Back To The Roots Expands With New Funding And Retail Growth

Back to the Roots, the fastest growing organic food & gardening company innovating the way families are connecting with food, announces today its $3M series C led by Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT), the country’s leading lawn, garden and pet company. Central was joined by new investor Blue Scorpion Investments, a NYC-based consumer-facing venture capital fund. Back to the Roots will be using the capital to fuel its growth as leaders in the indoor gardening market with over a dozen new products in que to launch in 2019 and thousands of new retail partners including Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Petco and Costco.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/back-to-the-roots-expands-with-new-funding-and-retail-growth-300799593.html

Back to the Roots has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019

The company first became known for its simple and popular grow-your-own-mushroom kits. Now it also has a line of organic cereal, but it’s who eats that cereal that’s most interesting. In 2018, the company finished its first full year as the cereal supplier for New York’s public schools, becoming the first organic cereal ever offered in a U.S. public school system. Now it’s working with Nature’s Path & the Urban School Food Alliance to bring organic cereals to 1 in 5 kids by 2020.
https://www.fastcompany.com/company/back-to-the-roots

Better together: Why some food companies enter into partnerships

Now Nature’s Path, the largest organic cereal company in the U.S., runs the ingredient sourcing, distribution, manufacturing and supply chain aspects of Back to the Roots cereal. Items such as Back to the Roots Biodynamic Cinnamon Flakes still belong to Back to the Roots. Recipes and packages won’t be changed without Back to the Roots approval. But, Arora said, those products now will benefit from the category expertise of a longtime leader.
https://www.fooddive.com/news/better-together-why-some-food-companies-enter-into-partnerships/539411/

Company chooses Buffalo over Florida … for our weather

Lindsey Tropf faced a doozy. A judge questioned why someone from Gainesville, Fla., would choose move her company, Immersed Games, to Buffalo.
“I won’t have to lose two weeks of development every year fleeing the state from a hurricane,” Tropf said. The Shea’s crowd approved, with laughter and applause.

https://buffalonews.com/2018/10/05/company-chooses-buffalo-over-florida-for-our-weather/

Revolutionary communication innovations

Start-ups like Speak Shop, a web-based marketplace of Latin America Spanish tutors, allow anyone, anywhere to brush up on their Español via Skype.
https://www.speakshop.org/revolutionary-communication-innovations/

Adult Literacy Startup GogyUp Aims to Help Those Lost in Translation

In the United States, around 36 million adults are reading below a third grade level, and less than a quarter have the resources to boost their literacy skills. A team of educators and techies hope to tackle that issue through GogyUp, an adult literacy platform that helps users learn English while reading everyday documents.

https://www.americaninno.com/minne/twin-cities-startup/adult-literacy-startup-gogyup-aims-to-help-those-lost-in-translation/

BALANCE Edutainment Launches The First Children’s Book That Springs to Life Through Augmented Reality

BALANCE Edutainment, a leading Extended Reality EdTech firm, launched Pacha’s Pajamas, the first-of-its-kind augmented reality (AR) children’s book that gets kids to fall in love reading again. Children learn about living in harmony with nature through an engaging and interactive experience.
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/balance-edutainment-launches-pachas-pajamas—the-first-childrens-book-that-springs-to-life-through-augmented-reality-300552663.html

‘Bachelor’ Star Sean Lowe Partners with Fellow ‘Bachelorette’ Contestant Alejandro Velez to Donate 125,000 Meals Supporting Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

“Bachelor” & “Bachelorette” star Sean Lowe has partnered with fellow ‘Bachelorette’ contestant Alejandro Velez to donate 125,000 breakfast cereal meals in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The organic cereal is from Back to the Roots, a company Velez co-founded in Oakland, CA.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/09/prweb14657882.htm

Why Biodynamic Breakfast Cereal Is The Go To Choice in 2017

Biodynamic food is trending in 2017. It is extending beyond organic farming, reducing the need for outside fertilisers. Moreover, it is creating a balanced farm ecosystem. This is achieved through rotational crops, a variety of plants and animals as well as on-site composting. We know there are hundreds of cereal products on the market, but very few of them can call themselves biodynamic! Back-the-roots is where health is heading.
http://www.longevitylive.com/nutrition-body/healthy-eating/biodynamic-breakfast-cereal/

