StartAgro Project, the winner of the Aspen Fellows Network Grant at the Aspen Leadership Awards and Gala Dinner 2019, began as a Community Project within the Aspen Young Leaders Program 2019. Its goal is improving agriculture with the aid of technology and build automated greenhouses in rural areas, with the aid of CSR programs.

The idea for a Smart Greenhouse came to us during the Aspen Young Leaders Program Module 2. My colleague Alex Dancu and I were brainstorming about future community projects and realized that both of us are passionate about the future of agriculture and sustainability. From that talk originated the idea of developing a controlled and automated environment, suited for the cold winters of Romania. Together with our extended team we presented our research at the end of the Program”, said Sebastian Mindroiu, one of the initiators of the project.

In early 2020, StartAgro designed and built near Bucharest a solar greenhouse that can operate during winter times. Their 50sqm greenhouse is fully automated, equipped with sensors for monitoring temperature, humidity, moisture and CO2 levels. The greenhouse can be cooled during the summer using a Geo-thermal air system, and heated during the winter with the same system. Watering and ventilation is provided automatically based on the plant’s needs.

The goal of the project is to do a full year of research, both summer and winter seasons, and gather enough data to start building industrial scale greenhouses of 1400 sqm.
The project team is comparing data with traditional agriculture as well, as they also developed a classic growing environment nearby.

StartAgro is developed by @Sebastian Mindroiu and @Alexandru Dancu, Aspen Fellows 2019. More details about StartAgro, at