A quintessential startup pivot

on April 24, 2017 | in Advice, Africa, Fledglings, Seattle

How Fledge helps startups varies from company to company.  One of the best stories from Fledge9 is BioGen Kenya.  They applied (three times) with a plan to turn used cooking oil into biodiesel.  They launched and are operating that business in Nairobi, expecting to come to Fledge to learn how to raise money to expand.

Digging into the opportunity, we learned that last year Nairobi passed a law making it illegal for restaurants to dump their used oil down the drain, thus creating an incentive for companies to collect that oil.  The mentors set Bryan (Biogen’s founder/CEO) a task to determine the value of that oil, to see if perchance the company could make money simply from those collections.

A week’s worth of research says that is possible, and presuming that holds true, it now seems possible to bootstrap Biogen’s growth by pivoting to be first and foremost an oil waste collection company, earning profits from that effort which can then be used to expand the production of biodiesel.

Or in short, sometimes questioning every step in a business plan can open a new, better opportunity.

We’ll see in seven weeks at Demo Day where Biogen’s plans end up.