Cleantech Futures - EcoMycö
Monday, February 22, 2021
The future of cleantech development and industry in Barbados is here! Meet the innovative incubatees of Bloom, the Barbados Cleantech Cluster. Discover their businesses, projects, personal stories and unique journeys in this interview series.
Q: What’s your name and what’s your project/business?
A: My name is Kerri-Ann Bovell and my business is EcoMycö. The EcoMycö project seeks to replace traditional fossil fuel-based packaging, specifically Styrofoam and high-density and low-density polyethylene, with a bio-based and biodegradable alternative. The plastic prototype uses mostly (>75%) local waste materials as the inputs, like Sargassum seaweed, cassava and sweet potato peels just to name a few.
Q: Tell us one thing you’re proud of since the inception of your project.
A: I am proud that I am incorporating only local plant matter as the raw materials for the bioplastic films I have created so far.
Q: Why did you choose to sign up for Bloom? How do you think it can help you?
A: Bloom offered me all of the help, and more, I thought a young entrepreneur like myself needed to elevate what was merely my undergraduate research project into the next phase. The services provided such as business modelling and planning as well as training in market research, patent applications and more all help me in the process of moving from a business idea to business reality.
Q: Is there anything you learned or gained so far from participating in Bloom that helped you to keep moving forward? How was that knowledge/experience/network/relationship helpful?
A: I learned how to create a business with the necessary market studies and that experience has helped me apply for other avenues of funding, before which I would have struggled to complete.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience in your cleantech journey?
A: My most memorable moment was during a training session when Jari, our cluster manager, said to me, “Set aside time to simply sit and think critically about your business.”
Q: What are the top challenges you faced or are facing? How are you dealing with these and what do you think could be helpful?
A: The importation of items and sourcing the necessary import licenses has been one of my biggest challenges so far. I am also challenged with finding business partners to fulfil roles that I am unable to do myself, specifically relating to finances and marketing.
Q: Where are you now on your journey to success? How have you grown?
A: In my humble opinion I am now at the starting point of my success journey. In terms of growth so far, I have learned to think more critically, and I have gained a much better understanding of what it takes to start and grow a successful business.
Q: What keeps you going?
A: My hope in the Most High God, Yahweh, and the purpose He has placed on my life, continually motivates me, even when I experience what I see sometimes as “failures”.
Q: What does success look like for you?
A: Successfully running my biomaterials business(es) so that it positively contributes to both our Barbadian and Caribbean economies, possibly even the international community, in a manner that results in little to no negative environmental impacts.
Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring cleantech innovators?
A: Be prepared to not only work hard but work smart as well. Also, utilise the resources provided for you as much as possible.
* Bloom is a sustainable energy and climate technology (cleantech) cluster hosted by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC). It is being established in partnership with the Ministry of International Business and Industry (MIBI) and technical assistance by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Barbadian entrepreneurs have been limited in their ability to develop, plan, install and maintain new, green technologies. With a focus on sustainable energy technology innovation, industrial development and entrepreneurship, Bloom is building partnerships between the Barbados government, local businesses, citizens and the academic community. Through these partnerships, Bloom is positioned to help Barbadian cleantech projects and entrepreneurs flourish.
Learn more about Bloom by visiting https://bloomcluster.com