When thinking about invasive products or practices that have a negative impact on our ecosystem, we don’t necessarily think about bricks. However, bricks needs to be “fired”, creating carbon dioxide emissions in the process. This means that the 1.23 trillion bricks produced globally ever year actually lead to 800 million tons of emissions.

Back in 2010, Metropolis Magazine initiated an award called “Next Generation ‘The Big Fix’”, where contestants had to submit a proposal to grow bricks, rather than fire them. Inspired by the way coral reefs grow in the ocean, Ginger Dosier’s proposal won the award. Though a professor at the time, Dosier thought that starting a company was the best way to launch this technology into the world. Dosier took leave – unpaid – to found bioMASON in 2012. “It was difficult,” she said, “I didn’t have any training in business or finance and had to figure out a lot on my own.”

So, bricks. How much time have you ever spent thinking about bricks? Unless you’ve built your own house, I’m guessing the subject has hardly ever crossed your mind. This means that you’d probably be somewhat surprised to find out that bricks are used in over 80 percent of global construction. I say ‘somewhat surprised’ because it isn’t a truly mind-boggling statistic is it? Ok, let’s try this one: 1.23 trillion bricks are produced every year. A little bit more impressing if only due to the word “trillion”, right? Alright, then here’s for the real slam-dunk: producing all these bricks creates 800 million tons of carbon emissions worldwide on a yearly basis. Why? Because bricks need to be “fired”. 

We try to keep up with most of our former finalists. Here, we caught up with Ginger when she stopped by our office in Amsterdam and asked how she and her company bioMASON have been since winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2013.

Looking back on the competition, the winner of the 2013 Green Challenge Ginger Dosier points out that it is not competitive at all. "On the contrary: the feeling of belonging to this wonderful family was and is the most fun thing about it!"

“The whole experience was surreal and everything went seamless. I went home a different person than I came, in a good way. More shaped. And everything was so well organised, there were no problems, everything was thoughtful.”

Ginger Dosier wins EUR 500,000!

Ginger Dosier of the United States has won the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013. The jury, chaired by Richard Branson, awarded her €500,000 today at the final in Amsterdam to realise her green business plan. The jury chose Dosier for her company BioMason’s CO2-free brick production process. BioMason uses bacteria to ‘grow’ bricks out of readily available materials such as sand. The bricks compare favourably with traditional fired clay ones, whose manufacturing releases copious greenhouse gas emissions. Dutchmen Wolbert Allaart and Patrick Heuts were both awarded with a €100,000 runner-up prize for their green plans.


Blogpost by Ginger Dosier, winner of the 2013 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

It is hard to believe that one year ago, we were writing our pitches, scheduling film shoots for our video and eagerly awaiting a response from the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Since winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, every week for us is a new challenge and new growth for bioMASON. One key word that has come up every day this past year would have to be: momentum.

We asked some of our previous winners Eben Bayer, Molly Morse, Scot Frank, Ginger Dosier and Nick Christy if they have any advice for entrepreneurs wanting to enter the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Here is what they think about elevator pitches:

Eben: It is the most essential part of your sales presentation— it not only lets you communicate to others— but gives the people you meet the ability to repeat your value proposition to others….

The winner of 2013 Ginger Dosier shares her experience and preparation on the competition last year:

"This time last year we were working diligently on fundraising, networking and getting valuable input from multiple business incubators. We were also getting ready to enter the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. After having heard about it some years earlier, we felt we were finally ready to compete."

Last Friday, March 7th, four former Postcode Green Challenge finalists concluded the first ever Green Challenge Deep Dive with a Demo Day. During this Demo Day, they pitched their plans once again, after having gone through an incredibly intensive 1,5 week accelerator programme at Rockstart.

It was great to meet up with former finalists and to witness how much they have grown since they were last in Amsterdam, and especially after completing the Deep Dive.

We became aware of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge through 2008 winner, Eben Bayer back in 2010 when we first started brick growing experiments. We have watched his and Ecovatives success continue and knew that when we were ready as a business, we were going to apply. In January 2013, we at bioMASON sat down and made a goal to enter this year with 7 months to prepare for the July 17th deadline.

It is hard to believe a month has passed since we were in Amsterdam, celebrating a big win with newfound friends. The week was highly planned for the participants, which calmed a lot of initial nerves. We felt as though we were part of a larger family together with the PLGC team, the other finalists, previous winners and the highly esteemed jury.