I attended an entrepreneurship marathon from 24th-26th March with three friends. The event organized by Create Squared and mainly sponsored by Nordea. My team won the second price.

A Swedish guy Alexander Nilehn pitched his idea which develop edible cutleries in Sweden. I believe that this idea is viable and meet the sustainability goal of Sweden. Also the theme of this event was circular economy. If we can replace one time plastic spoons with edible spoons which will definitely reduce the consumption of plastic. So I joined in his team. Actually, we have a very diverse team who come from different countries and have diverse backgrounds which is a good factor for a team. During this event, the most impressional thing is to receive advices from mentors.

One aspect of advices from mentor is how to cooperate with this India company. This India company called Bakeys hired nine women to manufacture the edible spoons in low scale. If we work with this company, can this company scale up and meet the high volume requirements from Sweden or even the whole Europe? We know that this company is trying to develop automatic machines to do batch production. So the question is what is the role of us in this potential business relationship, partner or distributor. If we are only distributor, we care about the production volume and can we get our order on time. If we can become partner, we need to raise more money to help this company scale up as well as sell the product in Sweden. All the above assumptions based on that we can work with this company. What if we couldn’t. 

Things can be become really complicate, you never know what you will encounter in the business world. We as entrepreneurs should not only consider business parts, how to cooperate, how to make profits, how to raise money, how to distribute products, how to work with local companies, how to ship products, but also how the product tastes, what are the ingredients of this product, how long can it lasts, how easy it can be broke. Lots of hows and whats, and so many assumptions need to be prove. This is business world. You can get different information from different people which you may never think about. However, as one mentor said we are the team who really into this business right now, we know much better than other people. We should get as much information as possible, and narrow down make our own decisions.

This was a really good experience. I do like the advices from mentors. And thanks to the idea generator Alexander Nilehn, and team members Haonan Liu, Igor Panic and Shruti Kuber. Thanks to Create Squared who hosted  such a good event.

The event link: http://create-squared.com/

The event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/createsquaredevent/ (Can see the video here)

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4 Thoughts on “An exciting Entrepreneurship Marathon

  1. Avatar Franco Brenni on April 5, 2017 at 11:33 am said:

    interesting post Jinhjing, but how does it work with the shipping from India? I absolutely understand the need to reduce plastic waste (edible or reuseable cutlery are surely better) but how do you cope with the emissions caused by the long way from India to Sweden?

    • Avatar Jingjing Xie on April 8, 2017 at 11:26 am said:

      Hey Franco,

      This is a good question. There are several different ways to deal with plastic waste, such as encourage people bring cutleries themselves, using biodegradable cutleries. There are balance between how much environment impact we may cause to produce and ship edible cutleries and how much plastic waste we save to use them. I don’t have that number right now. This aspect also mentioned by a mentor during the event which I never thought about before. If you have suggestions about how to get related data, feel free to rely me. Thanks.

  2. Avatar Franco Brenni on April 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm said:

    I gess it would be nice to see some estimates, by searching on Google it appears that shipping for 5000km by ship causes approx 150kg/CO2 per shipped ton and by plane 6500kg/CO2 per shipped ton (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/02/environmental-impact-of-shipping-goods) but this does not take in to account possible oil spills, etc.
    I think (it should be verified) that 1 ton of polyethylene implies 6000kg of CO2.
    Clearly if the cultlery is shipped to Sweden by plane it probalby makes no sense to produce it in India (from india to SVE it is approx 6500 km by plane and 16000 by ship) and the product might actually be more pollutant than using plastic cultlery produced in Europe. It is not abvious that shipping it by boat has a positive impact on the envirnonemnt, it all depends on the production facility in India…

  3. Avatar Jingjing Xie on April 24, 2017 at 11:50 am said:

    Hey Franco,

    Thanks for such detail information. I agree with shipping from India cannot make positive impact on environment. While I don’t think the plastic cutlery used in Europe produced in Europe, I guess they shipped from China. If in that situation, shipping cutlery from India may not have significant difference compared to shipping plastic cutlery from China regarding environment impact. While we still haven’t count how much CO2 produced during manufacturing. I like your thoughts that doing environmental friendly products should definitely take holistic environment impact into consideration. I think we definitely need some numbers to convince people rather than thinking it is environmental friendly. Thanks for your reply.

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