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

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/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Access Afya sells basic healthcare services and supplies via high-tech mini-clinics to poor Kenyans, whose current healthcare options are unpleasant, unreliable, or unaffordable. “The organization has proved that the poor will pay for healthcare if it is superior to the low-quality status quo and offered at a price point that is still affordable,” says CEO Melissa Menke. “We found that price ceiling to be around $5 per visit, and we have over 7,000 clients at this level.”
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

Re-Nuble uses a proprietary process enabled by technology to convert food waste into a cheaper, highly sterile and stable, organic-based liquid fertilizer for the indoor agriculture industry. It’s focused on the commercialization of formulas and processes to turn bio-based materials into fertilizers for indoor growing systems. In doing so, Re-Nuble aims to create completely sustainable, closed loop food and plant production systems.
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

Juabar empowers off-grid Tanzanians with employment in the growing solar and mobile technology industries while filling a community energy need for mobile charging. “We used to organically go out and find new [local entrepreneurs] on our own but now as we’ve gotten smarter, we tap into existing networks of retailers and organizations working on economic and employment development to reach new customers,” says CEO Olivia Nava.
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

Estufa Doña Dora’s mission is to maximize access to efficient, clean, and safe wood-fired cooking devices for rural and peri-urban Guatemalan families. “Since 2012, over 1,000 families have decided to buy a Doña Dora stove, paying the market price,” says co-founder and CEO David Evitt. “That means a smoke-free kitchen for 5,042 people, 2,573 tons of CO2 emissions avoided per year, and an annual savings of $126,646 on firewood.”
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

Gham Power provides Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems for residential & commercial buildings, bringing the highest quality solar technology to Nepal at affordable prices. “After the earthquake, we immediately began mobilizing our resources to provide solar lights and basic charging stations to relief workers, and to displaced individuals and families who are now living in tents and shelters,” says CEO Sandeep Giri. When Gham Power ran out of inventory, it started a funding campaign called Rebuild-With-Sun and raised $113,000 to purchase more supplies.
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

Evaptainers creates “zero energy” refrigeration systems using modular and mobile units to systemically reduce food spoilage in the developing world. “We are very proud to be on the ground in Morocco working with our country partners to bring this technology to market,” says CEO and co-founder Spencer Taylor. “Unlike other alternative refrigeration companies our product requires no electricity and is so lightweight and inexpensive that it allows us to bring a refrigeration solution to populations living on the other side of the electricity divide that have never before had access.”
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

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/