Learning from the woman who battled the White House, won a Pulitzer Prize, and reshaped the idea of journalism forever.
Plastics are everywhere and it ends up polluting the environment, depriving the economy of a valuable resource. According to a report, Europe produces about 58M tonnes of plastic every year. Since, most of the raw material is fossil fuel-based, if the current production trends continue, by 2050 plastics could account for 20% of oil consumption, 15% of greenhouse gas emissions, and there could be more plastics than fish in the sea.
Europe also produces nearly 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which only 30% is recycled, 39% is incinerated, and 31% is discarded in landfills. The EU plastic sector is huge – it employs 1.5 million people and generated a turnover of €340B in 2015. As per reports, an increase in its sustainability can bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.
22 students 18 months and a “waste car”
Currently, the European car industry collectively produces 2.1 billion tons of waste per year. Aiming to demonstrate that you can reuse this waste in a new and useful manner, students at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have made a car almost entirely out of waste.
“With this car, we want to show that waste is a valuable material, even in complex applications like a car,” says team member Matthijs van Wijk.
The car has been developed by TU/ecomotive – a student team at the University of Technology Eindhoven.
Luca’s chassis consists of a unique sandwich panel developed by the students in collaboration with several companies. The exterior is made of flax fibers combined with plastic which is fished from the ocean. Although this material was submerged in the ocean for several years and consists of different types of plastic, it is able to give the chassis sufficient strength when combined with the natural fibers.
The core of the material is made of recycled PET bottles – which can be recycled no more than ten times. The body, finish, windows, and the interior is also made of recycled materials, including PET bottles, hard plastic ABS, and household waste.
The result is a sporty-looking electric car called ‘Luca’. The car was unveiled by Dutch physician and ESA astronaut, André Kuipers.
‘Luca’ light & efficient
Luca is a compact car and is powered by two motors – one on each axle – and these combine for a humble power output of 12kW.
It can reach a top speed of 90 KM/hour. Voltage is drawn from six batteries scavenged from disused road cars, and these give Luca an impressive range of 220km.
The consumption can be converted to about 180 KM/ltr of gasoline. In addition, due to the low weight, (360kg without batteries), it is half as light as comparable cars.
A whole lot of waste
The car’s body is made of recycled ABS – a hard plastic used in many consumer products such as toys, televisions, and kitchen products. The car gets its yellow color from a wrap – a colored film – instead of paint. This film can also be removed without leaving any residue.
This leaves pure plastic and makes the final recycling process a lot easier. The side and rear windows are also made of recycled material. The recycling process immediately gives the windows a luxurious black tint.
A lot of waste has also been used in the interior. For example, Luca has two comfortable custom-made chairs, the cushions of which consist of a combination of coconut hair and horsehair. The fabric around them is made of recycled PET but feels and looks like suede. The center console consists, among other things, of a plastic additive from household waste.
In addition, there are even residual materials from Luca’s own production process: small pieces of flax with the plastic from the ocean are compressed into stylish, useful plates.
With all this, the team hopes to make people aware of their consumption behavior and thus contribute to the development of a circular economy.
Other cars developed by the Eindhoven TU/ecomotive team
This is not the first car that the Eindhoven TU/ecomotive team has developed. Before Luca, there was Isa, Nova, Lina, and Noah – an electric car with a body and chassis made entirely from plants. According to TU/ecomotive, these cars are also equipped with the latest technology, ensuring not only sustainability but also efficiency and safety.
Image credit: Eindhoven University of Technology
Remember back in March when the VC game was done for the year, checkbooks were snapping shut and startup layoffs led the headlines? So much for all that. Q3’s venture capital numbers are in and they are anything but weak.
In retrospect, the Q2 VC slowdown looks more like a short-lived recharge ahead of a big push in Q3 than anything existential. We can see this today through the lens of data concerning what happened after June concluded and we moved into Q3.
I want to dig into the data and pull out most important data points for you. We’ll get you informed and out the door in around 900 words.
If you want a more global look at the venture capital world in Q3, don’t worry. We’re doing that tomorrow right here at The Exchange. Ready? This should be both fun and informative. Let’s go!
A massive third quarter
To get a clear look at the U.S. venture capital market, we’ll start from the top down. So, the biggest numbers first, followed by increasingly narrow slices of data so we can drill down into smaller startups.
First, the top-line numbers:
- How much money was raised by U.S.-based startups in Q3 2020? $ 36.5 billion, according to CBInsights, $ 37.8 billion according to PitchBook. Those numbers are effectively the same for purposes. CBInsights calls the number a seven-quarter high, up 22% from the Q3 2019 number and 30% from the Q2 2020 result. PitchBook agrees that Q3 2020 was strong, but has its count just under Q2 2020’s own.
