Grounds to Crops

Project by : AnAn International Education Foundation




money raised

29 days

to go

Launched: 23 Oct 2017

Funding ends: 22 Feb 2018

Reimagining coffee grounds to support the autistics

Often time, the desire of people with autism to pursue a meaningful career is not understood or catered for. Grounds to Crops is a new social innovation project by AnAn International Education Foundation, hoping to connect the value we can uncover from coffee grounds with this need.  

The story of coffee does not necessarily have to end with a cup of aromatic specialty blend… grounds from coffee brew can be used for a wealth of purposes such as indoor air filtering, garden fertilization and organic farming.  

We will partner with a group of technical engineers to develop and sell mushroom boxes, making use of the abundance of coffee grounds in the city.  You just need to follow some simple instructions to grow mushrooms from these boxes at home or your workplace.   

Students from a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities will be hired to assemble these boxes under the supervision of a manager in charge.  Grounds to Crops Boxes will be sold through channels such as partner retailers, coffee shops, Instagram shop or farmer markets.  

From box to table, we hope to inspire people in Hong Kong to enjoy the fun of cooking and eating mushrooms for a good social cause.  


Turkish coffee - Wikipedia

More project information


How do we plan to spend our money?

20% initial setup (production venue and basic equipment)

20% material costs

40% labour cost

10% sales/marketing (setting up online shop and other sales channels) and logistics

Our team

1 Manager in charge (part-time)

2 workers

2 technical and project advisors (paid based on a percentage of revenue)

Production schedule

January 2018

Venue setup, package design, recruiting and training of workers, product quality control and testing, online shop soft launch (pre-order)


First delivery of mushroom boxes



Our reward system


As a token of thanks, for a donation of every $500, backers will receive a number of complimentary mushroom boxes.  More details will be communicated to the backers at a later stage.


Next phase

Our startup does not end with boxes.  The plan is to learn from the pilot and scale up the initiative to the next phase of coffee grounds farming, where incubators will be built to grow high-quality organic mushrooms in a controlled environment

Again, people with autism will form a key component of our team.  Training will be given to meet the more sophisticated skill requirements of helping to run an organic farm


About AnAn International Education Foundation

The Foundation was established in 2006 by Mr You Zhong and Mr Kenneth Yu, and registered as a charitable institution in 2011 (Company registration no.: 1634206,  IR file no.: 91/11513). It joined The Hong Kong Council for Social Service as a member in 2014.

AnAn serves children with autism or slow mental development, and their families. Our work focuses on education, rehabilitation, medical research, development of auxiliary tools, advocacy of care for autistic persons and information exchange between China and other communities.  In addition to the music therapy center in Hong Kong, AnAn also runs three rehabilitation centers in Jinan (Shandong Province), Fuzhou (Fujian Province) and Guangzhou (Guangdong Province) in China.

Grounds to Crops is our first social startup as we strive to adopt more new thinkings to serving this community.  We believe given adequate training, autistics are capable of more sophisticated responsibilities, hence a more meaningful career over time.

Your support would help invent a better and greener future.  

Please donate now!