What is it about?
Funghi Espresso is an agricultural startup that grows mushrooms in a very sustainable and natural way: it uses spent coffee grounds as cultivating substrate.
Funghi Espresso was founded by Antonio, the agronomist, and Vincenzo, the architect. They created a model inspired by the Blue Ecomony (see Gunter Pauli's theories), where the outputs from a productive cycle become inputs from other cycles, generating a "waterfall effect" that produces new energy, wealth and new jobs. Those cycles are linked, creating a whole living system that mimics the Nature.
Funghi Espresso promotes the reuse of local resources and the "urban farming" concept: a small system inside the cities where their outputs (such as spent coffee grounds) are used to produce healthy and nutritive food, like mushrooms.
Inside Funghi Espresso system there aren't wastes but resources. Once the mushroom cultivation ends, the spent substrate turns into compost. closing the coffee life cycle!
How funds will be used
The fund raised will be used for designing and building the first shipping container prototype.
First step: insulation. Inside We will insulate the container inside with panels, and outside with a green roof. They will prevent the container from overheating during summer.
Inner environmental parameters will be controlled and modified by a bunch of sensors ( temperature, CO2, humidity) connected with ARDUINO.
Urban farming is all about vertical spaces: we will hang the substrate on iron trolleys, easy to move from incubation to fructification room.
Who's behind the project?
Funghi Espresso idea was developed in 2013 thanks to Rossano Ercolini, Zero Waste Research Centre Coordinator of Capannori and 2013 Goldman Prize winner. He showed the use of spent coffee grounds case study inside the showroom "Il gusto di un caffè sostenibile" (The taste of a sustainable coffee).
Antonio Di Giovanni (agronomist and Ercolini's team member) realized the pilot environmental school project "From coffee to proteins" at Ilio Micheloni primary school, where more than 200 students discovered how to cultivate Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus) from spent coffee grounds.
Vincenzo Sangiovanni (architect and eco-designer) met Antonio thanks to Zero Waste and they decided to join their forces.
Tomohiro Sato (japanese entrepreneur) put the "seed" and in March 2014 Funghi Espresso was founded. Soon after they opened their first production site in Capannori (LU).
- April 2014: "Best quality project" obtained by Incubatore Universitario Fiorentino (Florentine University Icubator)
- June 2014: "Zero Waste tour of best practises", obtained by Capannori Zero Waste Research Center and Zero Waste Italy.
- October 28th 2014: Tuscania Region awarded Funghi Espresso as best practise into "Call for ideas Toscana" related to Expo 2015, 200 days before Expo 2015.
- April 2015: The Ministry of Agriculture choose Funghi Espresso, along with 24 other innovative startups, to represent Italian agricultural innovations at Milano Expo 2015. Funghi Espresso spent one week at Expo with its own stand.
Project created by
Funghi Espresso, founded in 2013, is an agricultural startup that produces mushrooms from spent coffee grounds collected from the bars and restaurants. Funghi Espresso turns a waste into a resource, barely with no environmental impact.