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AI can grow mushrooms

AI-driven mushroom smart farm maker Mycro Harvest joins Velocity 

Mushrooms are used to make plant-based meat alternatives, as a base for sustainable bioplastics, styrofoam alternatives, vegan leather products and more – so efficient and cost-effective fungi farming is foundational to bringing sustainable products into the hands of consumers. But currently, mushroom production is bottlenecked.

Enter Mycro Harvest, a startup that has recently joined Velocity, the University of Waterloo’s incubator, to develop an artificial intelligence-driven mushroom smart farm.

“There is a whole ecosystem of alternative products that are currently unable to reach customers at scale because mushroom production itself isn’t scalable. It’s very difficult to run a profitable mushroom farm”

said Christopher Klich, co-founder and CEO.

Klich and Justin Cheng, co-founder, chief technical officer, and hobby mycologist, said mushroom farmers currently rely heavily on manual labour and inefficient processes requiring highly technical knowledge to avoid crop loss.

Mycro Harvest founders and interns at Collision.

Mycro Harvest is developing a shipping container-sized unit that uses affordable automation combined with AI monitoring to grow mushrooms at scale. With integrated software, this method allows for constant monitoring, which automatically adjusts environmental conditions based on crop needs, protecting crops and increasing production while reducing labour costs.

The company will first focus on scaling production in the multi-billion-dollar fresh mushroom industry. 

Read full story on UWaterloo News