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May 06

Student, alumnus startup featured in The New York Times

Future Tech Farm

Kettering University graduate Brian Falther and current student Austin Lawrence recently had their startup, Future Tech Farm, featured in an article in The New York Times:

Enter Future Tech Farms, the high-tech gardening brainchild of Brian Falther and his business partner, Austin Lawrence. The two mechanical engineers are trying to develop a network of indoor gardening pods, hooked up via phone or home Wi-Fi, to a social pod network, which would share information on the most effective growing conditions.

“The whole goal is to create a food production format for the world that is ecologically sustainable, energy sustainable and carbon neutral,” said Mr. Falther, a 2010 graduate of Kettering University in Flint, Mich., where Mr. Lawrence is a senior. “I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing this.”

Why indeed? The small self-contained pods would collect data on water temperature, light, pH levels and such. Then the information on what works best could be shared on the network, making it easier for newcomers and participants to garden, Mr. Falther said.

The two have more than $30,000 in start-up money and are hoping that someday their pods will be as familiar a sight in homes as refrigerators and televisions.