Micropropagating Plant Laboratory - A Lab built by the public for the public AMA Ask Me Anything about the world of micropropagation

avidgardner
Sep 15, 2017

Hi everyone thank you for checking out my AMA, I am here to introduce my Kickstarter project, Micropropagating Plant Lab, with the world in order to raise awareness about micropropagation and the applications it has in our society.

First off micropropagation is a form of tissue culture that focuses on producing a large number of identical plant copies from a relatively small starting point.  

This has some serious applications as there an increasing number of plants being added onto the endangered species list.  Plants do not receive as much attention as endangered animals but they should still receive some funding to conserve the plants that are left.  One of the benefits of micropropagation (MP) is that you can take almost any part of the plant and culture it into growing.  The difficult aspect is finding the correct balance of nutrients required to grow.  

I welcome everyone who is interested in learning about MP as it is something that is not commonly discussed among botanists or gardening enthusiasts.

MP differs slightly from taking cuttings from a stock plant, as is common in the cannabis industry.  The application of MP in the cannabis industry can already be seen in labs around the country by searching through IG for MP.  

Thank you everyone and I look forward to sharing my information with you!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1290657219/micropropagating-plant-lab


Update (Sep 15, 1:40PM EDT):

avidgardner says:

I will be going live on Kickstarter in a few minutes. Tune IN!

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www.kickstarter.com/projects/1290657219/micropropagating-plant-lab

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Which plant species will your initial project focus on?

Sep 15, 10:47PM EDT0

What are the most challenging aspects of this project?

Sep 15, 6:03PM EDT0

Why do you think MP is not commonly discussed?

Sep 15, 2:19PM EDT0

It is one of those topics that is not readily discussed among gardners or even botanists for that matter due to the secrecy behind the work that is done in the laboratory.  There is also a good deal of background information that should be discussed in order to fully understand MP and it's application.

A good start would be to discuss and read about tissue culture which includes MP as a form of tissue culture.

Sep 15, 5:35PM EDT0

Does it cost me anything to start a crowdfunding campaign?

Sep 14, 8:19PM EDT0

It will take up a lot of time and effort which could translate into money if this is your first time around.  Best thing to do is research ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Sep 15, 1:41PM EDT0
Show all 3 replies

Would you consider getting a specialist onboard in order to help you make this campaign a success?

Sep 14, 1:29PM EDT0

We appreciate the offer and are currently trying to fund this internally.  Stay tuned for more updates!  :]

Sep 14, 1:43PM EDT0

Great!

Sep 15, 8:43PM EDT0

Do you specialize in succulents or do you micropropagate all types of plants?

Sep 14, 2:19AM EDT0

Succulents and cacti are becoming more and more common in gardens and I believe that xeriscapes are the way to go for places suffering from a shortage of water.  

As a result, we will put our attention towards succulents since the demand is there.  That being said, we believe all plants deserve attention not just the ones that increase the most revenue.  There are a variety of niches such as medicinal plants as well as native endangered plants that can be micropropagated.

Sep 14, 1:41PM EDT0

I have a lot of Cacti in my house as they are so easy to look after, are their any other house plants you would recommend that are simple but pretty? 

Sep 15, 8:12PM EDT0

Can you share a link to your facebook, twitter, website please?

Sep 14, 12:06AM EDT0

No website other than our Kickstarter at the moment.  Once we are funded we will create a database where we will begin inputting plants that we are going to focus our attention as well as images and information regarding particular species.

Sep 14, 1:42PM EDT0

No problem, I will keep a look out, thank you!

Sep 15, 7:31PM EDT0

How important is the conservation of rare plant species?

Sep 13, 4:30PM EDT0

Plant conservation is important because as we continue to develop and grow as a society we will inevitably need to encroach on land that was previously allowed to grow and thrive.  

One important aspect about conservation is the focus on medicinal plants.  Some of these take a very long time to grow in the wild and are often over-harvested.  Micropropagation allows for a large number of plantlets to be reintroduced in hopes of re-establishing their numbers.

Sep 14, 1:47PM EDT0

What are the main medical plants that the industry rely's on? 

Sep 15, 7:21PM EDT0

Is your lab going to be an NGO or is it for-profit?

Sep 13, 3:03PM EDT0

At this point we are uncertain as to the affiliations we will have/need in order to work with different conservational agencies.  That being said, plantlets are a difficult market at a small scale and most labs require a minimum order of 500 or more plantlets.  Therefore I believe most of our funding will be from some of the images we will print and possibly sell at a local or global market.  

Microscopy provides for dazzling photography that we hope to share with the world since a microscope will be a tool we will use periodically.  

Thank you for that great question, it allows for further discussion amongst our team and to gain further counsel!

Sep 14, 1:51PM EDT0

What is your favorite plant and why?

