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    Date submitted
  • 13-Oct-2017

Living Canopies, ltd.

Abstract

Fabric umbrellas provide shade on restaurants patios, pool-decks and rooftop patios, but don’t support green branding for the business nor inspire customer conversations. Containerized plants, small gardens or green walls may help with green branding and atmosphere, but don’t provide shade. A great atmosphere and a theme of sustainability promotes brand loyalty. Business owners want to inspire customer loyalty because it makes them more competitive and increases revenue.

Living Canopies provides both a shade solution and green-branding solutions by integrating plant-canopies with umbrellas. We make the Living Umbrella - a product that combines flowers, architectural shapes, and a plant canopy to create a comfortable, natural atmosphere on any patio.

It's made possible by a patent-pending design, plant-panel grow-out method, and solar-powered smart irrigation system that requires minimal care. The living umbrella adds beauty, gets attention, and expresses green branding, while shading customers and keeping them cool.

Our business plan is to manufacture and sell our patented living umbrellas to the hospitality industry. Living Canopies will market our product to architects, landscape architects, and other designers so that our product is specified in their plans. Our main sales channel will be through landscape contractors, and other plant care service providers, who act as our distributors, installers, and plant-care service reps. By distributing through established businesses that already provide plants, planters, and plant-care, we are able to scale our business nationally and potentially internationally.

Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Our customers are owners of upscale restaurants, hotels, and resorts that have outdoor dining space. We reach these customers through our marketing efforts, through landscaping firms that act as our value-added reseller, and through architects and designers who specify our product in their plans.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Our product helps our customer create great outdoor dining atmosphere, brand loyalty with a sustainability theme (often important to urban diners) and provides a shade solution. We bring the benefits of nature to urban spaces. No other shade company does that.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The flowering canopy that creates a comfortable, shady, and natural atmosphere makes this product successful. Many people have an ingrained love of plants and want to see their cities greener with more natural elements. On the scale of the urban outdoor dining patio, plants are often restricted to being placed at ground level. Living Canopies brings plants above your head to provide shade and creates a “flower forest’ that people love to experience. The living umbrella brings the benefits of nature to the urban environment, thus supporting a goal shared with the hospitality industry. Sustainably minded hotels and restaurants can better support their marketing with our green product that waters itself and looks amazing.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Our product will be successful by understanding our customers’ needs and supporting our value-added re-sellers with sales tools, marketing campaigns and incentives. The aspect that gives us an advantage over other providers of shade solutions, is that our product makes it easy to have a living shade canopy that brings the benefits of nature to the urban patio. We’re more than a shade solution, we express green-branding and contribute to greening our urban environment.