Ollie (second from left) and Jeff (far right) with the Micropod team. Photo: supplied.

The Auckland startup turning microgreens into green

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Jeff Xu, CEO, and Ollie McDermot, co-founder and designer of Micropod.

At over $60 for one kg, microgreens are a hot commodity. Commonly served in tiny portions on top of cafe eggs benedict, or placed delicately on a seared salmon fillet at a fancy restaurant, the teensy leaves are packed with nutrients and flavour like you wouldn’t believe.

This week’s guests on Business is Boring have come up with a home grow kit for microgreens, having created an environmentally sustainable seed layer innovation that helps people grow on demand quantities of the nutrient-rich microgreens on their kitchen windowsills. Catering to the huge numbers of people who don’t have the space outside to plant vege gardens, this process is easy, quick, and most importantly takes up a tiny amount of space.

The company is called Micropod, and came about via a group of four friends who got together to solve the engineering problem of reliably growing and making a product out of the idea. They  won big at last month’s Best Design Awards and since launching in February have serviced customers all over the country.

To talk about what it takes to turn an idea into an engineered reality, the goodness of microgreens and starting a company, CEO Jeff Xu and co-founder and designer Ollie McDermott joined Business is Boring.

Either download this episode (right click and save)have a listen below or via Spotify, subscribe through iTunes (RSS feed).


Are you an environmental innovator with a great technology solution? Entries are now open for Callaghan Innovations C- Prize, where teams compete for cash prize packages, access to expert R&D and business advice and significant international market exposure. Entries close Sunday 8 December.


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