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The HAPI team is thrilled to announce the launch of our KickStarter Campaign!

We’ve worked hard over the past year to make the HAPI ini­tia­tive real by gen­er­at­ing inno­v­a­tive ideas, prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies. The first ver­sion of the HAPI automa­tion plat­form is in its final test phase and we designed and built an awe­some ver­ti­cal sys­tem that is now into its first grow cycle. We’re work­ing with some great high school kids as they explore and invent new ways to mon­i­tor their aquapon­ic green­house and we devel­oped and released edu­ca­tion­al con­tent for an intro­duc­to­ry hydro­pon­ics class. The con­tent has already been used to teach mul­ti­ple class­es. We’ve devel­oped a Smart Pow­er Man­age­ment sys­tem, now in beta test­ing, that will provide food pro­duc­ers with the abil­i­ty to min­i­mize their ener­gy con­sump­tion while max­i­miz­ing yield. Most impor­tant­ly, we’ve formed strong rela­tion­ships not only with­in the team but with indi­vid­u­als and groups in our com­mu­ni­ties that share our vision for trans­form­ing the glob­al food sys­tem.

We did all of this in just one year, as unpaid vol­un­teers, fund­ed large­ly from our own pock­ets. Now we’re ready to take it to the next lev­el and we’re ask­ing you to join us in real­iz­ing the HAPI vision.

We have launched a Kick­Starter Cam­paign with the intent of crowd-fund­ing urban food pro­duc­tion cen­ters that will pro­duce healthy, organ­ic food for their com­mu­ni­ties. The cen­ters will use both tra­di­tion­al and HAPI-devel­oped grow sys­tems and will fea­ture the remote-con­trol and automa­tion capa­bil­i­ties of the HAPI automa­tion plat­form. The cen­ters will NOT be owned by us, they will be owned and oper­at­ed by the com­mu­ni­ties in which they are locat­ed. As the HAPI team is a dis­trib­ut­ed group of vol­un­teers, we will need to part­ner with peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions near the cen­ters to provide day-to-day oper­a­tional sup­port. Dif­fer­ent cen­ters will have dif­fer­ent require­ments but the approx­i­mate scale of any cen­ter will be around $10,000 in sys­tems cost. The owners/operators will need to provide the space and util­i­ties. We will provide the grow sys­tems, automation/monitoring/remote-control plat­form, site design, staff man­age­ment soft­ware, start-up oper­a­tions guid­ance and the nec­es­sary sup­port to get every cen­ter oper­at­ing at its max­i­mum poten­tial.

So how can your com­mu­ni­ty get a crowd-fund­ed food pro­duc­tion cen­ter? Con­tribute to the Kick­Starter cam­paign! Every­one who con­tributes gets to vote on where we should locate the cen­ters. Doesn’t mat­ter if you  con­tribute $1 or $10,000, every­one gets 1 vote. So orga­ni­za­tions, groups, entire com­mu­ni­ties can get togeth­er and vote for their own loca­tion. But just amass­ing votes doesn’t guar­an­tee  a cen­ter, we also have to reach fund­ing goals. We set a low goal on the cam­paign, just under $15,000. This pays the costs of the cam­paign and pro­vides some rev­enue cru­cial for the con­tin­u­a­tion and expan­sion our cur­rent activ­i­ties. For every $10,000 reached above the cam­paign goal, we will build anoth­er cen­ter. So, for exam­ple, if the Kick­Starter cam­paign rais­es $40,000 above the goal, we’ll build 4 sites. The 4 sites would be con­struct­ed in the 4 loca­tions that get the most votes. Note that you can vote for any loca­tion, so if you and your friends want to spon­sor a cen­ter in a blight­ed neigh­bor­hood across the coun­try, that’s total­ly up to you!

In 2010, I found myself ask­ing, “How can the food sys­tem be trans­formed? How can we shift from large-scale pro­duc­tion of food grown using ques­tion­able meth­ods and sub­stan­tial amounts of fuel and chem­i­cals, to a local pro­duc­tion mod­el where the val­ues of the com­mu­ni­ty dic­tate the means and meth­ods used.” The HAPI project was cre­at­ed out of strong desire to provide solu­tions to the­se prob­lems. We’re ready, are you?

 

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