Venture Plan 2012  

The Problem
At a crucial point after World War II, the people of the Western World became seduced by the notion that large farming interests could feed us all abundantly and in perpetuity. The world population had yet to reach critical mass, resource depletion was not yet a part of everyday conversation, and it was easy to naively embrace this concept. What followed was a mass exodus to cities and suburbs where everything was made readily available. It was a cultural shift born of novelty and ignorance and in the process, we abandoned to strangers the responsibility for where our food came from. Regardless of whether it was in our best interest, we gave over vast tracts of once-fertile land and our oceans to them for safekeeping. We sold them our birthright. Today, a socially concerned individual can hardly pick up a magazine, read a blog or engage in discourse without being confronted with just what a disaster these choices have proven to be. Those trusted with feeding us are still producing what looks like food in abundance. Meanwhile, nutritionists tell us that this mass-produced, mono-cultured food has little real value to a healthy human body. The scientific community has proven that the way it is produced is killing our oceans and the land on which it is grown, and crippling these crucially interdependent systems within our fragile biosphere. We realize now, some 70 years later, that we need solutions to the impending catastrophe weʼve created. Fast!

Our Solution
It begins with individuals and communities taking responsibility for feeding themselves, and this is just what the California Aquaponic Design Institute (CADI) will foster. CADIʼs mission is to provide the knowledge and means to build and operate sustainable, cost-effective closed bio-loop fih and vegetable farming systems to individuals and small community-based organizations around the world. Through research, development and education, CADI will advance and elevate the conversation of how and what we feed ourselves

Table  of  Contents  
Executive  Summary......................................................................................................3   California  Aquaponic  Design  Institute ..........................................................................4   Why  Aquaponics ........................................................................................................................................................ 4   Products ......................................................................................................................................................................... 5  
Education....................................................................................................................................................................... 5  

Addressable  Market.....................................................................................................6  
Market  research ......................................................................................................................................................... 6   Target  Audience ......................................................................................................................................................... 7   Projected  Revenue .................................................................................................................................................... 8  

Sales  and  Marketing.....................................................................................................8   Sales  Goals .................................................................................................................................................................... 8   Operations...................................................................................................................9   Location ......................................................................................................................................................................... 9  
Operations  Summary ............................................................................................................................................ 10   Products ...................................................................................................................................................................... 10   Education.................................................................................................................................................................... 10   Experienced  Team.................................................................................................................................................. 11   Strategic  Partnerships .......................................................................................................................................... 13  

Finance ......................................................................................................................13   Financial  Projections............................................................................................................................................. 13   Projected  Revenues................................................................................................................................................. 13   Projected  Costs ......................................................................................................................................................... 14   Cost  Controls ............................................................................................................................................................. 14   Total  Projected  Revenue  &  Cost........................................................................................................................ 15   Projected  Profits ...................................................................................................................................................... 15   Projected  Cash  Flow............................................................................................................................................... 15   Funding  Requirements......................................................................................................................................... 16   Appendix ...................................................................................................................17   A)  Market  research ................................................................................................................................................ 17   B)  Regional  demographics.................................................................................................................................. 17   C)  Customer  profiles.............................................................................................................................................. 18   D)  Operations ........................................................................................................................................................... 21    

 

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Executive Summary
Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (cultivating fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without traditional soil). In aquaponic systems, water containing effluent from fish tanks is circulated through growing beds providing all

Food  grows   here   Water  circulates  

the nutrients necessary for growing nutritious vegetables. The vegetables then act as a filter Fish  live  here   cleaning the water for the fish. Aquaponics has recently gained considerable momentum due to its high production capacities, limited water usage, and zero waste. The figure on the right is just one of many possible designs. The California Aquaponic Design Institute (CADI) is a concept conceived of by a group of visionary and determined individuals who see a unique opportunity to champion and advance understanding of environmental responsibility and biosustainable food production worldwide. Established in Santa Cruz County, home to the largest certified organic farming community in America, CADI will be a central hub for aquaponics knowledge and leadership, positioning itself internationally as “go-to” experts in the field. It will operate in collaboration with three distinguished university marine laboratories, a world-renowned marine research aquarium, and industry leaders in organic liquid bio-fertilizer production and hydroponic growing technology. CADIʼs mission, through AP research, implementation and education is to provide individuals and small community-based organizations with the knowledge and means to build and operate sustainable, cost-effective closed bio-loop fish and vegetable farming systems. CADI will operate a non-profit R & D and systems design studio, along with a forprofit fabrication facility and school which offers customers the means to own and successfully operate attractive and optimally designed aquaponics systems. The company will market all of its educational services, and a wide variety of specialty systems and components through an aggressive internet marketing strategy and an in-house retail store.

 

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California Aquaponic Design Institute
Why Aquaponics
The environmental and social benefits of aquaponics are widely recognized. Aquaponic technology is seen as a potential benefit to commercial food production, able to provide relief in undeveloped parts of the world or where soil conditions do not allow for conventional, soil-based farming. Globally, Aquaponic systems have been embraced widely by hobbyists as an inspiring, fun and viable means of growing organic food efficiently. Some want to be able to grow their own fish and vegetables to feed their families and friends. Some want to teach their kids biology using a miniature ecosystem. Some want to develop new ways to eliminate petrochemical fertilizer use and increase food production efficiencies on a commercial level. All of these people make up the rapidly growing aquaponic community and our growing customer base. Social Reduces the burden placed on our oceans by promoting a reliant local food source With no in-flow or out-flow, it eliminates the negative environmental impact of conventional aquaculture. Does not depend on local soil quality (may even be setup indoors). Requires 90% LESS WATER than conventional farming method. Generally uses up to 75% LESS ENERGY than almost any other farming method and can be made 100% carbon-neutral. Guarantees pesticide, chemical fertilizer and fungicide free foods. Is scalable: systems can be designed for any living situation from desktop to large commercial farms. Is local and creates accessible, hands on, science and agriculture innovation. Saves time resources in all stages of food production. Business Increasing local AP-raised fresh fish sales. Fewer permits, lower water costs. Affordable solution to food cultivation in areas with poor or no soil. Lower water costs, and food production in drought areas. Drastically lower energy costs. Guaranteed entry into organic foods markets. Appeals to wide diversity of customers and growth minded investors. Reduces transportation related emissions and the growing local food movement. Lower labor costs and easy to maintain for consumer.

 

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Products and Services
CADI has a diversified income stream, offering a variety of products and services. Products CADI offers a variety of custom and standard products designed to meet a broad spectrum of customer needs.  

• • •

Custom and Pre-fab standalone systems (see Figure  1   Example  stand-­‐alone  system). DIY Kits Education Materials: manuals, CDʼs, Apps, Webinars Fabricated Bio-filters and clarifiers for retrofitted application

Figure  1  Example  stand-­alone  system  

Education CADIʼs curriculum and coursework is flexible and allows clients to build their knowledge base at their own pace and from a variety of modalities. • Workshops, Lectures & Certification for individuals (see Figure  2  CADI  co-­‐founder  leading  a   class). • Community out-reach to schools and organizations • Curriculum Services CADI offers expert design and implementation design and consulting Figure  2  CADI  co-­founder  leading  a  class   services for both custom and retrofitted aquaponic systems. Itʼs maintenance department is well as a complete line of maintenance services. • Design and Consulting • Maintenance: • Water quality, fish & plant health • System cleaning and balancing oversight • System optimization • Troubleshooting

 

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Accessories Customers access CADIʼs inventory of related system products for sale on site or via the website. • Aquaponic system components sales: System components, solar packs, biofilters. Miscellaneous CADI affiliates with local service specialists. • Landscaping Sub-contracting

Addressable Market
Demonstrated Consumer Interest
Because this environmentally friendly technology is highly interactive, interest in aquaponics is growing. The chart below highlights Google search trends in aquaponics which have nearly tripled in the past 3 years. Spikes in this chart indicate even stronger interest after AP stories have made national news.

Market research
CADIʼs pilot project, Santa Cruz Aquaponics, generated hundreds of emails, letters, and phone calls from all over the world. These came from people who either wanted to design their own systems or who wished to intern on the farm as a means of learning those systems. CADI has amassed an email list from this pilot project to provide an initial marketing push. The popularity of aquaponics as a gardening method is growing quickly. A website forum in Australia, Backyard Aquaponics.com, boasts 6100 members. A new American site, The Aquaponic Community Gardening Forum, now lists over

 

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4,000 members (averaging 15 new members each day), many of them concentrated in California (see Figure 3 Aquaponic Forum member distribution). For more detailed market research see Appendix A: Market Research.

Figure 3 Aquaponic Forum member distribution

CADI has placed an aquaponics demonstration system at Flora Grubb Gardens & Nursery in San Francisco. Customers there typically spend 10-15 minutes looking at the system and frequently request more information about it from the nursery staff.

Target Audience
The initial market for CADI products and services will be the middle-to-high income residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast of California broken down into these categories: Education:   For  medium  systems:   • Parents  who   • Landowners   desire  hands   • Schools   on  learning  for   • Community  groups   their  children   • Community  gardens   For  small  systems:   • Permaculture   • Individuals   designers   • Families   • City  governments     For  large  systems:   • Private  businesses   • Landscape   professionals   • Agriculture  educators   • University  students   seeking  academic  credit   • Foundations  and   corporations  

For more detailed regional demographics please see Appendix B: Regional Demographics. For more detailed customer profiles see Appendix C: Customer Profiles.

 

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Sales and Marketing
CADI has a detailed Marketing Plan that can be shared upon request. CADI intends to extensively market its products and services within key target areas to achieve its sales objectives. The Marketing budget in each year represents approximately five percent (5%) of projected revenue.

Sales Goals
Year 1 Number of Customers Year 3 Number of Customers 35 4 2 29 58 Year 5 Number of Customers 50 6 4 41 83

Products
Small Systems Mid-Size Systems Commercial Systems DIY Systems Decorative Systems 24 3 0 20 40

Education
Workshops Tours Speaking Events Online Consulting & Maintenance 250 160 320 0 460 260 530 900 620 360 640 1500

Services
400 hrs 650 hrs 900 hrs

Projected Revenue
Average revenues Year 1 By Month By Quarter $30,746 Year 2 $45,292 Year 3 $56,780 Year 4 $70,341 Year 5 $86,444

$92,238 $135,876 $170,341 $211,023 $259,331

 

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Operations
Location
California Aquaponic Design Institute operates a storefront on the Westside of Santa Cruz (see map below). Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday 8am-5pm.

This location features: • • 1000 sq ft storefront and fabrication facility 1000 sq ft, arched top, side-venting greenhouse skinned with double layers of poly composite film

Within the greenhouse: • An outdoor plant germination cold-frame area and open area to accommodate system assemblies by weekend workshop and CADI certification groups. One of CADIʼs state-of-the-art “community mini-farm” models featuring: o 2600 gallon fish tank o 500 gallon clari-filter o 400 sq feet of raft-hydroponic grow bed

CADI conducts ongoing educational programs and sells an array of educational materials online. It also designs and builds aquaponic systems, provides installation services and sells component parts and entire systems both online and through its Santa Cruz, CA retail outlet.   9  

Operations Summary Front End
Products Home garden and mini-farm systems, as well as DIY kits built at its westside Santa Cruz, CA location, educational materials and a variety of AP system components are offered for sale both online and via the CADI website. Education Tours are regularly scheduled and open to walk-in customers. Weekend workshops, 5-day intensive workshops and special topics classes are advertised online and require pre-registration. Educational materials are made available both online and via the CADI storefront. Services Design and Consulting services are in-house and off-site, and by appointment. Regularly scheduled maintenance calls will be available by contract. Troubleshooting and repairs call are scheduled by appointment. Accessories Aquaponic system components sales are made from the CADI storefront and via the online store. Miscellaneous Customers engage CADI certified subcontractors to provide site prep and afterinstallation landscaping on a fee-for-services basis.

Operations Summary Back End
Products Home garden and mini-farm systems, as well as DIY kits are built by design team members and interns at the west side Santa Cruz, CA location. Educational materials are developed and produced by the Educational Director and her interns. The online and in-house stores are run by the General Manager. Education Online registration for workshops and seminars are handled by the General Manager. The CADI school is run by the Education Director. Individual classes are taught by members of the design staff and other experts in the field, assisted by interns. Services Design and Consulting services, both in-house and off-site, are provided by the design staff. Regularly scheduled maintenance calls are made by individuals trained by the design staff. Troubleshooting and repairs calls are made by the

 

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staff member best qualified to remedy the problem. A more specific and detailed analysis of all Front and Back-end Operational functioning within the CADI framework can be found in Appendix D: Operations.  

Experienced Team
Each member of the team now involved in creating CADI has an interest in seeing that enterprises thrive, be it from an educational, marketing or engineering perspective. The team sees a unique opportunity to champion and advance understanding of environmental responsibility and bio-sustainable food production practices throughout local communities around the world. The culture at CADI is supportive, communicative, and sharing. CADI has specific agreements that hold each team member accountable for a variety of sound business practices including decision making and conflict resolution. Below are bios of the talented CADI team highlighting only a portion of their relevant individual qualifications: Christopher Newman, Executive Director Chris Newman has a passion for eco-responsibility and local food movements. In 2010 he founded Santa Cruz Aquaponics, Inc., the precursor to CADI, one of the largest organically certified commercial aquaponic farms in the United States. Today, there are few aquaponics practitioners who have the kind of comprehensive knowledge and experience in the field that Mr. Newman has earned. At CADI, he will work to share that hard-earned knowledge with food communities around the world. Kristen Manyrivers, Education Director Kristen brings 25 years of experience in curriculum design and education program development to CADI. With a Bachelorʼs in Environmental Science, a teaching credential, and an articulated vision, she founded one of the first environmental science based Charter Schools in California. Kristen brings added value to CADI by sharing her articulate and clear communication skills. She offers CADI her Permaculture skills, expert curriculum design capabilities, a proven ability to communicate a vision, and a vast network of contacts and educational resources.

 

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Liam Supple, CMO & CFO
Liam brings considerable business management and marketing acumen to the CADI project. He is also a knowledgeable plant and aquaponics enthusiast. Following his degree in Business Economics and Marketing (Cardiff University, Wales 1990) he drove the go-to-market strategies for nine successful companies in a diversity of industries. In 2003 he opened his own raw-foods restaurant in San Francisco, which expanded to three locations. Most recently Liam completed a 10 day intensive AP certification course with industry pioneer Max Meyers in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Josh Gulliver, Chief Systems Designer
Josh is a life-long farmer with a wide variety of experience, from soil based farms on the East Coast to greenhouse gardens in California. Also an experienced Land Surveyor, his ability to design and engineer, make him an invaluable member of the CADI team. Frequently commissioned to research and develop urban, hydroponic and aquaponic systems, Josh also consults regularly with Bay Area organic and permaculture farms. His belief in integrating aesthetics and functionality into design, and his drive to educate, are anchored firmly in a scientific approach to plant growth. Mr. Gulliver has been published in several industry journals including The Indoor Gardener and The Urban Gardener.

Nick Slobodian, Systems Designer & Educator
Nick holds a B.A. in Agroecology and is a Certified Permaculture Designer and Teacher. His design experience includes a wide variety of sustainable agricultural systems such as urban community gardens, broad-scale row crop and orchard systems, hydroponic and aquaponic systems, food forest design, and intensive animal grazing systems. Nick´s professional focus lies in designing and developing innovative multifunctional aquaponic systems. His experience in holistic design and development makes him a dynamic member of the CADI Team.

Zachary Worthington, General Manager
Zach recently earned his MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School. There he focused on improving sustainability metrics in food systems. This experience led him to projects with organizations such as The San Francisco Department of the Environment and Organic Valley. Before graduate school, Zach, built, ran, and sold a successful wine bar in Santa Cruz County. He brings a wealth of holistic business acumen, attention to customer service and entrepreneurial experience to CADI.

 

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Strategic Partnerships
• • • • • • • • Gary Hartman, International Horticulture Technologies Gary Peixoto, Pajaro Valley Irrigation Cabrillo College Department of Horticulture University of California at Santa Cruz Environmental Studies Internship Program Goodwill Industries Santa Cruz County Schools U.C. Davis Agricultural Extension Program Pete Bridson, Aquaculture Research Dir., Monterey Bay Aquarium

Finance
Financial Projections
Projected Revenues Our revenues are led by our product offerings. The ratio is approximately as follows: Products: Education: Services: Accessories 8:4:2:1
600,000   500,000   400,000   Products   300,000   200,000   100,000   0   Year  1   Year  2   Year  3   Year  4   Year  5   Education   Services   Accessories  

Revenues  by  Category    

 

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Projected Costs
400,000   350,000   300,000   250,000   200,000   150,000   100,000   50,000   0   Year  1   Year  2   Year  3   Year  4   Year  5   GOGS   Labor   Expenses  

Costs  by  Category  

Cost Controls CADI plans to be self-sustaining and profitable by the end of its second year. We have consulted with business advisors that manage companies of similar type and created the target cost structure shown in the diagram. We will implement controls to maintain our labor costs below 25% of revenue and COGS below 44% of revenue for all products while paying close attention to controlling other costs.

 

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Total Projected Revenue & Cost
$1,200,000   $1,000,000   $800,000   $600,000   $400,000   $200,000   $0   Year  1   Year  2   Year  3   Year  4   Year  5   Total  Revenue     Total  Costs  

Total  Revenue  vs  Total  Costs  

Projected Profits CADI expects to reach profitability quickly and then sustain a moderate growth in profits over time. The dips in profitability represent our expansion of staff to meet our increased sales.

$25,000     $20,000     $15,000     $10,000     $5,000     $0     ($5,000)   ($10,000)  

ProBit  or  Loss  

Y1   Y1   Y1   Y1   Y2   Y2   Y2   Y2   Y3   Y3   Y3   Y3   Y4   Y4   Y4   Y4   Y5   Y5   Y5   Y5   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4  

Projected Cash Flow CADI will maintain a positive cash flow and prudent cash reserve. The dips in cash flow represent significant investments in new equipment, programs, or facilities.

 

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$150,000     $100,000     $50,000     $0    

Cash  Flow  

Y1   Y1   Y1   Y1   Y2   Y2   Y2   Y2   Y3   Y3   Y3   Y3   Y4   Y4   Y4   Y4   Y5   Y5   Y5   Y5   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4   Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4  

Funding Requirements

 

• CADI seeks a total of $160,000 for startup costs and two-year operating expenses beyond which the project intends to be profitable and self-supporting. ($112,000 Setup, $48K Working Capital) • Seed Funding of $60,000 would enable the project to begin operations before investment in a central facility.

 

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Appendix
 

A) Market research
• • The Food Channel® cited organic foods and Community Supported Agriculture as one of the top ten food influences of the 2000-2009 decade. Poll data released by Consumers Union in early March 2010 showed that two-thirds of organic food consumers are concerned about genetically engineered (GE) ingredients contaminating organic food. The poll of 1,015 adults found that 53 percent of those surveyed buy organic food. According to the 2009 U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Belief Study, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. families buy organic products at least occasionally, chiefly for health reasons. The study also shows that three in ten U.S. families (31 percent) in 2009 were actually buying more organic foods compared to a year earlier, with many parents preferring to reduce their spending in other areas before targeting organic product cuts. In fact, 17 percent of U.S. families said their largest increases in spending in the past year were for organic products. According to Mintelʼs latest report on green living released in 2010, more than one-third (35 percent) of survey respondents said they would pay more for environmentally friendly products. Findings showed that only 21 percent of organic food buyers cut down or eliminated organic purchasing during the recession, while 20 percent have switched to less expensive organic options. Meanwhile, 48 percent are buying as much or more organic food than before the economic downturn. The market for products marketed on the basis of ethical standards, including organic, is thriving despite the recession, according to a report by Packaged Facts released in October 2009. “Our survey indicates that more shoppers understand the environmental, social, and economic implications of their choices. The result is a sizeable number of consumers who will purchase typically more expensive ethical products even in economically challenging times,” according to Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

B) Regional demographics
To generate necessary working capital, the primary market for CADI products and services will be the middle-to-high income residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast of California. This market has a population of 11 million consumers, 33% of whom have college degrees. 10 Northern and Central California counties are ranked among the 12 richest in the state, with an average   17  

median household income of $65,000. Marin County is ranked as the wealthiest county in the United States. Santa Cruz County is the fifth wealthiest county in the state. These target customers are aware that much of the food being offered for sale at “big chain” supermarkets and cheaper restaurants is of poor quality and little nutritional value. These better educated consumers have demonstrated a willingness to visit local organic farmerʼs markets regularly, subscribe to Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) plans and generally pay more for the higher quality food they eat and feed their families. Consumer awareness of the poor fish farming practices employed by many foreign producers, and the conventional growing practices of “Big Ag” are problematic and environmentally irresponsible. Many retail buyers refuse to support cultivation methods that have a negative environmental impact and result in low-quality food. Because these better-informed customers are a fast-rising segment within the grocery-buying population, suppliers are recognizing a market shift. Health food giant Whole Foods, and the thousands of farmerʼs markets and locally owned health food stores now in operation nationwide have bet their futures on selling food grown in a healthier and more eco-friendly way. Even merchandising megapower Wal-Mart now offers a large variety of organic products in its super-stores.

C) Customer profiles
Paul is a 36 year old male Permaculture designer, teacher and landscape architect who has worked professionally in the central coast area for 12 years. He lives in Aptos, CA with Karin, a 35 year old elementary school teacher. They have two young daughters. Four years ago, Paul began incorporating water catchment features and edible landscapes into his professional designs. Avid gardeners, Paul, Karin and their children find great pleasure in their large garden. It is a personal passion of Paulʼs to find new ways to “stack functions” in his designs. Organic, whole foods are important to this couple and they are well aware of the pressing water quality issues that affect food health. During a visit to his local nursery on a Saturday morning, Paul sees a small demonstration aquaponics system set up in the garden center. Alongside is an announcement that CADI Executive Director Chris Newman will be making a presentation that morning. Paul calls Karin. She joins him and together they hear what Chris and CADI have to offer at their facility on the West Side of Santa Cruz. Karin is excited that CADI offers a curriculum in weekend intensive format so close to home. Paul can watch their children on the weekend while she attends. She also appreciates that the entire CADI certification can be completed over time; with each portion of the curriculum repeated quarterly, making it easy to build her knowledge base. When they visit CADI a week later to attend one of the monthly open house tours, they like the clean, professional facility they find there. The demonstration greenhouse is exciting! Josh and Nick, teachers and designers, are easy to talk to and full of practical knowledge. The CADI retail outlet is equally impressive,   18  

with system components and materials available for purchase right there on site. Paul is impressed with the comprehensive design and installation services that include professional troubleshooting consultation. He appreciates the on line aquaponic journal, discussion forum, and complete retail store available on the website. He and Karin are already talking about building their own system and feel confident that CADI will be all the support they need to add this function to their garden. Ekta is a 42 year old female professional from Menlo Park who owns a condominium with a patio garden. When searching the internet for do it yourself gardening workshops on the peninsula, she comes across the CADI website. She peruses the on line journal and finds it engaging, professional and easy to use. After checking out the calendar of upcoming events and workshops, she adds herself to the e-newsletter mailing list. She is impressed with the range of speakers that CADI will be hosting and notes there is an open house the first Sunday afternoon of each month. In her inbox the next morning is a welcome email from CADI, inviting her to the aquaponics community. She finds the technology compelling, and the idea of an ornamental system on her patio intriguing. She and a friend plan a day trip that includes a visit to a local winery and dinner out after a one-hour talk and facilities tour at CADI. They clip fresh greens from the demonstration garden before they leave, sign up for the introductory weekend course the following month, and walk away excited about designing and building an aesthetically pleasing patio sized system. Happy Valley Elementary School, in Santa Cruz, California is a one-school district. With 120 children and a staff of 14, the schoolʼs intimate setting makes it ideal for community collaborations. In the fall, they create a Green Visioning Group to facilitate resource conservation and environmental education for their K6 classrooms. Parent leaders who are experienced gardeners read about a new business opening called the Santa Cruz Aquaponic Design Institute. They call and talk to the education director, Kristen Manyrivers, and find out that CADIʼs nonprofit aspect encourages collaborations between the aquaponics education program and local schools. The parents find it very encouraging and meet with Kristen to discuss a partnership. They arrive at a plan enabling their school to work with students to build a CADI prefabricated system in their garden greenhouse. The parents meet CADIʼs the in-house teaching staff and together they discuss possible learning opportunities for the kids and their gardening club as well as how aquaponics can be used in science education. It is the beginning of a long partnership between the school and CADI. Happy Valley captures a large STEMʼs science education grant the following year with the support of CADI, where kids will be monitoring the system, learning how to conduct their own research, gather data, and analyze it. The produce from the system will be used to enhance the school lunch program, and the Koi fish raised will be sold at a small profit that will help further the development of the garden

 

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program. Throughout this process, CADI acts as a professional design and maintenance consultant. It also works with the school to help obtain further grant funding for on-going aquaponics education. Heather is a 38 year old High School Agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America mentor in Hollister, CA. Excited about conveying the idea that there are alternative ways to grow food that has more nutrition and does less environmental damage than most conventional methods used widely in her own community, Heather has access to an empty greenhouse on her high school campus. She wants to engage her students in a project that demonstrates exactly how changes in ways of thinking about how food is grown can result in better food and reduced negative environmental impact. Heather has heard the buzz about a CADI / FFA pilot project at a high school in rural Placer County in Californiaʼs Sierra foothills, and how other high schools in neighboring counties are eagerly planning aquaponics projects. She has read about this pioneering new science but doesnʼt have the design expertise needed to build such a system on her own. To better inform herself, she signs up for a CADI weekend introductory seminar, meets the design team and is able to describe her ambitions for her own project first-hand. Through them and their resources, she can design a system ideally suited to her own educational needs and procure several of the ready-made components they offer to ensure that system will function properly. Once she, her students and their parents get their system up and running, online educational materials from CADI make Heatherʼs lesson planning a snap. Alan is a 55 year old landscape contractor from Santa Cruz, CA who has for years serviced accounts both in his home town and in the affluent suburban communities surrounding the nearby Silicon Valley. As interest in sustainable food growing practices grows within the community he serves, he sees CADI as another means of providing those customers with the best informed service possible. Using his CADI aquaponic certification, he gains an advantage in the marketplace over other landscape contractors who have been approached by clients desirous of building their own systems. CADI provides him with the design and system component resources he needs to make each of those installations he builds a unique and inspiring success. With each satisfied customer, his potential client base grows as friends tell friends about their wonderfully bountiful and aesthetically pleasing new aquaponic gardens. He keeps his knowledge current by purchasing the aquaponics application for his ipad, and finds the design and retail team to be invaluable to him in the ensuing years. Yolanda is a 20 year old Environmental Studies major at the local University of California. A second-generation descendant of farm workers, she is the first member of her family to attend college. Having witnessed the ill-effects of

 

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pesticides on farm workers first hand, she is determined to use the advantages sheʼs been afforded to make a difference in her local community. She sees herself doing this by promoting alternative means of growing food that do not include pesticide use, or place excessive demands on local water resources which wreak havoc with fragile adjacent ecosystems. Through her university she is able to work and gain credit via an internship with CADI. There, she learns first-hand how aquaponics systems can be engineered for specific applications, what kinds of food crops grow best in them, and how both plant and fish yields can be optimized. This is valuable knowledge that, combined with her new hands-on skills, she can to take back to her community and use as tools for meaningful, practical change. Undergraduate and graduate level interns like Yolanda who are completing research and development projects with CADI further refine the technology that will help improve food security for coming generations.

D) Operations
Operational Processes: Front End CADI conducts ongoing educational programs throughout the year in addition to providing a comprehensive array of educational materials online. It also designs and builds aquaponic systems, provides design and installation services and sells a variety of component parts and entire systems (complete fabrications & DIY kits) both online and through itʼs Santa Cruz, CA retail outlet. CADI Educational Programs: Front End Tours: Advertised and regularly scheduled for one Sunday afternoon per month. Consumers do not need advanced registration. CADI staff member meets them on site and offers a 30-minute introductory overview of aquaponics and the business: courses and retail sales and services. Consumers are then given a tour of the demonstration greenhouse and an opportunity to take fresh greens home from the grow beds. Introductory and weekend Intensive Workshops: Advertised and scheduled for two weekends out of each month, CADI offers 6 different in-depth weekend intensives ranging from introductions to AP technology to Water Quality Monitoring and Fish Production. Preregistration is required. These courses are taught on site with CADI staff, assistant teachers and interns. Each weekend course will include beverages, snacks and a nutritious, organic lunch. Each class will take an interdisciplinary approach and be multi-sensorial in format: a combination of lecture using smartboard materials, observation, and hands-on experience in the greenhouse in the demonstration garden. The atmosphere is professional and well prepared. The staff is articulate, well groomed, and professional in demeanor. 10 hours of instruction.

 

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CADI 5 day Certification: Advertised and scheduled on an annual quarterly basis, days begin at 8 a.m. with refreshments. Attendees are greeted by CADI teaching staff, assistants and interns. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include a nutritious, organic lunch and snacks throughout day. This Monday through Friday immersion is comprehensive and intended for the serious aquaponic practitioner. Each day provides an interdisciplinary and multisensory approach to learning AP Material. Beginning in the classroom, using the smartboard technology, lecture and discussion, the class will move between the shop, greenhouse, outdoor demonstration yard and field experiences to round out the studentʼs experience. The goal of each CADI course is to enable each student consumer to apply the technology to her/his personal situation. The course and teachers are professional, on time, prepared, engaging and organized. Run at an even pace, the clases provide plenty of opportunity for students interact, ask questions, get their hands dirty and have fun! 40 total hours of instruction. Special Topic Classes: Once a month CADI will host special guest teachers to run one or two day workshops on AP related materials, or courses that compliment the lives of our customers. These could be art, food preparation and nutrition, gardening related, philosophical lectures on Permaculture or the state of Agriculture, book signings by authors , etc. CADI rents the classroom lecture space to these guests and charges a nominal fee for hosting. Pre-registration will generally be required. Guests are greeted by their host and CADI staff. The atmosphere is comfortable, professional. The workshops, designed specifically around the material to be presented, will be of varying, stated lengths. They will start and end on time. Guest Speaking/ Demonstrations: A big focus for CADI will be pushing information about what it does out to local and regional communities. CADI staff members Liam, Chris, Zach, and Nick and Josh will schedule and make regular appearances at high-end gardening outlets, retail stores and at related expos and events throughout the calendar year. Some of these appearances will entail setting up and/ or demonstrating small AP systems. These will be left at the garden or community center, and maintained by CADI for promotional purposes. On time, professional, and prepared CADI staff will work with these outside affiliates to spread AP information throughout the Bay Area and beyond as the business grows. In this manner, CADI will increase itʼs reputation as the West Coast “go-to” AP experts”. Staff will have business cards, color brochures and copies of upcoming class schedules available. A scheduled talk and/or demonstration followed by questions and answers is anticipated. These will be 30 minutes to 2 hours in length. CADI Educational Material Sales: Front End Education material sales will be primarily web driven. All student consumers receive complete course materials as part of their tuition. CDʼs, webinars, an on  

