Garden Fresh Farms, Maplewood, Minn., won the Energy and Clean Technology division of the Minnesota Cup. Their sustainable, hydroponic growing system beat out nearly 1,100 other applicants competing for an award in the cup’s six divisions.
The competition honors new ventures and innovative ideas across the state of Minnesota. The competition is the largest of its kind in the U.S., with more than 7,000 startups competing since 2005.
Garden Fresh impressed judges with its patent-pending system that grows produce without pesticides or herbicides in an enclosed environment. The system also uses 90% less water than traditional agricultural methods and produces twice the amount of produce of second-generation indoor farming methods using half the energy, according to a news release.
“Our proprietary and sustainable hydroponic system is leap frogging the first and second generation hydroponic greenhouses and drawing substantial global investor interest,” said Garden Fresh founder and president Dave Roeser.
The company, founded in 2010, will receive $25,000 from the Minnesota Cup to continue to grow their business.