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Although the author has not fully addressed the concerns raised by the judges (mainly on value chain), the concept is interesting and deserves to be advanced. The author has also improved on the proposal from the previous one.
It is a well presented proposal, and well articulated. The business model could however be more developed and more convincingly presented; the authors did not fully address all the comments. In particular, is the timeline realistic, given that there are no production-ready solar cooker yet? It is based on an ambition of selling 1 million cookers by 2020: is this an ambition or a realistic market projection based on extensive market research?
Another concern is the competitive landscape here and what is truly novel about this as there still seems to be some R&D needed. It is also difficult to implement this during the rainy season which occurs in many regions.
There are many solar cookers proposals. It would be good for the authors of the different proposals on solar cookers to partner to have a better chance to succeed. The question really is: how to make solar cooker as popular as mobile phone or Coca-cola!
A strong, clear proposal. At first glance, if the cost and price of the product delivered locally is confirmed, it could improve the ecosystems and the safety conditions in several geographies. However, the proposal will face several hurdles and it will most likely need to go step by step with pilot projects before going commercial . A strong effort to overcome cultural barriers will be needed and partnership with existing NGO may be beneficial. Finally more information on the full value chain (e.g. distribution, operation and maintenance, safety issues (kids, ..)). should be more detailed and the impact of the necessity to have pans and other cooking instruments that most of the target clients may not have now.
Another suggestion would be for the author to do more user testing as cultural barriers and 'status quo' is the biggest risk perhaps depending on the initial market. Given they want to start in Kenya, do user testing there. Since this is B to C this is hugely important. Future maintenance is also an issue to consider.
Oct 31, 2017
Thank you very much for these relevant comments.
I've added a description of the test protocol we are going through at the different markets in order to understand and adjust for cultural differences. I've also included a description of our relations with local NGOs. Both additions can be found under "Local presence" in the "What actions do you propose"-section.
This is exactly where we like the help of the CoLab community. We are really good at making efficient, inexpensive lenses, but we lack the network, market insights, and distribution channels needed for us to fulfill our ambition of having at least one million lens-based solar cookers sold each year. Based on good user tests and endorsements from local NGOs, we will probably be able to raise finances to develop this ourselves, but we believe this approach will be much slower and less efficient than focusing on finding ways into existing distribution channels.
This is, of course, a top priority for us. So far, we've done all we can to make it as safe as possible to use the cooker, but we need real-life feedback to learn how safety can be further strengthened.
Pots and pans
In the 'Summary'-section, I've described the properties of the pots and pans that optimally should be used for the cooker, but also highlighted that our own well-performing tests have been performed using non-optimized equipment.
Also in the 'Summary'-section, I've added that the lens may need to be replaced every 1-2 years and that the cost of doing so shouldn't need to be more than $10-15. Since a production-ready version of the solar cooker isn't finally developed yet, we do not know much about other maintenance costs.