Back To The Roots And Taking The Friction Out Of Natural Foods

The team at Back to the Roots can’t help with all the levels of fish madness that go into fish tank ownership. They can’t make your fish like each other, and they have not invented technology that will make you more able to tell if your fish is truly happy or just pacing in its bowl awaiting death. What they can do, however, is offer a fish tank that requires a lot less maintenance.
http://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2017/back-to-the-roots-natural-foods-ecommerce-innovation/

Two Oakland Area Entrepreneurs Are Reconnecting Us to Food

Back to the Roots is a thriving and growing business. Their ready-to-grow and ready-to-eat products are sold in thousands of locations nationwide, and the company has won several awards from leading publications and organizations for food innovation.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/two-oakland-area-entrepreneurs-are-reconnecting-us-to-food_us_595d47f1e4b02e9bdb09fa22

Proof That Not All Kids are Addicted to Sugar

When you were a kid, chances are, the days when you were allowed to pick out your own breakfast meant one thing: a heaping bowl of Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And if your mom stocked the house with “healthy cereal,” your only option was something very bland. Bleh.
https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/back-to-the-roots-cereal-nyc-schools/

Healthier Cereals Snare a Spot on New York School Menus

The New York City public school system has quietly replaced breakfast cereals made by the Kellogg Company, the titan whose name is virtually synonymous with cereal, with those from a small California upstart called Back to the Roots.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/dining/cereal-health-new-york-city-public-schools.html?_r=0

Back to the Roots, NYC Schools Take ‘Undo Food’ Movement One Step Further

Back to the Roots was that something different. Though miniscule in comparison to food industry giants such as Kellogg, the California startup — which last summer got a $10-million funding boost from investors — offers a lineup of organic cereals with half as much sugar as conventional brands and no preservatives or added vitamins.
http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/startups/libby_maccarthy/back_roots_lands_major_deal_new_york_city_schools

Healthier Cereals Snare a Spot on New York School Menus

The New York City public school system has quietly replaced breakfast cereals made by the Kellogg Company, the titan whose name is virtually synonymous with cereal, with those from a small California upstart called Back to the Roots.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/dining/cereal-health-new-york-city-public-schools.html

Building the better fishbowl: Aquaponics combines fish, greens to create cleaner food

The commercial for the AquaFarm, a three-gallon fish bowl topped with a lid for growing potted plants that its inventors call “a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food,” pretty much sums up the way aquaponics works—even if the pitch, at times, sounds like some green-techie hipster satire straight out of a “Portlandia” skit.
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/life/building-the-better-fishbowl-aquaponics-combines-fish-greens-to-create/article_cad5319e-e4e0-11e6-8d01-cf596ef1a536.html

Man Who Survived a Terrorist Kidnapping, Cancer and The Bachelorette Becomes Successful Mushroom Entrepreneur

In 2009, Alejandro Velez had overcome a lot of obstacles to get where he was. The then senior at UC Berkeley had survived being kidnapped by terrorists while growing up in Medellín, Colombia, had beaten cancer and was just a few months away from beginning a lucrative career on Wall Street.
http://people.com/human-interest/man-who-survived-a-terrorist-kidnapping-cancer-and-the-bachelorette-becomes-successful-mushroom-entrepreneur/

How this World of Warcraft junkie got Intel’s attention

Their effortless absorption sparked an idea for Tropf: what if kids used video games to learn the same way? What if she could engineer a game to purposefully teach kids valuable concepts without them even noticing?
https://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/bizwomen/news/profiles-strategies/2016/09/startups-how-this-world-of-warcraft-junkie-got.html

With Help of $10M Series A, Back to the Roots Poised to Truly ‘Undo Food’

Back to the Roots, an Oakland, California startup pioneering how families reconnect with food, announced today that it has expanded its January crowdfunding campaign on CircleUp into a $10M Series A. The new investment was led by Acre Venture Partners, Campbell Soup’s venture capital fund for food startups, and also includes funding from S2G Ventures and Red Sea Ventures.
http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/startups/sustainable_brands/help_10m_series_back_roots_poised_undo_food

