Time is a river of passing events — a rushing torrent. ~ Greek Proverb
This season marks two years since the inception of our project, and just like our opening quote time indeed flies! It’s been a while since we updated our blog page. A writer’s block is usually not because there’s nothing to write, but rather the influx of ideas and events in the mind that creates a multicolored pudding whose color cannot be deciphered ( sounds like some philosophy lecture). After some serious thoughts, we realized that it is prudent to train the habit of sharing our progress and the general things happening with our plastic road project – no matter how huge or small.
From September last year, our team lead, Jennipher Panashe, took on the project as her senior year project at Ashesi Univerity. She focused on how to recycle PET plastic bottles for road construction purposes with emphasis on enhancing the overall strength of asphalt roads with shredded plastic. One significant finding was the general increase in the compressive strength, flexural strength and the hardness of road composites by a specified ratio of plastic material in the mixture. Beyond the maximum plastic threshold, these mechanical properties of the composite decline. The finding was a main milestone accomplishment for the team, and a step further to convert plastic waste to wealth.
Additionally, our project was accepted into the Ashesi Venture Incubator. This opportunity provided the platform to develop the project idea into a prospective commercialized business through several activities that have helped us to gain traction.
We partook in a Summer Research scheme (June and July 2019) which was centered on understanding our market niche; stakeholders – institutions researching extensively into plastic waste recycling; products and innovations around the plastic recycling industry; and getting strategic partners for our start-up. This session granted us valuable insights to pivot as far as our Business Model is concerned. Instead of us only becoming a producer of plastic pellets, we will also offer consultancy services to construction companies as a Plastic Recycling Research Institute.
Fast forward to the end of August; we attended a 3-day Pre-Incubation Workshop organized by the AVI. The workshop enabled us to fine-tune our Point of View, Journey Map, and our Business Model Canvas. In addition to the BMC, we also looked at the Value Fulfilment Blueprint (VFB), Cash Flow Model and how to best construct a pitch deck. Of all the business templates we worked on, the VFB was the most insightful one as it allowed us to come up with business strategies/ back end actions that can help us solve our customers’ pain points.
So far, the AVI has been a great support to us. We are looking forward to a fruitful year in the incubator program and also a success in our project.