a STARTUP featured: SDM’s ONE-on-ONE with Greenbo founder and CEO Roy Joulus


They are one of the coolest and greenest Israeli startups, if you love gardening (even if you don’t) and aesthetics… Greenbo is what you need! We reached out to the founder and CEO Roy Joulus to bring you a little insight into why we LOVE this Israeli product.

Tell us about Greenbo

Greenbo LTD founded in 2008  bringing design & creativity by manufacturing high-end, prestigious design & quality products to the urban gardening domain.

Greenbo product’s main guidelines are based on simplicity, innovation and efficiency, while keeping safety as a priority.

Greenbo’s Designer railing deck planters and flower boxes’ unique saddle design means they can fit onto balcony railings around the world.

Greenbo cares about a green environment and acts according to the “Sustainability” ecological economics principles, by using high quality & recycled materials to ensure a long lasting product life cycle.

Greenbo’s high quality products last more than 3 years, minimizing the need for plastic

Some of our colors are produced from recycled plastic materials contributing to a green environment by re-using material.

The Greenbo product line is designed and manufactured in Israel, in a state of the art factory, with worldwide standardization of injection mold manufacturing, creating hundreds of work places in the plastic, packaging and design industries.

Greenbo’s factory employs people from minority population finding difficulties in job requirements in the free market. Greenbo’s factory is a partnership between Jewish owners and Arab owners showing a full cooperation between 2 populations in Israel in a business manner which can provide a social and financial solution to both sides living together.

With our Greenbo XL designed rail & deck window box we had just won the Red dot product design award for best designed product 2012.

http://en.red-dot.org/index.php?id=2839&detail=9849&no_cache=1

In addition, The Israeli Greenbo was the finalist in the YBI entrepreneur of the year competition in London sponsored by HRH the Prince of Wales s and bank Barclays,

http://awards.youthbusiness.org/winners/shortlist-roy-joulous/

and won the second place in the Creative Business Cup global competition

http://www.creativebusinesscup.com/greenbo

All of the above makes Greenbo a high end design environmental unique company.

Greenbo’s main products

Greenbo XL Designed Rail & Deck Flower box

Provides a unique solution for growing plants/flowers in an urban environment by simply placing it over your rail or deck, saving your balcony floor space.

Greenbo XL unique design allows it to be placed over any shape or form of railings without the need for special adjustments or effort.

With its built-in draining solution – 2 removable, cleanable & replaceable trays, anchoring mechanism for theft protection, patented stability mechanism and 6 special modern colors, Greenbo XL is a perfect design solution for a balcony.

• Fits all railing shapes and sizes up to 6” \ 16cm wide

• Patented rail design holds securely.  Self-mounting – no screws or brackets necessary

• Patented anchoring mechanism for theft protection.

• No drip drainage – Recycles water.  Contains a built-in drainage solution – two removable & cleanable trays.

• High quality materials ensuring long lasting product lifecycle

• Constructed from 100% weatherproof resin

Greenbo Planter |  Designed Rail & Deck Flower pot

Provides a unique solution for growing plants/flowers in an urban environment by simply placing it over your rail or deck, saving your balcony floor space.

Greenbo XL unique design allows it to be placed over any shape or form of railings without the need for special adjustments or effort.

With its built-in draining solution – 2 removable, cleanable & replaceable trays, anchoring mechanism for theft protection, patented stability mechanism and 6 special modern colors, Greenbo XL is a perfect design solution for a balcony.

• Fits all railing shapes and sizes up to 4” \ 10cm wide

• Patented rail design holds securely.  Self-mounting – no screws or brackets necessary

• Patented anchoring mechanism for theft protection.

• No drip drainage – Recycles water.  Contains a built-in drainage solution – two removable & cleanable trays.

• High quality materials ensuring long lasting product lifecycle

• Constructed from 100% weatherproof resin

How will Greenbo revolutionize gardening?

Greenbo revolutionizes gardening by changing the perception of growing vegetables, flowers and plants in an urban environment, bringing nature into your apartment in an innovative attractive way.

The Greenbo planters and flower boxes patented design allows it to be placed over any shape or form of railings without a need for special adjustments or effort. With a variety of 16 vivid colors, High end plastic polymers, and advanced planter mechanisms:  Stability ribs mechanism, Water recycling and more, Greenbo is a world leader in the urban gardening domain.

Who came up with the concept/design, what was your inspiration?