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line AP journal and consumer forums will also feed knowledge to the client base. The journal, forums and webinars will act to build the client consumer base, encouraging them to purchase on-line education materials and register for classes. CADI will develop an aquaponics textbook in digital application (“App”) form that allows customers to buy this non-transferable media and store it for personal use. CADI will periodically create new materials and sell this updated information in addition to the original app package. Orders will be monitored the by General Manager and filled by staff. CADI In-house System Construction and Sales: Front EndA line of basic patio, home-garden and community mini-farm systems designed and built by CADI at its West Side Santa Cruz, CA facility will be on display there for walk-in customers to see. Basic patio and home-garden DIY kits, pre-fabricated Clarifilters, a variety of pumps and component parts are also available for retail purchase there at the store. CADI In-house Design Consultation Services: Front End Members of the CADI design team are available, by appointment, to discuss build-to-suit modifications to their systems, as well as retrofit applications for existing garden ponds and complete site-specific custom systems designs. CADI Off-site Installation & Service Services: Front End The CADI design team, in concert with CADI certified landscape sub-contractors, are available for off-site system installation. Monthly water-quality, vegetable replanting and system maintenance contracts are also available to ensure optimum system performance. CADI Internet Sales: Front End Through a comprehensive website, a line of basic patio, home-garden systems, DIY kits and integral AP system component parts can be viewed by internet customers and purchased online. Shipping and handling charges apply. Operational Processes: Back End CADI Educational Programs: Back End CADIʼs Education Director, along with in-house AP staff and consulting experts, will create a comprehensive curriculum using the latest information developed by the CADI design teamʼs R&D efforts. This information will be organized in such a manner that each intensive weekend course is part of a complete certification curriculum. Each of these “units” of study will be be presented both independently and as part of the CADI week long certification. The independent classes will be scheduled regularly throughout each quarter. Classes will be presented as a combination of lecture and hands-ons segments, with students rotating through in small groups. Each of these segments will be lead by a main teacher and 1 assistant, ensuring maximum attention paid to each student. One weekend per

 

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month, CADI staff will conduct an open house tour and one-week night per month, an expert in a specific area of the aquaponic field will also be scheduled. Registrations are taken over the phone, in person or via the internet. CADI will maintain a database of individual student records and use it to track progress as each course is completed. All information will be fed to a constant contacts list. This will be used to keep student consumers informed via newsletter as new learning opportunities arise. The Education Director is responsible for course curriculum and staffing, (including booking special speakers). The General Manager is responsible for registrations, on-site coordination of materials, catering, space organization, student records and payment processing. CADI Educational Material Sales: Back End The General Manager is responsible for stocking, sales and marketing of education products. CADI In-house System Construction and Sales: Back End All systems will be fabricated by Josh Gulliver, his design staff and interns. Josh will also handle monitoring inventory and coordinate material ordering with General Manager, Zach Worthington. Chris Newman and Liam Supple will support in-house sales and off-site marketing by visiting clients at their homes and institutions and making sales calls and presentations at participating nurseries. CADI In-house Design Consultation Services: Back End Josh Gulliver, Nick Slobodian and Chris Newman will be available by appointment to meet with prospective clients desirous of custom aquaponic system design consultation. These consults can cover a variety of areas, from complete system design to water quality remediation to plant growth optimization. CADI Off-site Installation & Service Services: Back End Nick Slobodian will head up maintenance services that range from water quality monitoring to on-site plant health and growth optimization remedies. Working with a pool of hand-picked and CADI certified landscape subcontractors, he will coordinate installations and implement them in concert with design chief Josh Gulliver. Nick, Chris Newman and interns will also oversee vegetable seedling germination for off-site replanting. CADI Internet Sales: Back End General Manager, Zach Worthington, will monitor daily internet sales traffic and direct CADI staff in the fulfillment of orders. Together with Chris Newman, Josh Gulliver and Kristen Manyrivers, he will monitor and re-order inventory as supply levels are depleted. CADI Retail Store  

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Chris Newman, Liam Supple, Josh Gulliver and Nick Slobodian will coordinate schedules to staff the CADI retail store, located adjacent to the fabrication facility and demonstration greenhouse.

 

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