Education Technology | Launched 2015 | Chile

Brave UP, led by CEO Alvaro Carrasco and COO Robinson Salinas, is an education technology start up with a program and platform for revolutionizing the way school stakeholders (students, parents, teachers, administrators) communicate.
https://brianjacobbell.com/2016/06/16/agora-entrepreneurs/

20 Global Startups That Are Changing The World

Founders of Back to the Roots, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora were college students when they found out they could grow food from waste — in this case, it was mushrooms from coffee grounds. Their sustainable food business started in 2009, with the introduction of the first boxed product, Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden, quickly following. By providing products that allow people to grow their own food at home, Back to the Roots is achieving their goals of healthy communities and green development, in which you “undo” food and make it personal again.
https://www.currencyfair.com/blog/20-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Atayne makes high performing outdoor and athletic apparel that is safe for people and the planet. They aim to inspire positive environmental and social change through the power of active lifestyles. “I would say one of the things I am most proud of is being recognized by B Lab as a Best for the World and Best for the Environment Company the last three years,” says co-founder Jeremy Litchfield.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Yellow Leaf Hammocks exists to empower the Hill tribe members in Thailand to rise out of poverty by creating stable, culturally sustainable, high wage weaving jobs. “We’ve grown to create work for more than 200 weavers so far and we have a waiting list of more people hoping to become weavers!” says co-founder Rachel Connors. “Perhaps most importantly, all of our weavers’ children can afford to attend school instead of working in the fields, [thereby] breaking the cycle of poverty with education [and] new opportunities for the next generation.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Back to the Roots was founded in 2009 by then college seniors Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora after they discovered how to grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. Since then, Back to the Roots has evolved from urban mushroom farming to a thriving business on a mission to “undoing food” and reconnecting families to it through fun, delicious and sustainable “ready to grow” and “ready to eat” products. Back to the Roots products are now available in 14,000 retail locations including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, The Home Depot, Safeway, and several other retailers worldwide.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Toilets for People sells affordable and sustainable composting toilets, sanitation consulting services, and training in local capacity building to charity organizations serving communities living in the developing world where conventional sanitation solutions like pit latrines and flush toilets fail. Recently, the company successfully installed and is monitoring the usage of toilets in a Peruvian urban slum called Belen. The slum has a population of 70,000, and many of its inhabitants live in houses on stilts 20 feet in the air to avoid the Amazon River flood waters. Because of this, there are few hygienic toilets, and it’s one of the most challenging locals in the world to install proper sanitation.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Soupergirl serves fresh, homemade soup made with ingredients from small local farms. It serves sustainable soup for delivery or pickup and operates a storefront location in DC. “We’re proud of growing extensively over the past several years while staying true to our core values — cooking healthy, delicious, responsibly sourced food,” says owner Sara Polon. “We still have excellent relationships with a growing network of small, sustainable farms and we’re proud to support them and help them grow. It has not been easy, but it is well worth it.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

