"Ever since I was a kid, I've enjoyed building things and helping people," says Hamza Qadoumi, CEO and co-founder of Ecobloom. Hamza has always been curious and did enjoy solving problems. But he also had a strong interest in nature. These combined interests led to Ecobloom, whose mission is to create tools to grow smarter.
Hamza's dream was to combine engineering with nature. This is what eventually led to Ecobloom and smart indoor aquaponic farming. But the road to Ecobloom began with a journey that didn't happen. Hamza had applied for Minor Field Studies, a Sida-funded travel grant that allows students to carry out a field study of at least eight consecutive weeks in a low- or middle-income country.
"The plan was to go to Tanzania and help farmers become self-sufficient by introducing aquaponics. The project was approved by KTH and I was ready to fly down and start building in Tanzania. But there were elections in Sweden and no one knew how much funding was available anymore, so the whole thing was canceled."
The idea was in place and the prototypes were ready, but Hamza didn't get the chance to go down and realize his project in Africa. But the dream lived on of a new way to grow food locally and sustainably using technology. "Aquaponics is a brilliant idea. Fish and plants are grown in symbiosis, with the excrement from the fish providing nutrients for the plants. I had to take this idea further, even if it wasn't in Africa. So that's where it all kicked off with Ecobloom."