Solution overview

Our Solution

Sharing Economy for Plants

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Tagline

Plantmatch has a mission to get more plants into people’s lives

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Pitch us on your solution

Plantmatch has a mission to get more plants into people’s lives. Our mobile application and GreenForward™️ programs connect plants and plant lovers for greener cities. Plantmatch creates resilient, sustainable cities by promoting a culture of plant ownership and plant-sharing as a means to increase wellness and enjoy social interactions over plants. 


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What is the problem you are solving?

One in five of the world’s population lives in a city with more than 1 million residents. Residents of cities worldwide increasingly face polluted air not only outside, but also in their homes and workplaces. Commonly available houseplants naturally purify the air but they can be expensive and hard to find. Today, plant enthusiasts typically get plants mostly from retailers, not from fellow plant enthusiasts who live nearby. The floriculture industry worldwide is one where many of the best providers are still off-line and in small, rural towns far from their urban customers. In an era of same-day delivery, small plant growers miss the opportunity to grow their business if they are not tech-savvy. Particularly in China, we want to make it simple for Chinese consumers to buy the right plants for them and their urban space, be it their living room or their small balcony garden.

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Who are you serving?

Our first target customers are consumers who want to get more plants into their homes, and who have plants they want to give, swap or sell. 

Our second target customers are businesses who want to draw in new customers by offering “Plant with Purchase” offerings to their customers or to offer plants for adoption or purchase. These will be businesses that already use plants in their merchandising and have existing relationships with plant suppliers. When a small business offers a “Plant with Purchase” it demonstrates that they are committed to sustainability in their city. 


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What is your solution?

We believe any business can draw in new customers by giving away plants or offering them as gift with a purchase. When plants become a companion item for other common and frequent retail transactions, consumers will find it fun and easy to acquire more plants, to the point that they will then begin to also give away — offer for adoption or swap — those they have acquired. Gradually homes and businesses throughout a city will have more and more plants and a plant-sharing economy will be established.

Features in the MVP of our mobile application include:

  • Find nearby individuals who offer a plant for adoption, swap or sale
  • Find nearby businesses who offer a plant for adoption or sale
  • List a plant for adoption, swap or sale (consumer users)
  • List a plant for adoption or for sale (business users)
  • Add plant profiles to “My Plant Family”
  • Add plant profiles to “My Plant Wish List” 
  • Specify desired plant pickup location (example: transit station, coffee shop)
  • In-app messaging to contact plant owners to arrange for in-person pickup


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Select only the most relevant.

  • Reduce the incidence of NCDs from air pollution, lack of exercise, or unhealthy food
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Where is your solution team headquartered?

Everett, WA, USA
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Our solution's stage of development:

Prototype

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More about your solution

Select one of the below:

New business model or process

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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

Our simple marketplace technology is not highly innovative, however our business model of introducing a “sharing economy for plants” and a “Plant with Purchase” form of marketing for small businesses is innovative and can catch on in cities worldwide. 

Our plant-sharing economy fits well for mobile, urban consumers in the U.S., China and elsewhere. Plant sharing benefits not just the individual plant lover, but the neighborhood and whole city become greener.  

We believe any business can draw in new customers by giving away plants or offering them as gift with a purchase. When plants become a companion item for other common and frequent retail transactions, consumers will find it fun and easy to acquire more plants, to the point that they will then begin to also give away — offer for adoption or swap — those they have acquired. Gradually homes and businesses throughout a city will have more and more plants and a plant-sharing economy will be established.

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Describe the core technology that your solution utilizes.

Our simple marketplace mobile application is being developed using the latest version of IOS native language.  After launching our MVP, we hope to gain a partnership with a company that already provides a mobile app for plant species identification. Together, we will be able to answer:  "What is the plant?" (their app) and then "Where can I get one?" (our app).

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Social Networks
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Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?

The floriculture industry worldwide is one where many of the best providers are still off-line and in small, rural towns far from their urban customers. In an era of same-day delivery, small plant growers miss the opportunity to grow their business if they are not tech-savvy. Particularly in China, urban consumers may want to buy and own more plants, but they have limited knowledge about plants and how to start. We want to make it simple for Chinese consumers to buy the right plants for them and their urban space, be it their living room or their small balcony garden. We want to equip China’s urbanites with inspiration and know-how so they can confidently look after their plants, enjoy them for a long time, and offer them to others if they need to move cities or change apartments. 

