly flies the flag for true British innovation with its proud ‘Made in Britain’ status. Green Digit are a most worthy winner, and we look forward to working with the team to help them make their mark in the garden retail market.”
In addition to choosing a winner, the panel also selected two highly commended companies. Those just missing out on the highly coveted title were:
As the winner, Green Digit is now set to receive funding and help with the development and marketing of their product, together with support from experts within the industry.
- Buttacup with the Waterbutt Plant Pot: the Buttacup Flow is curved to fit perfectly to the side of any standard water butt using a simple nut and bolt. Once attached the self-watering system will do all the hard work. The Buttacup Flow is available in a range of colours including dark green to match your water butt. It is easy to install and comes with a full set of instructions and components.
- Baksaver Barrows with its namesake product, the Baksaver Barrow: Baksaver Barrows are designed from the ground up using feedback from a mixed range of wheelbarrow users. These high quality, durable wheelbarrows can be used with very little effort, where you don't need to lift to push or to tip. Each barrow comes complete with a three year warranty.
To find out more about the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund please join GIMA on-stand at Glee 2015, Hall 20, stand H38-G40.
Meet Green Digit. Q&A with Dan Robson, founder
Tell us a more about Green Digit
Green Digit Ltd was formed in mid-2014, with the aim of the business being to design, develop and launch a well-considered product based on the concept of plantable packaging. The main objective was to engage with a new audience, and encourage them to have a go at growing their own. The products are intended to eliminate the complexities of growing plants from seed and encourages those who may have been put off by the idea of gardening or growing in the past. We truly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the experience of growing and eating their own produce, and we aim to make this a possibility through our products.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the journey of SeedCell, from concept to the finished product?
Our journey began four years ago, during my time as a design student at Northumbria University. While in my final year I submitted a piece of work which was based around the concept of a 100% biodegradable seed packet.
After completing my Masters in Design, Technology and Business in 2013 I decide to explore the possibility of starting a company to take my concept and turn it in to a real retail product. Determined to produce a small batch of my first design, I managed to raise a small sum through a government based innovation grant. Producing the first 10,000 products by hand, I found a distributor and began to test the market.
One year on we have developed the product further to ensure its full commercial potential. We also spent the last year setting up the infrastructure needed to produce larger volume orders with our own in-house facility.
One of our unique USP's is that although we are a small company we pride ourselves on the fact that we are now in a position to deal with multi-national retailers. We have put a lot of hard work into our quality systems, procedures, shelf-ready boxes, point of sale material and a national distribution network, and are now ready to hit the ground running.
How did you hear about the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund?
While doing some market research at last year’s Glee I found myself at the GIMA stand, I introduced myself to Vicky Nuttall who, in turn, introduced me to some potential suppliers. Vicky was hugely helpful and it allowed us to find a new seed supplier. We got some information on the fund and couldn't wait to enter.
What made you enter the award?
Having seen first-hand the connections GIMA helped us to make, we were keen to get the product in front of experienced people from the industry who could help us to make the right connections and steer us in the right direction.
What does the ‘win’ mean to you?
Winning the GIMA Innovators’ Seed Corn Fund is our biggest achievement to date. It means a great deal to us to have our product recognised by such highly experienced people from within the gardening industry.
What can people at Glee expect to see from you?
We are really excited to be exhibiting at Glee this year, having been visitors for the past three years running. We are very much looking forward to launching the product on our stand in the Innovators Zone. As it is our first year at Glee we are keen to introduce ourselves to the world of gardening buyers and retailers.
What are your current retail distribution routes for SeedCell? What channels are you hoping to reach at Glee?
We have built up a network of independent retailers throughout the north of the UK, and we have a great relationship with our stockists. We offer promotional deals, and maintain contact to support our retailers and anyone dealing with us. We are looking to build on our current stockists and possibly find new territories.
To find out more about Green Digit and SeedCell visit www.seedcell.co.uk. You can also visit the company on-stand at Glee 2015, Hall 20, stand B29.