Atta mushroom nursery school helps to make the world a little more sustainable

About ATTA

  • Founders: Mario Grintschler, Andreas Haigl, Christoph Kovacic, Sebastian Mode;
  • Founded in: 2021
  • Employees: 0
  • Money raised: Grants AplusB upscaling program; additional funding with own money
  • End goal: We want to professionalize mushroom cultivation in Europe to make mushrooms cheaper and thus make our food healthier and more sustainable.

Livestock is responsible for fifteen percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and eighty percent of global land use. Mushrooms are rich in nutrients and can replace at least some of the meat consumption. Of course, there are already mushroom farms. But these are often inefficient and often not as environmentally friendly. That was the reason why the start-up ATTA used its knowledge of plant cultivation and developed a smart installation for mushroom cultivation.

The first prototype is already running. The system is so simple that any supermarket can use it to grow mushrooms or other types of mushrooms. Co-founder Sebastian Modl is himself an enthusiastic mushroom grower and talks about the idea of ​​ATTA and its implementation in this episode of today’s startup.

Atta, mushroom seeds, mushroom plant, meat alternative,
Team Atta: (from left) Sebastian Modl, Andreas Haigl, Mario Grintschler, Christoph Kovacic (c) Atta – Sebastian Mode

Where does the name ATTA come from?

“Atta is the Latin name for the leaf-cutting ant – which has built perfectly air-conditioned mushroom farms for over thirty million years and is therefore our great role model. During evolution, these insects have learned to grow fungi on leaves. This way, they get high quality food. The Atta ants are now among the largest and strongest of all ant colonies. “

What does the nursery look like?

“Our nursery consists of a modular system and can be decorated in large halls as well as outdoors. You can remotely control and monitor the process. The installation enables decentralized production and makes long transport routes superfluous. This also makes it suitable for meeting local demand in large cities. In the medium term, we will not only run the nurseries ourselves, but also sell them. We also offer a remote control service. We will produce on request and want to be able to deliver the product within a few weeks. ”

What motivates you?

“Mushrooms are a delicious alternative to meat. We tested many species until we found the best species in the wig (Hericium erinaceus). It has various meat-like properties with a significantly lower CO2emissions and resource consumption. In Asia, the wig mushroom is considered a delicacy and is often compared to chicken or lobster meat. It is also known as a real brain booster

Have you ever thought about quitting?

“As a start-up entrepreneur, you face new challenges every day that you do not exist. Only afterwards do you realize that you have achieved what you did not think was possible in the beginning. This way you grow with your business. The biggest challenge was getting the first factory up and running. But we have never thought about giving up. ”

What are you proud of?

“When the first installation was completed, we were very happy and proud. But the many small and big expressions of support and congratulations we receive from people are always very nice. It shows that our idea is up to date and that many people feel attracted to it. ”

Video on the behavior of the Atta ant.

Was it difficult to get financing?

“We were able to start thanks to grants, and the prototype of the nursery was financed with a loan. In the future, we will continue to be dependent on grants and other forms of funding. In order to remain independent, we want to keep stocks as much as possible to ourselves. ”

Where do you want to be in five years?

“We will bring in our first harvest in fourteen days. We will sell it to restaurants and food processors. In five years we will sell our facilities across Europe to enable as many people as possible to grow mushrooms professionally and cost-effectively – and to make our food healthier and more sustainable. “

Why is your product better than existing products?

“Our modular system has the advantage that customers can start small and expand the nursery step by step. At the same time, our system is extremely efficient because temperature, humidity, CO2 and the light can be controlled and the fungi have ideal growth conditions. Due to our remote control, the harvest is guaranteed. ”

Do you still need staff?

“From next year, we will hire employees and start building the company.”

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