A Greenfield company founded by recent Purdue University graduates is marketing technology allowing users to grow an acre’s worth of fresh produce in a 40-foot shipping container. Rubicon Chief Executive Officer Chris Moorman calls the technology a "hyper-local" produce option at a time he says the average meal in America travels about 1,500 miles. Moorman says he also sees applications for the AgroBox, which is about the size of six standard parking spaces, in the university research and pharmaceutical spaces.
During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Moorman says the company operates at the "quintessential intersection of what Indiana is known for," with a product that combines technology, agriculture and advanced manufacturing. Rubicon is currently looking to raise about $500,000 in funding, and hopes to raise that money locally.
The AgroBox uses a shipping container originally used on barges that ship cargo across the ocean. Moorman says crate essentially becomes an artificially-lit greenhouse, and that its automation system allows anyone to handle the growth process.
Rubicon recently sold its first AgroBox to a high school in Omaha, Nebraska, which is using it for an urban agriculture program. Moorman says the crates can also be an "economic building block" in high-need neighborhoods. He says the company is working with community centers in Indianapolis on partnerships that would allow at-risk youth to have jobs growing the produce, which would then be used to supply local restaurants and bring local options to Indiana food deserts.
You can find more information about Rubicon and the AgroBox in the latest edition of the Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter.