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Moscow Polytech
28 March 2018

The Moscow Poly graduates developed an automated panel of living plants

The project by graduates of the faculty of Faculty of Technological Entrepreneurship Ilmir Saitov and Leonid Fabiyan “Wonderwall” has been admitted to the accelerative program of an international retailor “Leroy Merlin”. The prototype of the phyto wall installation can be seen in the stores of the network.


The startup takes part in the accelerative program “Point of Assembly”, arranged by “Leroy Merlin” jointly with the community of social entrepreneurship “Social Impact Hub”. The graduates receive an auditorium from the accelerator for testing of the product, take part in trainings on design thinking and business models, and also an access to remaining materials for reusing them, and other resources of the retailor.

Every graduate of the technology entrepreneurship faculty thinks of and develops his own startup in the first year and promotes it with the support of the Moscow Poly teachers. Graduates Ilmir Saitov and Leonid Fabiyan teamed up for creation of a phyto wall – a vertical panel made of living plants. The component of interior consists of a support for multilayer material, in the pockets of which the plants are placed, and the bulbs for artificial lighting. Vertical gardening is a popular western trend. On the one hand, the installation is suitable to grow fruits and vegetables, on the other – for the plants, saturating the air with oxygen.


“The idea of the project occurred to me when I returned to Russia after living abroad – I had an impression that there were few fresh greens around, especially in winter”, - says Ilmir Saitov. – “I came across a solution like “drill through a bottle, pour a solution there and grow salad” and decided to improve it. Together with my friend we thought that it would be good to make an installation where everybody could grow plants at home without problems and avoid troubles from dry air and dust”.

At the beginning the authors focused on usual users, who would be able to deal with farming in their flats. But they found out as a result of testing the audience that the project interested companies with offices in an open space format. Some business premises are decorated with plastic imitations, because living plants require regular care. But this is no solution for the problem – such accessories collect dust and do not bring any good. It turned out in the process of research and opinion polls, that the office gardening, in addition to a decorative function, enabled support to the immune system and raised the employees’ productivity. We realized the need for making the installation larger, in accordance with office space.


The phyto wall “Wonderwall” is completely automated and practically does not need any maintenance. Once a month the nutrient solution has to be replaced, while there are special sensors for delivery of oxygen to the roots. Another peculiarity of the device is the soilless technology, due to which any problems with insects and pests, living in the soil, do not arise.

The debut of the project took place at “Agrohackathon #2” in MISiS, where its prototype was presented. In addition, this summer the team took part in the “Geek Picnic” – one of the largest popular-science festivals, devoted to modern technologies, science and creative activities. The stand of the “Wonderwall” was very popular. The project gained first customers, a journalist of “Forbs” wrote about the project on her page in the Facebook, mentioning that it fully responds to the principals of “lean startup” (the concept of lean manufacturing) of an American entrepreneur and author of the bestseller “Business from scratch” Eric Reese. In October the team applied for the accelerating program “Point of Assembling” and was included in 10 projects after the qualifying selection among 74 startups. According to the results of the accelerator the team will present its project to the top-management of “Leroy Merlin”.


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