The long term objective of Sanergy is to build and scale viable sanitation infrastructure in the slums of Nairobi. The model involves four parts: (i) building a network of low-cost sanitation centers in slums, (ii) distributing them through franchising to local entrepreneurs, (iii) collecting the waste produced, and (iv) processing it into electricity and fertilizer. At each step, the model creates jobs and opportunity while simultaneously addressing serious social needs. “As of June 2015, we have a network of over 700 toilets run by 342 Fresh Life operators,” says communications manager Medora Brown. “Our network is used almost 30,000 times a day, and we remove more than seven metric tons of waste from the community every day. In total, we have removed and safely treated over 5,440 metric tons of waste. In the process, we have created over 725 high-quality jobs in an area where there is 40% unemployment.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Fuego del Sol Haiti collects, sorts, upcycles, and recycles waste products into usable products that allow it to tap into underutilized fuel resources in Haiti. It does this by producing ecologically friendly fuel briquettes to fight Haiti’s deadly charcoal addiction. It also designs, manufactures, and distributes the improved cookstoves and related technologies that connect ecological biomass cooking with Haitian culture and thus creates long-term living-wage jobs. According to Kevin Adair, Fuego del Sol Haiti has produced “over 100 tons of recycled non-carbonized Haiti-produced fuel briquettes and thus replaced the need of over 10,000 trees.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Wecyclers gives low-income communities in developing countries a chance to capture value from waste and clean up their neighborhoods through incentive-based recycling. “Since August 2012, Wecyclers has registered over 7,000 households for our collection service, built 25 operational collection cargo bikes and collected over 800 metric tons of recyclable materials,” says co-founder and CEO Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Maternova is a web-based global marketplace that tracks and sells goods services that impact the lives of mothers and newborns. They make it easy for doctors, nurses, and midwives to track innovation and to buy technologies and kits to use overseas. “What began as a single obstetric kit product sold domestically has grown organically by demand to include over 40 rigorously tested products, and we’re proud to call the Ministries of Health, the United Nations, and some of the largest NGOs our clients,” says VP and co-founder Allyson E Cote. “To date, we’ve help save the lives of over 180,000 women and newborns, and our global reach extends into over 170 countries.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Eqalix is developing the first plant-based skin substitute wound dressing; it will replace currently marketed products that are made from culturally sensitive sources (cadavers, embryonic materials, cows, pigs). Eqalix’s dressing can be sold at disruptive prices due to a cost structure that’s roughly 1/10 that of current products. “We have animal data showing that wounds dressed with OmegaSkin™ have resulted in about 1/3 less scarring, and actual restoration of skin appendages such as hair follicles and sweat glands, compared to control dressings,” says CEO Thomas Seoh. “By switching the source from human or animal tissues to soybeans (an inexpensive and ubiquitous food crop) and electrospinning (a well-characterized manufacturing process borrowed from the textile industry), we project unit costs roughly an order of magnitude lower than currently marketed products.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Mozambikes is the first provider to build a bicycle industry and make bicycles a commodity in Mozambique. The unique advantage of Mozambikes lies in their model that provides bicycles of higher quality and lower prices to all provinces in Mozambique. They offer quality bicycles at a standard cost across all retail locations, regardless of proximity to an urban center, so that people can afford to buy a product that can improve their quality of life. “We employ over 15 workers,” says co-founder Lauren Thomas. “Our technicians in the warehouse generally lack formal education and would otherwise be minimum wage workers, but Mozambikes pays 2-5x minimum wage, gives bonuses (cell phones last year), and provides no-interest loans (we have helped 2 workers build a house)!”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Advancing Engineering is an engineering and construction consulting firm focused on infrastructure projects throughout the developing world. They provide engineering services in consulting, design, and construction management for projects including agriculture, roadways, bridges, buildings, dams, and distributed power. “Since its founding in 2009, AE now has offices in Cambodia and Indonesia with 15 permanent employees and over 30 associates,” says co-founder Bryse Gaboury.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

Sanivation

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Sanivation provides a household sanitation service and affordable fuel to residents living in the slums of Kenya, where current toilets are too expensive and require infrastructure that slum dwellers are not set up to invest in. “Already, Sanivation has had over 500 users for its services, over 300 monthly payments, and is operating at a 98% renewal rate for its monthly subscriptions,” says founder Andrew Foote.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

DayOne Response develops and supplies innovative solutions for disaster relief. One solution is the DayOne Waterbag, which is a lightweight reusable personal water treatment device that provides all the essential functions for water purification. According to co-founder Amy Cagle, DayOne Waterbags have been deployed in over 20 countries, and the company has provided over 7 million liters of clean water in less than a year.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Eccolizer aims to solve the food crisis in Bangladesh by providing low-cost bio-fertilizer prepared from sugarcane bagasse, which is normally considered a wastage and thrown away. “We have supplied our organic [product] to more than 10 districts (out of a total 64 districts of Bangladesh), serving around 500 farmers who have cultivated various types of crops and vegetables,” says co-founder Md. Shahidul Islam.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Wello’s mission is to effectively deliver clean water to a thirsty world. By reframing the water crisis as an opportunity, Wello has developed an innovative business model that empowers individuals to use the WaterWheel as an income-generating tool to lift their families out of poverty. The WaterWheel is an innovative water transportation tool designed to alleviate the problems associated with a lack of easy access to water. “We began selling the WaterWheel 2.5 in May,” says co-founder Cynthia Koenig. “In our first three months of sales, we will have shipped 1500+ WaterWheels across India, Pakistan, and Zambia, positively impacting more than 10,000 individuals to date.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/