This time last year we were working diligently on fundraising, networking and getting valuable input from multiple business incubators. We had heard of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge a few years back from Eben Bayer of Ecovative who won the competition in 2008. At that time, we weren’t ready to enter, but in 2013 we felt confident that we were finally in the right spot to apply. And excited about it too! The application process was engaging with the whole team and it really helped us frame our story, our business model and our SWOT analysis. We also framed our plan with both a sustainable and financial focus. We started early, and had plenty of time to start implementing the application by testing our many assumptions.
We gave ourselves months to write the application and hone our business case. We even put the deadline on our wall in the lab as inspiration as we wrote the application - we wanted to win the 2013 PLGC - and we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to draft our application. The process was exciting and helped us grow as a team in the process.
One of memorable moments of winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge was meeting one of the judges, Marcel Wanders, a designer we have admired for years. In fact- his “sponge” vase was one of the inspirations for growing construction materials similar to coral. Through networks and cross-linked opportunities, we were able to visit Marcel in The Netherlands to discuss our business model and opportunities for getting our product into the European market. Additionally, we have an initial order due at the end of this year. We are also currently moving to our manufacturing facility, while scaling our equipment.
In this year’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge I hope to see ideas that are simple, yet impactful: Ideas that shift mindsets. Perhaps a design change to packaging, or a design change in the clothing consumable supply chain. Simple, yet effective ideas that have massive impact and can be executed rapidly.
So, good luck to all the entrepreneurs out there ready to enter the competition!