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Select the key characteristics of the population your solution serves.

  • Urban Residents
  • Middle-Income
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • United States
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • United States
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How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?

We will launch our beta (testing) version in the U.S. app store in July 2019.  We will try hard to get our first 5,000 users in Year 1.  After that, we hope to grow 50% year over year, having 25K+ users by July 2024.   

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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

Our goal for 2019 is to get our MVP through beta testing and offered in the U.S. app store.  It will allow users to give, adopt, and swap plants for free. To offer a plant for sale, users must by a package for listings -- it will be just $9.99 U.S. for unlimited listings for six months.  Businesses can also offer a plant for adoption for free. To offer a plant for sale or as a "plant with purchase," a business must buy a package for listings.  It is a form of advertising for them. 

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What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?

Our team has been bootstrapping the venture so far, and resources are limited.  We are a small team of 3 between the U.S. and China. We very much want to establish operations in China as well as the U.S., but we will need seed funding to accomplish that. 

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How are you planning to overcome these barriers?

We will continue to bootstrap and get our U.S. version live, and then see how many and how quickly we can get users. Our success in this will validate our business model and may increase our chances to get seed funding from investors. 

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About your team

Select an option below:

For-profit

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How many people work on your solution team?

3 part-time

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For how many years have you been working on your solution?

2 years +

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Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?

Our team is international (China and United States) – representing diverse ideas for both our products and how to reach potential users, customers, suppliers and partners.  Each of us has had the experience of living in a very large city with air pollution, and we want our product and services to provide solutions to climate change, addressing urbanites desire to not just know “how bad climate change problems are” but also “what they can do.” While some cities plan green corridors and sustainability initiatives, they take time to design and implement. We believe there is one easy thing each one of us can do today to green up our cities….and that is simply to get – and give -- more plants!

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With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?

We have shared our vision with two companies that already provide plant species identification applications.  They want to see our progress first on our MVP, then we can re-engage with ideas for partnership. 

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Your business model & funding

What is your business model?

Our first target customers are consumers ("C2C model") who want to get more plants into their homes, and who have plants they want to give, swap or sell. Our second target customers are businesses ("B2C model") who want to draw in new customers by offering “Plant with Purchase” offerings to their customers or to offer plants for adoption or purchase. 

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What is your path to financial sustainability?

Our primary source of revenue will be the sale of listings on our app. Beyond that, we can gain revenue by providing content to a prospective partner, and we can also partner with existing businesses to do "pop-up" plant swaps and plant adoption events. 

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Partnership potential

Why are you applying to Solve?

Since SOLVE has now begun to offer programs in Beijing, we know that the program has a vision for cross-border projects. We also like the impact focus of the program, and we have a global vision to eventually operate Plantmatch in Asia, the U.S., Europe and Africa. But we need coaching and mentoring and resources to get to our next phase. 

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What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?

  • Business model
  • Technology
  • Distribution
  • Funding and revenue model
  • Talent or board members
  • Legal
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Media and speaking opportunities
  • Other
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If you selected Other, please explain here.

Introductions to the SOLVE team in Beijing, so that Terry, our co-founder, could meet with them as potential mentors. 

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With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?

Universities that have digital collections of their botanical collections and may be willing to share those datasets. 

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If you would like to apply for the AI Innovations Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution. If you are not already using AI in your solution, explain why it is necessary for your solution to be successful and how you plan to incorporate it.

We seek to eventually partner with a company that is already providing plant species identification using machine learning (for example, we have reached out to PlantSnap in the U.S., and PictureThis in China).  Any AI resources we might be eligible for would go towards development of an API to integrate their app ("What is it?") to our app ("Where can I get one?") for potted plants typically encountered in urban settings.

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If you would like to apply for the Innovating Together for Healthy Cities Prize, describe how you and your team will utilize the prize to advance your solution.

Our plant-sharing economy fits well for mobile, urban consumers in the U.S., China and elsewhere. Plant sharing benefits not just the individual plant lover, but the neighborhood and whole city become greener.  

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Solution Team

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