Applying ancient knowledge to make gardening easy
Sommersemester 2019 - EYWA - Student Start-up Project
For several hundred years, plants have been cultivated in living space due to their positive psychological effects such as stress reduction, improved air quality by absorbing pollution and their decorativeness. However, since adequate plant care can be a rather difficult task to manage, many people neglect the above-mentioned benefits because the effort seems unachievable.
As our research has shown, the main problem people are struggling with when it comes to plant care is correct irrigation. Unexperienced users especially often struggle with water dosage. Relieving this burden from our customers by providing an easy solution, EYWA revolutionizes their plant care at home.
The Validation Process
To evaluate our concept, we have conducted several interviews with potential B2C and B2B customers and, based on gained input and feedback, developed a working prototype. The interviews that were conducted among representative Viennese people between the ages of 16 and 78 concluded that watering is the biggest problem with plant care. In addition to that, people are skeptical when it comes to electronical solutions in combination with their plants in their living space.
Current systems on the market fail to deliver an overall satisfying solution to sufficiently tackle the problem described and experienced by potential customers. Therefore, we have developed a concept that solves the main problems described by those surveyed and build a prototype. Following the lean start-up approach, three minimal viable products were confronted with customer criticism as early as possible in order to integrate customer feedback into the developing and designing process most efficiently.
Unique Selling Proposition
Currently, existing solutions on the market are either too complex or dependent on electronics. EYWA, however, manages to provide reliable irrigation with its unique combination of an integrated water reservoir and utilization of basic physical phenomena, allowing the system to work fully without any electronic input, without taking away regular dry periods. Our solution, EYWA, combines the benefits of controllable watering systems with the ease-of-use of non-electronic solutions.
We propose a device based on the siphoning effect of a Pythagorean cup. The underlying principle causes the complete draining of a reservoir when filled beyond a certain point. Ideally, our device features a small reservoir that can drain a predefined volume at regular intervals and is integrated into a pot. Such a device provides regular irrigation with a fixed amount of water, without relying on electronics. Moreover, the mechanism accounts for eventual dry periods of a plant. (PATENT)
In order to protect this award-winning idea in an environment of tough competition against potential theft or duplication, the concept and product of EYWA is patent secured.
A recent study determined that Vienna is composed of 51% green space, which places Austria's capital in the top competitors for greenest city worldwide. Additionally, 30% of German households feature a garden and even more have potted plants indoors. The total revenue of the floral market is currently valued at 8 billion Euros in Germany alone. Given the many plant enthusiast and broad interest for plants and gardening, Vienna is the perfect city for our start-up EYWA to enter the German-speaking market and build a loyal customer basis.
EYWA solves the above described problems a wide majority of plant owners are dealing with and therefore has the potential to enter the mass market. However, considering our limited amount of capacities and yet to develop reputation as a start up needed for a broader market, EYWA is focusing on a niche market of plant enthusiasts to start off with in order to build up a trustful relationship with customers and gaining necessary experience before moving into mass production in a few years.
Student team and founders of EYWA
Melisa Midzan (WU)
Michael Sack (TU)
Juliane Steiner (WU)
Gregor Weisgrab (TU)
Dragos Vasilescu (TU)