neljapäev, 16. juuli 2015

ClimateLaunchpad 2015: Idea number 4 - EcoCoins

ClimateLaunchpad 2015 Estonia took place in 26-28 june, in an old fishervillage called Käsmu. Käsmu is located beside the sea, so the atmosphere was quiet and inspirational for our participants.
Only the best 10 ideas got invited to ClimateLaunchpad to get experiance on how to develop their ideas to the next level.
In this post we will see an interview with the team called EcoCoins.
 
Team:
Sergei Prokopov
Alseksei Prokopov
Ivan Semyonin
Natalya Semjonova
Inga Jakobson

1. What is your idea and how did you come up with this idea?
My idea is to create a new virtual currency called EcoCoins and reward people for all activities related to saving ecology and planet. With help of EcoCoins, we can create a new social trend and add gamification into this area.

It is a long story how this idea became EcoCoins. About 4 years ago I realized that I have lots of old computers, phone, notebook, tablets and other used stuff in my room and I was lazy to sell it, but same time I didn’t wanted to trash things that might serve for someone else. Thus, I decided to create a new project called FleaMarket.ee. Idea was that anyone can sell or give away from this web portal, and to make it more attractive I combined it with Dutch auction. So if I want to sell or give away computer, I set initial price at 50 EUR, and every day price goes down until zero. Any time anyone who agrees with price takes it away. If it reaches zero anyone who needs it can take free.
Then if no one takes it for free, then it means that no one needs it and it’s not time to move it to trash, but at least you gave a chance to it to have a second life.

I promoted this project through newspaper, radio, google and Facebook ads, but did not get enough people on board. Idea itself worked well, I gave out almost all my used stuff, but there were only few people who wanted to sell/give out anything. Thus, I gave up with this project.

Then my brother kicked me, showed Garage48 GreenTech event, and said that we could improve idea with old stuff exchange and build something new out of it. It was a good fit for that event as reusing stuff saves environment. I have started to build a team for Garage48 and we started to search for a new idea that could help to attract people to exchange second hand stuff. We have been looking for something to reward people when they give out second hand stuff, and something they can collect and exchange for something else, some point system.

Suddenly it came to my mind that as we are saving environment we could call our point system EcoCoins, and that idea leads to another area. We started to think what else people could do to get those EcoCoins. Thus, we created a new concept of mining EcoCoins for eco activities like exchanging second hand stuff, in exchange for old batteries, plastic, glass, paper, planting trees, using bicycle or walking work. List of activities could be huge.

With this concept, we participated in Garage48 and managed to do prototype, and applied to ClimateLaunchpad to sharpen the idea and make it real.

2. How big is your team and how did you find yourselves?
Team consist of five members from different areas. Every one adds some value to the project. Every week since Garage48 we meet together and discuss progress and what to do as a next step.

3.If you have to say three things, why your idea is better than the other ideas in the world then what will those things be?
There are some discounts for some activities but no one tried to reward people for Eco activities in a global way. There are different organizations for different activities; we want to be an umbrella for them.

Secondly, we want to add a gamification into ecology saving problem and start a new social trend, we want to people to share their achievements and compete with each other. We will reward them with different badges so it will be fun too.

Many things with recycle sign does not mean anything to most of the people or they don’t know what to do with that, we want to change that and help people to understand value of those things.

4.Where are you seeing your idea in 10 years?
My dream to make it popular as a bitcoins, but instead of wasting computer power and electricity to mine it, people will mine it by different eco actions thus improving ecology. They could buy or sell EcoCoins, and they can pay in shops with it at some point. It can be so that in order to buy something that harms ecology, like powerful cars, people have to pay with EcoCoins in addition to real money; this will create a demand in mining EcoCoiuns coins.

 5.Why are you dealing with environmental problems
I believe that planet resources are limited and we should think and act now to stop uncontrolled waste of planet resources for sake of future generation. And I have a passion to do that.

6.What was the best lesson or knowledge you got from ClimateLaunchpad?
 
After ClimateLaunchpad lessons I have started to look into our idea under different angles and now I have better understanding how to validate it and move forward.

7.What is your founders dream?
We want to issue 10 000 000 EcoCoins and have 100 000 users in our system by year 2020, and we want to make this project earning money to help to spread this idea to the world and save the planet.
Answered by Sergei Prokopov

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