In conversation with us Wiktoria Kozłowska talks about the idea for a composter, participation in the final gala of the PFR Pioneers School and potential cooperation with Allegro.
There are at least several companies on the market offering composters. But what is supposed to distinguish Dżo from the competition is firstly the electronics – Dżo is supposed to be smart – and secondly the business model. What exactly does it mean that your composter is smart?
The Jogo Composter is smart because it incorporates systems that monitor and support the processes that occur when California earthworms break down bio-waste, making composting more efficient and partially automated. Traditional composters require constant care and the user must control the conditions inside himself. The technology used makes composting simple, intuitive and requires little involvement. To a certain extent, the jo is self-sufficient and therefore intelligent. With these features, it will do well in office and public areas.
And in addition to being smart, it uses earthworms. Where did this idea come from?
We liked the idea of the composter very much; it’s amazing that with the help of California earthworms we can make use of our own bio-waste. The composter not only breaks down organic waste, but above all reduces methane gas from landfills, the reduction of which has a positive impact on minimizing climate change. We were fascinated by this and started making our own versions. However, we soon realized that it is not at all easy to control the processes in the composter starting from a layman’s position. These days, more and more devices are “smart”, so why hasn’t anyone decided to create a smart composter?
As for the business model, instead of selling composters, you make them available to your customers on a subscription basis. Why is that?
Our target audience is businesses and institutions that emphasize environmental education and take action to protect the environment. This is a market that reaps real benefits by investing its resources in environmental education and solutions. However, we realize that in the rush of responsibilities associated with their own business, not every customer is able to devote enough attention to environmental activities. That is why we offer Dżo in a subscription model.
Thanks to this all the responsibility for the service rests on our company. The user, on the other hand, enjoys the most enjoyable part of composting, i.e. the disposal of bio-waste that can be recycled as fertilizer for plants. Additional benefits in the subscription packages such as biohumus for employees or environmental workshops make the Jojo a new environmental benefit for companies. By introducing the Dżo composter to public spaces, we want the topic of ecology to be raised more and more often. By showing the real benefits of its use, we want Dżo to inspire pro-ecological actions and broaden the general knowledge about the condition of our planet.
What stage was Djo at when you performed at the PFR Pioneer School Final Gala?
In preparation for the Pioneer School Final Gala, we conducted market research to define the problem and confirm the need for our product. We had several versions of the composter built using off-the-shelf components, but without sensors. We started testing with the first B2C users and tested it in the office spaces of two companies. The special award from Allegro gave us a lot of motivation and confirmed the validity of our product.
What has changed since then? How has Dżo developed?
First of all, we expanded our team with a new member – Jakub, who holds a PhD from the Poznań University of Life Sciences and specializes in biological processes, especially composting. Thanks to that we managed to build a competent team. Currently, we take part in the Zone of the Originator 4.0, where thanks to specialized workshops we improve our startup. We take part in competitions, thanks to which we promote our idea and, most importantly, we work intensively on creating a composter model that would meet our high requirements. Our latest achievement is taking 3rd place on Pitching Fight Club organized by Krakowski Park Technologiczny. And since April we start our research at the University of Life Sciences in Poznań to improve our technology.
At the end of the final gala of PFR Pioneers School you got a proposal to test your composter in Allegro. How did this cooperation go? Did something come out of it?
Djo is still in the R&D phase, we’re fine-tuning the technology because we want the living environment for our earthworms to be as close to the natural one as possible. As our early adopter, Allegro will be able to be the first to test our newest MVP in their office spaces and take advantage of additional benefits such as biohumus and composting workshops. We assume that we will be ready to start testing in the third quarter of this year.