- How many deals was that money spread between? CBInsights counts 1,461 VC deals in Q3 2020 for U.S.-based startups. Per its numbers, that figure is up 1% from Q2 2020 and down 11% from Q3 2019. PitchBook, in contrast, counts 2,990 total deals, inclusive of rounds that it expects to be added as information about the quarter fills in. That tally “held steady” compared to Q3 2019, per the company.
What to make of all this information? Simple: Q3 2020 U.S.-based startup venture capital dollar volume was very strong, with deal counts coming in slightly weaker.
This means that we saw fewer, larger deals in the quarter on average, right? Let’s see:
Am already targeting the niche with other services and products. I have around 16k subscribers. my products are seasonal fan based. so fans keep coming back/ purchasing when there is something new.
Now with covid I realized an app could serve my teen clients (the majority of my clients).
I know exactly what I want but I never done an app before. I publish it on upwork , got so far 35 proposals. however, when I ask for their samples the apps have maybe 9 downloads only, or seem abandoned with reviews from 2, 3 years ago. in other words all the apps everyone show me seem not completed or never got any traction. However they upwork profiles have record of 100k or millions of dollars made in projects.
So this has me confused. am not sure if they made a good app for their clients but the clients failed in the marketing or those great upwork profiles are faking all those income some how.
How can they make so much money and show me some crappy apps?
The 20 finalists nominated for the EIT Digital Challenge 2020 are covering a wide variety of topics within the EIT Digital focus areas: Digital Finance, Digital Tech, Digital Wellbeing, Digital Cities, and Digital Industry. All of the selected finalists are on track for fast growth and are contributing to building a strong digital Europe. The…
Hey guys. When I was trying to work on my startup, I was struggling to afford to pay for important parts that could help me finish my work. This made me take a slight detour into trying to find quick ways to earn some money online as opposed to getting a job so that I could stay at home and continue to put work into my passion. This post will contain the top 6 ways I've earned money online and I will start off with the 3 that were the most profitable. This is a slight edit of another post I made but I hope it can still be helpful to some of you here.
Here are my top 3:
1: Freelancing Jobs
Although this method is not as profitable as the 2nd method below, having a skill that can be done online could be quite lucrative depending on what your field is. The most popular sites for this are Fiverr, Upwork, & Freelancer, but I'd recommend doing some research before choosing a marketplace since there are so many websites for this. Here's a link from Quora showing the current top sites:
2: Money-Making Methods
The most common way to make money online is to just use money-making methods from websites that offer them. It's a little lazy but it's the most popular for a reason. The biggest issue with these is that the methods don't last long & stop working after around 6 to 12 months. This repost taken from r/entrepreneur nicely organizes all of these sites into an updated chart:
3: Steps to Selling eBooks
I think selling eBooks online are an under-discussed topic here & this guide is very informative if you are looking to get into this lucrative area. Some say this field is currently oversaturated but I'd argue it's worth it if you have the right idea. Here's the post:
These next 3 are still helpful but I didn't think they were as important as the previous guides:
4: Affiliate Marketing Guide
Helpful & brief guide on Affiliate Marketing. It's a bit dated but it gave some informative tidbits that I thought some of you would find useful:
5: Full-Blown Beginners Guide
Here is a helpful post from the Work Online subreddit on getting started with making money online. Looks like the post was made to promote his eBook but I think you guys can still learn something from it:
6: SEO Tutorial to get Ranked
SEO has been tough for me in the past but I wish I read this post back in the day. I'd say this is currently the smartest route for advertising your business (depending on your field):
Thanks for reading this post and let me know if there's any corrections or if you have any criticisms. In my next post, I will include a link to my blog if any of you are interested. Like I said, if any of you found this helpful, I will definitely try to continue these posts by making another compilation for the end of November. Thanks again!
Disclaimer: This is not a get rich quick feel-good stories. We are not newbies. We have invested over 20k in courses, books, tools, and more than two years of failure that amounted to “nothing” before a huge step up.
I am grateful for the setbacks and failures because it gave us perspective and knowledge. The tools give us the bandwidth to scale and hop on to new opportunities.
- Why we failed for years
- Our Strategy for the launch
- Our next steps to growing the agency
Why we failed for years
Before all of these happened, my partner and I were serving the military. For the past two years, we embarked on many dead-end projects. That had us wondering why we were not making as much as we want to.
My partner was an SEO expert. He ran an adult fetish site pulling 30,000k monthly view but could not monetize it. On the other hand, I was somewhat decent at generating business leads and doing sales calls. I ran a b2b lead generation company that could not scale.
It was not a skill issue.
Things were also pretty rough then, with the army taking up most of our time and mental space. We spent all of our time working on our “side-hustles”, skipping out on parties, gathering, and all the stuff.
I had this constant fear of not succeeding because it only meant two options. I had to either find a job or go back to school once my service ends.
Neither option was appealing to me.
Things continued to be a complete train wreck. The Covid-19 locked down happened nearing to the end of my service. It gave me time to focus and move as we were under stay home orders.
