After seven days without power, the aquaponics system turned on Friday evening without requiring the portable generator. This hurricane was quite the stress test for the system, but all of the fish survived and the plants are much happier now with a reliable source of water and nutrients. Even without power the tomato plants now have a handful of small green tomatoes where the flowers use to be, which will soon be ripe, red, and ready to eat.
As the plants continue to grow, so do Jake and I. We have had the great opportunity to be one of the five companies in the Technology Management and Entrepreneurship’s (TME) Foundry program this summer. Foundry has allowed us to work with a cohort of young entrepreneurs, get expertise from a variety of mentors, and get the funding we need to get started.
The companies in Foundry are all making a positive impact on people’s lives in very different ways. Kyle MacNevin and Kayley Reed have started a mental health conscious clothing line called Wear Your Label, Danny Nuguyen is providing Fredericton with delicious Vietnamese food at Beyond Saigon, Kati Waygood of Waygood Mobile Therapy is changing preventative health care, and Anna Haines of Ploome is enriching lives by teaching and selling fiber arts. Jake and I as the Oasis Farmery are part of this great group, and we all teach, support, and provide feedback to each other.
But as young entrepreneurs we only know so much, so Foundry has provided us with mentors that are experts in their fields. These mentors include Rivers Corbett (Serial Entrepreneur, Relish Gourmet Burgers), Philip LeBlanc (Artist & Designer, Fredericton Makerspace), Johnny Leroux (Architect & Designer), Gracen Johnson (Media Relations & Videography), and Dhirendra Shukla (MSc in Chemical Engineering, MBA, PhD, & TME Director).
Through this three month program, Foundry has propelled the Oasis Farmery towards being a successful business by providing us with a group of fellow entrepreneurs to lean on, mentors to guide us, and the money to grow.