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October 17, 2013 — A University of Wyoming business incubator client, Bright Agrotech, is selling its products on a trial basis at Whole Foods in Fort Collins, Colo., the first major supermarket chain that has featured the company’s patented ZipGrow Towers.
Bright Agrotech grows salad greens and herbs in the towers using a technology called hydroponics, in which plants are grown soil-free, with nutrients being supplied in the irrigation water.
The towers allow customers to cut their own live produce, says Nate Storey, Bright Agrotech founder.
“If the trial proves successful, Whole Foods will feature the technology in its other stores,” he says. “Our goal is to eventually make our way into more Whole Foods and traditional grocery stores.”
Bright Agrotech owns Bayberry Fresh, a Colorado farm that can replace the grocery store towers with freshly grown salad greens and herbs every day. It’s a capability that is ideally suited to Whole Foods customers.
“They know it’s fresh and locally produced, and tastes better than anyone else’s,” Storey says. “It’s a solution for small growers who want to sell, and customers who want to buy quality produce.”
Bright Agrotech is a client of the Wyoming Technology Business Center, the university's business incubator that assists Wyoming entrepreneurs. Storey receives professional business counseling and executive coaching services designed to help the business grow larger and faster than it would otherwise. Such assistance, he says, has been essential to the company’s growth.
“The incubator has helped us to take our product to market and be successful,” he says. “This is UW’s technology that we are developing and leveraging, and trying to turn into gold.”
Additionally, he says the university’s Research Products Center (RPC) has provided services to ensure the business’s success. The RPC helps Wyoming citizens and companies identify, protect and commercialize their inventions and intellectual property.
“These businesses have been important organizations in helping my business be successful,” he says.
For more information, visit www.brightagrotech.com.
Bright Agrotech founder Nate Storey examines herbs grown in towers that allow customer to cut their own live produce. (UW Photo)