I came up with the Greenbo railing & deck planter concept from a real need\problem I had trying to grow my herbs and vegetables in my small apartment’s balcony while living in Tel-Aviv for many years.

Design and gardening were not my specialty. After completing my first degree, I got a job in the Hi-tech industry, for years I bounced from start-up to startup, filing different roles and climbing up to managerial roles.

After years of hard work and long hours working and achieving for the companies I worked for, I realized I could do the same things and better on my own. I decided to pursue my dream and study design (…which was always a hobby of mine) and so I did. As a gardener and design graduate, I was really amazed how many things can be created differently, with more design, more colors, more efficiency and simplicity. That was the moment I knew I was going to start my own business based on my ideas in the product design field.

The idea for Greenbo came as I was renting an apartments in Tel Aviv. The rent was expensive and the apartments were very small, I remember I could barely stand in my balcony. As a nature lover living in an urban environment, I really wanted to grow my own garden and so I insisted on doing so. So I started thinking creatively on how I could keep my small apt/balcony and still have a lovely garden with flowers and colors.

I started playing around with all kinds of ideas but at that point the only products available were the chip regular window boxes with metal hangers. I bought one and hanged it on my railing facing the street. I was amazed that the only color available at the time was white, dark green and terracotta brown which were terrible.

After hanging it I discovered few things:

1/ The window box was directed to the street and located beneath the railing so I couldn’t enjoy my flowers.

2/ Both the metal hangers and my railing got rusted.

3/ It was very unstable, a little disturbance and it could fall down

4/ It was not asthetically pleasing, to enjoy it, I had to cover it with HUGE flowers.

That was the moment I realized I have the perfect solution. While looking at the 2 regular flower boxes hanging facing each other (the street and the balcony), I’ve noticed the saddle shape they created, with that in mind, I decided to design a on-top railing flower box, made only of plastic with no metal hangers including a rib safety mechanism. In addition to the mechanism, I gave it a state of the art design available in many colours, making the flower box a designed object on its own. We made it wide enough to be able grow flowers but narrow enough to not to take too much space (…space is precious in Tel Aviv), and from there Greenbo started its urban gardening revolution. 2 of my best friends joined me Maya Golan & Meir Haklai and I convinced my father, Avi Joulus to come along on our journey, together we established Greenbo, an Innovative Israeli design global leading company.

Are you inspired more by Design or Gardening ?

I was inspired by the combination of creativity and nature completing each other.

I love nature, flowers, and plants and wanted to keep it in my life though living in an urban environment. I’ve also been designing for years always looking to bring clean designs and efficiency to my life. Once facing the need to solve the problem I had, I really felt that with the combination of these 2 hobbies I can bring innovative, simple solution for growing my own garden in the city.

The solution was so simple and so “reality demanding” that since day one I thought about it, it felt right.

Gardening is a way of natural design AND design is really using the beauty of nature, all is needed is keeping it simple, clever and always inspire to improve while keeping the environment natural and sustainable.

People are more and more interested in products that are environmentally friendly, what makes Greenbo GREEN ?

Greenbo cares about green environment and act according to the “Sustainability” ecological economics principles, by using high quality & recycled materials to ensure long lasting product life cycle.

Product life cycle

Greenbo planters and flower boxes are very solid, making them safe in extreme weather conditions over high floor buildings, in addition Greenbo products have a life cycle of more than 3 years, compared to the 1 year life-cycle of a regular planter, resulting in a lot less plastic waste.

Recycled materials and recycled products

All Greenbo products that are returned to us are recycled and used to manufacture other products. In addition, Greenbo’s white and black products are manufactured from recycled materials

Saving water and recycled water

Greenbo products have 2 removable drainage trays that the extra water drains to.

The extra water can be reused either on the same planter or on the one next to it. We wanted to give people the option of re-using water.

In addition, the roots of the plants are totally separated from the extra water allowing the plants to grow better and safer.

What do you mean when you say “Ecological economics principles” and how do you follow them ?

As stated above, at Greenbo we care a lot about the environment so we are implemented “Sustainability” ecological economics principles from our initial design and planning process.

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony which permits a fulfillment of the social, economic and other requirements for the present generations to come.

In brief, there are two major ways of managing human impact on ecosystem services.

One approach is environmental management; this approach is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in earth science, environmental science, and conservation biology.

Another approach is management of consumption of resources, which is based largely on information gained from educated professionals in economics.

All of the above reflects the real revolution in Greenbo products embracing the main “Sustainability” principle of

Management of consumption of resources:

From the early stages of our product design we insist of bringing and designing our products to be environmental friendly. Besides the “green” mechanisms in our product like grey water recycle mechanism, Greenbo is very strict regarding the earth resources and continuity.

Many of the Greenbo products are made from recycled plastic materials, but not only this, each product returned to us or any damaged product from the production processes, recycled and new different product are manufactured from it, so every resource taken from our ground is used for eternity  saving the resources and keeping our planet greener and stronger. In addition, Greenbo implement one of the most important “Sustainability” principals of smart quality consuming, which means that each product produced must be in high quality and last for years and by that saving return purchase of cheaper low quality product and wasting the plant resources. In the last few years the attitude of purchasing cheap, low level, un-designed product become very common and caused a major waste in our earth resources consumption.  In Greenbo we have decided to change it. We design a very thick product, with extreme high quality which made the product highly durable and lasting for years keeping top quality and design. This non-economic step created a different environmental change, instead of buying in 3 years 10 cheap planters that will waste huge amount of the earth resources, you can buy 1 Greenbo product which will last for years. To see the world wide consumers today understating the importance of “Sustainability”, appreciate it and purchasing our product not only for its design and functionality but for a global cause like our environment and green earth is a rewarding exciting moment for us all.

Your product has recently received the reddot design award, Congrats! tell us about that.

As designer, the top acknowledgment you can receive is winning with one of our inventions the Red dot product design award that was always a dream of mine (and for many other designers around the world) and for Greenbo as a company. This year I and my partners made this dream come true with our Greenbo XL flower box.

Our second product won the prestigious prize of Red Dot product design winner 2012 along with companies like “Apple” Porche” and “HTC” and become one of the top leading design company who dictates the way along with other major companies globally. Receiving the letter of our win in this global prestigious competition, participating in the amazing winners ceremony in Essen Germany and being announced as the winners of this year and representing Israel in the top design global industry was a special moment for us all which will be long remembered:

Greenbo XL Designer Rail & Deck Window box awarded with important design prize – great success at the “red dot award: product design 2012”

Greenbo ltd. convinced the international expert jury of the “red dot award: product design 2012”. After an evaluation process lasting several days, it received one of the coveted awards, assigned by a 30-member expert jury. Creative heads and manufacturers from all over the world had submitted 4,515 designs altogether to the renowned product competition. With its high design quality, Greenbo XL Designer Rail & Deck Window box could inspire the experts. It received the globally sought-after red dot for its fine design language in the home & garden product design category.

Statement by the jury

“The innovative way of attaching these flower boxes gives them an unconventional and appealing appearance.”

http://en.red-dot.org/index.php?id=2839&detail=9849&no_cache=1

Your product is now being sold all over the world, how is the response?

The reactions are AMAZING!! Greenbo exports its product today to the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, the Far East and more creating a real global revolution. Consumers from all around the world contacting us to thank us for the products allowing them to bring nature again into their apartments and balconies, and the new perception we’ve created in the urban gardening domain.

In addition, due to the great responses and activity, few months ago we’ve established our local US company in addition to our base company in Israel, Greenbo LLC

The expansion to global local areas is done by the characteristics of each market and according to each market consumers’ needs and appreciation of new design home & garden products in this domain.

Our global attendance so quick to all world continents shows the amazing response we have from our consumers globally.

But we’ve only just started. Recently we’ve launched our Mix & Match products which allow consumers to design their Greenbo Planter and Flower box with amazing colors of the drainage trays.

On April 2013 we are planning to launch our new INNOVATIVE amazing NEW patent product which will be revealed globally continuing our Greenbo Urban Gardening revolution.

Why is it, in your opinion, that Israel is such an innovation hub ?

Yes, Israelis are very creative and practical people at the same time and I believe this is the exact qualities you need in order to bring innovation to the world and become an innovation hub.

When it comes to Innovation and Israel, does Size Matter ?

Size Does Matter when it comes to Israel and global innovation.

While facing a hard reality and the need to find sophisticated solutions to major problems in our small country, we are always thinking creatively. This situation creates a real innovation country –hub which produces each year many new creative innovative solutions, products and services to the global reality.

This year Greenbo won 3 major global competitions representing Israel in the creative industry with worldwide attendance of many countries from all continents, only strengthen the fact that we are an innovation hub wanting and creating a better world regardless of our country size and population.

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