How Life Cykel capitalised on the gig economy with mushrooms

Julian Mitchell explains how they turned unused backyards into profitable small businesses on their National Mushroom Network.

27 September 2018

Julian Mitchell, the cofounder of mushroom biotechnology company Life Cykel, joined The Mentor with Mark Bouris to discuss the producing element of their business.

“Anyone with a backyard and no mushroom experience can do it,” Julian said.

“Thinking about he gig economy - Uber and Airbnb and utilising recourses that aren’t at capacity - one of them is a backyard.”

“So in a 3m x 3m space you can grow up to 40kg of mushrooms per week.”

One of the common misconceptions about mushrooms is that they need to be grown in the dark.

“It’s only really the button mushrooms that need to be grown in the dark, the rest require a forest floor environment - high humidity, fresh air and indirect light - so that’s the environment that we create,” Julian said.

The ‘Shroom Rooms’ now come in three models, which range from a backyard hobby to effectively a small business.

“Our solar Shroom Room can make anywhere between $400 and $1,200 per week in profit, selling the mushrooms to your local farmers’ markets,” Julian said.

“And there’s a huge demand for that at farmers’ markets, people shopping there and growing food locally and monetising their backyard and creating jobs through microeconomics and business enablement.”

Listen to Julian's full conversation with Mark on The Mentor podcast here.