Environmental Entrepreneurship: A Practical Lab-to-Market Approach
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Environmental entrepreneurship as a field is moving from the background of entrepreneurship to the foreground, as larger and larger environmental problems are seen as opportunities for entrepreneurial activity. However, environmental technologies emerging from laboratories have longer research periods, may take longer to produce products, and may not fit into the traditional startup pathways that venture capital (VC) firms look for out of universities. Building upon existing literature, a framework for analysis and a path towards the marketplace were created using Dr. Jesko von Windheim’s Lab-to-Market Framework (von Windheim & Myers, 2014) and Four Forces Analysis paper (von Windheim & Doyle, 2013). Six environmental entrepreneurial opportunities were selected from Duke and affiliates: macroalgae biomass harvesting, lighthouse rentals, a billfish lure invisible to sea turtles, mammalian cell lifespan extension, increased drought resistance in flowering plants, and Zylon – a method for producing renewable nylon. These opportunities were analyzed with a modified opportunity analysis in line with the framework developed, and three were selected for further investigation. The three opportunities selected (Zylon, the billfish lure invisible to sea turtles, and increased drought resistance in flowering plants) were further analyzed beyond the initial opportunity analysis. Zylon was chosen as the best candidate for development as a start-up, and a four forces analysis performed to select the best method for moving forward. A business case is presented for Zylon, based on work done in the Entrepreneurial Experience course and materials created for the Duke Start-Up Challenge. Recommendations for next steps for Zylon are provided based on these experiences and advice from judges, industry consultants, and advisors: demonstrate the improved economics of Zylon; seek out niche markets where green nylon will be prized; and move Zylon out of the university. For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
CitationMatouka, Neil (2015). Environmental Entrepreneurship: A Practical Lab-to-Market Approach. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/9665.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment