JM// Plastic Fantastic [1] Prep

Plastic Fantastic was the buzzword this week, with everyday day dedicated to the fast-approaching 3-day boot camp and pitch for €10000.

Reworking our Business model canvas, financials and validation during the week would prove super handy during the boot camp, whilst Thursday was largely spent (or so it felt) waiting for the tee shirt transfer print out at the print shop (nearly an hour for one sheet!)

Love Plastic, not waste

By late Thursday evening we arrived at The Ship on Kennington road, the large mix of accents in the smoking area outside negated the need for a big sign saying ‘Plastic Fantastic’ and we had found our people!

Perhaps unsurprising, the topic of conversation was very much dominated by talk of our business ideas!

Expert Talks

The work began as we left at 0715 for New Zealand House, home to the NZ embassy, as well as Impact Hub Westminster.

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On a side note, Impact Hub Westminster is AWESOME! Open source furniture, a WikiHouse, and so much focus on interacting with people, with help from Community Host Floree.

Throughout day 1 we had the opportunity to speak with a number of experts; Malek on the consumer proposition side, checking over the BMC and Validation board; Alex for over viewing the financials and our EU conquering plans; and Phillipos for strategy and to discuss seed/crowdfunding.

As if that wasn’t enough, we had to develop our company vision, imaging a newspaper front page and  headline that showed our goals.

Bill Murray did an outstanding job of portraying Michael Eavis, Glastonbury founder, in our hypothetical story that the major festivals had transitioned to a ‘Zero landfill policy’ with the help of our compostable tents.

Day Two: Telling Stories

Tall, confident, power, Ingrid took to the stage.

Delivering her story; her inspiration and her rock bottom point. The narrative hung in the air, the pauses in delivery, adding weight, poignancy and authenticity, as the crowd drew quieter, urging on the story…

For me, it was a real highlight of the day, I love presenting, and oral naration and story telling, so to have an entire workshop of tips was inspiring! Check out her work at Women with Voices.

Alex, Financial Samurai, scared the poops out of us with his 5 page, Excel spreadsheet, that very quickly helped you plan out your P&L, Balance sheet and Cashflow – Cashflow down to the month and sessional variation!

We felt as though the carpet had been ripped out from under our feet, that tonight would be a sleepless night crunching numbers and preparing a pitch…

Thankfully this work to be done, but not by the event tomorrow, and so, my bowels were restored.

‘Comeby, comeby lad’ –  All the Experts in the Pen Please

What would have cost us thousands in consulting fees, Plastic Fantastic had arranged for a staggering number of experts to come in, and offer 20 minute windows of consulting to each business.

We had;

  • A plastics guru in the form of Rick, with his background in product development and green polymers;
  • Legal genius in the form of Neil, who gave advice on IP, such as Design Rights and Trademarks, as well as business contracts;
  • Ankie with knowledge of retail and how to deal with the big boys;
  • Emiel, communicator, SM’er and marketer extraordinaire who reflected on our targeted market vs. the eco-market
  • As well as further discussions with Malek and Philipos on our approach to product, market and funding.

What turned out to be a stroke of genius, was placing all our experts meets with a free slot between them. In every single session we over ran, but fell into an empty window, giving us 40 minutes of pro bono advice!

The day ended and our thoughts turned towards the pitch tomorrow, and our first ever pitch delivery as Founder and Chief Design Officer…