First Place: Project Plant
Helping people in lockdown through a plant subscription and support service
1.3 million Australian are experiencing depression or a depressive disorder. This is the highest rate of depression amongst the Western Pacific region, and these figures reflect how it was before COVID hit. One million Australians are out of work and people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the current situation.
How might we give different groups, both younger people and the elderly, a positive avenue to turn their mental health around during a period of isolation and extended lockdown? How might we turn users' black thumbs into green thumbs through caring for plants and fostering a greater community connection?
Customer / Problem
Younger people and the elderly share the common challenges of feeling bored, stressed and isolated as they experience prolonged uncertainty with the COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria. They are looking for ways to stay connected to their community, support their mental health and learn new and interesting skills.
Project Plant is a tailored gardening subscription service that encourages inexperienced gardeners to include plants into their lives in a supportive, user-friendly way.
Users are sent plant boxes with fun, interactive instructions on how to care for them. The user is provided a pack that helps them monitor plant progress, access handy recipes and understand how well their plants have grown. Games, a badging system and competitions are also a part of the ways Project Plant engages its customers. Users are encouraged to connect to their local community via their new love of gardening (e.g. through local, virtual gardening groups).
An app gives customers the guidance they need and keeps them learning and motivated throughout their gardening experience! It instils a sense of confidence, happiness and pride in users to keep themselves positive through these difficult times.
Support to connect to groups who could market or advocate for the idea (e.g. mental health or community gardening groups!)
Support to create a Minimum Viable Product and begin testing this with potential customers.