However, we were not moving in the right direction. It felt as though we were still banging our heads against the wall, this time harder and faster.
Before I knew it, I was out of the army. The direction was still murky, but with every failure and reflection, things started to click. Things were difficult and glim because we did them backward. We were solving problems before they even happen, such as information retention, tracking … etc. You can read my other post here.
I took the risk and canceled my university admission. I wanted to focus on making this business work.
It dawned on us that we were not out there at all. We were so focused on building the right service or product that we did not put it to test in front of the market. We had the skills, tools, and knowledge to scale but we could not because we have not gotten past step one.
What is step 1?
You need two things to make sales.
- Having an offer that your market wants
- And getting your market to see your offer
As stupid and generic as it sounds, there are no secrets. If you want to validate your idea, create a landing page with a sales copy and put it in front of your target audience.
Our Strategy for the launch
- Find an idea traffic source
- See what the are our competitors were offering, then make it better
- Compete based on price point to get the volume
We found a local listing site where people list their services or items. We researched all our competitors and decided that we could offer a simple web design service. There was not much competition as our competitors were not copywriters and their listing creatives were terrible(Funny how they are designers LOL).
Next, we created a customer avatar based on the listed services, Reddit threads, local Facebook pages, and so on. This process helps us craft a sales copy that speaks directly to the market.
We built a landing page, put in the copy, and threw in some illustrations from our tool stacks, and we have a minimum viable landing page ready to go.
Branding and positioning matters, as your ideal customers buy based on the impression and general vibes you give them. So you have to stick out like a sore thumb.
Lastly, we priced ourselves just below our competitors. Pretty sure this is counter-intuitive to what most Gurus preaching to charge your worth.
Word of advice is to drop your ego, get the cash in hand, and prove your worth later. Leaving the table with money in your bank account is better than going home empty-handed. Moreover, you never know who this client can refer you too. Relationship building is of the utmost importance when it comes to the agency, so do not burn bridges.
The service was up and live shortly after that. Duplicated our listings a couple of times to maximize exposure and also understand how the platform algorithm works.
It was around the mid of the second week where we noticed a spike in leads. I was getting incoming calls almost every day.
The leads were all over the place. Most were enquiring about services we do not offer but had the skills and knowledge to fulfill them.
Out of the 25 total discovery conversations we had, we filtered down to 5 serious candidates. We closed all 5 of them over a 30-45 minutes video conversation with prices ranging from $ 399 to $ 6,000.
Having a sales process is extremely important. Most consultants would spend hours talking to clients that would not pay for their service and products.
I would structure the sales process with a 10-minute discovery conversation at the start. The initial call helps me gauge the prospect’s level of commitment, budget range, and decision-making process. I would then schedule a strategy session. However, if they sound fishy or the deal did not felt right, I would disqualify them. (Always stick to your principles.)
The strategy session is a 20-40 mins video conference where we find out if the prospect is a good fit. During the session, we understanding their pains, agree on the price and handling objections.
One tip here is to collect a deposit instead of asking for the full price. We would then schedule a kick-off (onboarding) call where we meet them and get into the details and collect the whole sum.
Why? Because this lowers the resistance and prevents a buyer’s remorse. If the prospect is willing to pay you a deposit, they are committed and would pay you the full amount after onboarding.
The other reason is that you are leaving your cash flow to factors of the unknown.
For example, a client might commit to paying you after the onboarding session seven days away. Something might happen during the week and cancels the engagement. It always happens, so always secure a deposit and remember cash on hand is king.
The onboarding process makes or breaks your relationship with your prospect. I have seen too many gurus talk about closing sales in one phone call and all that BS. Having a great sales process and a shitty onboarding process is like getting catfished on a dating app. It would not do good for your reputation and affects your future businesses.
A well thought out onboarding process instills confidence in your client. One scenario that happened during the kick-off session was that the client was not exactly sure about engaging us because we were young (22-year-olds)in Asian culture. But after the onboarding session, he was extremely impressed with it. He told us that we knew our craft and felt confident in our capabilities that reflected in his firm handshake as compared to before.
During the onboarding process, set the right expectation by understanding your client’s goals, address their concerns, and formulate an action plan of deliverables to achieve the set goals. Do not make promises out of thin air and results, show transparency by helping your client visualize how the actionable deliverables would lead to the outcome they envision.
What is our next step?
… And we just rented an office last week.
We are on track to hit the goal to hit 10-15k MRR within the next four months. After that, it would be just scaling, funding other ventures, and ultimately build an agency that can run without us.
Here are our key movers:
Optimize our presence (offline and online) to exist in multiple places to receive opportunities.
Hiring and building an internal team.
Improve our lead generation through strategic partnerships (networking)
Building out internal structure to scale(Financials systems, Work tracking, Goal setting)
I hope you enjoyed this post. Do follow me if you are interested in more business insights. Full post here.