News - November 24, 2015

To Paris with business plan

Koen Guiking

The recently graduated Kim van Sparrentak and Isa Miralles will present their business plans to make cities more sustainable, during the climate summit in Paris. ‘Only at a side event. It is not like we are pitching our idea for mister Poetin’, Van Sparrentak jokes.

From left to right: Isa Miralles, Kim van Sparrentak and Kang Lin

The two Wageningen students and one student from Wellington want to create an online platform where SMB’s can purchase sustainable products together. ‘If business owners from one city can purchase together, then there is less transportation needed. It will be cheaper, and thus they can purchase sustainable products for the price of conventional products’, Van Sparrentak explains.

The first idea for this platform was conceived by these ladies during a ‘climathon’ in Nieuw-Zeeland, half a year ago. ‘Isa and I were in Wellington for our internship, Kang Lin was studying at Victoria University.’ They won the climathon and the students got four months to further develop their business plan. At the worldwide finals, organized by the EU programme Climate-KIC, the three ended ‘to our surprise’ in the top 3. They now get the opportunity to convince businessmen and grant providers in Paris, to invest in their plan.

Many wholesalers who sell sustainable products have already shown their interest.
Kim van Sparrentak

The company – if investors are found – will be set up in Wellington. ‘We have performed all our market research there. Many wholesalers who sell sustainable products have already shown their interest. From them we ask a monthly contribution to be able to sell their products through our channels; for the SMB’s our service is free.’

Van Sparrentak, now working for the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities in Wellington, still has to get used to the idea that soon she potentially will be running an enterprise with her friend, and that she will suddenly be part of the corporate world. ‘We have already decided that Isa would be the CEO because she is really organized and during her studies she gained experience with supply chain management. Kang will be the CFO, because she is good in numbers and  IT. And I will be the COO, responsible for the marketing, because I am good at talking.’

After the pitch at the Climate-KIC side event of the climate summit, at first Van Sparrentak wanted to join the demonstrations in Paris, but they were cancelled due to the terror threat.