Names: Alex Weiss and Ruwan Subasinghe
City: Atlanta, Georgia
Day Jobs: Co-founders of Replantable. Ruwan is a mechanical engineer and designs the physical and electrical aspects of the nanofarm. Alex is a biomedical engineer who designs and tests the plant pads and the growing environment.
Biohacking : Engineering
How’d you get started making? We met in college and worked on a few projects while in school. Shortly before we graduated in 2015 we decided to start a company that would help cut down on food waste. We entered a startup accelerator through Georgia Tech and received seed funding.
What type of maker would you classify yourself as? We are both full time makers. We’ve worked on projects ranging from an app that measures hemoglobin levels to a fuel meter that can be retrofitted onto a motorcycle.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve made? The nanofarm is our favorite thing we’ve made! Designing and making things is always fun, and we find it especially rewarding when we can use our skills to help people.
What’s something you’d like to make next? We’re working on designing different forms of the nanofarm so that everyone can start growing their own food. A refrigerator sized unit could take advantage of space more efficiently and in just a few square feet you could grow a few pounds of vegetables every week.
Any advice for people reading this? The great thing about making is it doesn’t need to take a lot of planning. Just pick up a hammer, your laptop, or a soldering iron and start making something.
Who else should we profile?
Two other great companies that are working to make our world cleaner are Grubbly Farms and TEQ Charging. Grubbly Farms makes pet chicken treats made out of black soldier fly larvae which are more similar to what chickens naturally eat than traditional chicken feed. Grubbly Farms closes the agriculture loop by using food waste to feed their larvae which then get turned into chicken food. TEQ Charging makes it easier for many electric vehicle chargers to be installed by turning each charger into a power strip and regulating the power output.
Ruwan and Alex will be exhibiting with Replantable at Maker Faire Silver Spring this Sunday, September 25. Come say hello!