The founders of NutriGrown met at a local community college, in a class where business students learn how to assess the commercial potential of currently unlicensed technologies. Four students decided to form a business based on an eco-friendly fertilizer developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). A fifth person/investor joined the company in 2009. With diverse backgrounds and ages, we were brought together by our shared goal of forming a successful company that would leave a positive imprint upon our community and the world around us.
The company, NutriGrown LLC, worked to turn the ARS invention into a commercial product. A grant from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) in 2009 was critical in commercialization of the matrix-based plant nutrient technology. Soon after, we moved into the Howard County, business incubator at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship and started conducting preliminary soil tests. Also around that time, the original inventors (now retired) from the USDA/ARS agreed to join NutriGrown’s scientific advisory board. With an investment in 2012 from the Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund – a state/private sector organization created for the sole purpose of investing in companies that will directly improve the Chesapeake Bay – we were well on our way to developing our first commercial product – Greenz Planet-Mix™.