Sep 13, 12:16PM EDT0

I am mezmerzed by a lot of them I would say I have a favorite plant in every specific genus.  For example from the genus Haworthia my favorite are the cooperi species for their translucent leaves.  Then again check out this other Haworthia that has dazzling patterns, this is an example of a slow growing plant that is native to Oaxaca Mexico.  Does not propagate easily through leaf as commonly seen in other species.

Sep 14, 1:54PM EDT0

Do you live in Oaxaca?

Sep 15, 6:49PM EDT0

How do you plan to use the funds raised through crowdfunding? Are you going to be transaprent about how you spend the money?

Sep 13, 12:06PM EDT0

Absolutely, if you follow our Kickstarter link and go into the FAQ section we have a very generalized breakdown of where fees will be allocated.  Keep in mind these values could change as we are currently receiving interest from the scientific community in terms of donating some of their equipment.  Once we actually become funded we will provide the public unprescedented access in terms of the process and effort it requires to build a quality micropropagating lab.  

Transparency is something we will hold highly in order to gain the trust of the community.

Sep 14, 1:59PM EDT0

Do plants really feel pain and can sense things or communicate?

Sep 13, 11:04AM EDT0

As far as pain goes I am not sure since they do not have nerves but as far as sensing things Mimosa pudica closes immediately after you touch it. 

As far as communicating I am not sure if there are plant phermones but I will read up on it and keep you posted!

Sep 14, 2:02PM EDT0

Do you value plants over animals?

Sep 15, 6:48PM EDT0

How much research did you do in regard to crowdfunding before you settled on this particular site?

Sep 13, 10:03AM EDT0

Before launching this project I had done a month of extensive research into the market and the tools I would use to crowdfund.  One of the biggest reasons I chose Kickstarter is their all-or-nothing philosophy where if you do not raise your goal for funds then you do not get anything.  This is a great way of ensuring that the product will meet the quality aspect when deliving to the consumer.

Sep 14, 2:04PM EDT0

Are you anxious about not raising the full amount in such a short amount of time? 

Sep 15, 6:27PM EDT0

Can you give some advice to people interested in launching their own crowdfunding campaigns?

Sep 13, 9:33AM EDT0

Start off by researching the top platforms for crowdfunding such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Gofundme, etc.  Then determine what platform is best in term of the goal you are trying to achieve.  It certainly takes a lot of time and effort in terms of gathering interest and a good email list.

Sep 14, 2:05PM EDT0

Great advice, thanks!

Sep 15, 6:01PM EDT0

How important do you rate your work?

Sep 13, 8:46AM EDT0

I am very passionate about my work and the products that I produce so I would hold my work to the highest degree.  

That being said I also believe that science and conservation relies on the combined efforts of everyone collectively.  By working together we can achieve greater accomplishments.

Sep 14, 2:07PM EDT0

How do you balance your work and social life?

Sep 15, 6:15PM EDT0

Name 3 reasons as to why you choose crowdfunding to launch your product?

Sep 13, 7:52AM EDT0

Prior to going live on Kickstarter the team at MPPL discussed our options and determined that crowdfunding would be the best method to build a laboratory that could fill the niche of providing information to the public.

Sep 14, 2:13PM EDT0

Are there anyother platforms you seriously considered before settling on crowdfunding?

Sep 15, 5:50PM EDT0

What are the drawbacks, if any, on using crowdfunding platforms?

Sep 13, 7:32AM EDT0

The drawbacks are that you can fail if your idea does not ressonate with the public.  That being said your idea will then be our there with the public with the possibility that someone could take it and try it.  As far as our approach goes, were we to fail, we welcome anyone interested in tacking the micropropagating industry. 

Sep 14, 2:15PM EDT0

Have you had anybody approach you wanting to become part of the project with you? 

Sep 15, 5:44PM EDT0

What important lesson have you learnt from using crowdfunding so far?

Sep 13, 5:27AM EDT0

It can be difficult to convey your message to the public and gain their trust.

Sep 14, 2:16PM EDT0

Yes, I can definitely understand this! What measures have you put in place to try and earn the trust of the public?

Sep 15, 5:33PM EDT0

What are your back-up plans if your crowdfunding campaign fails?

Sep 13, 4:33AM EDT0

Continue working and buy certain basic equipment such as microscope, camera, printing equipment and fund our selves internally through local markets until we reach our goal through sales.  

At which point more than likely we will be a private lab and access to our work will be more restricted.

Sep 14, 2:18PM EDT0

Where do you buy such equipment from?

Sep 15, 5:23PM EDT0

What advice would you give to anyone else looking to create their first crowdfunding project?

Sep 13, 3:14AM EDT0

Research the market extensively and know that there is always somethign to learn, do not close yourself off.

Sep 14, 2:19PM EDT0

Great, thank you! If you were to do it again, is there anything you would have done differently?

Sep 15, 5:10PM EDT0
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