Project Everest

Work Update

TIMOR: Background to July 2018 Goals

So its month number five for the Energy Project here in Timor Leste, where we’re looking to continue building on the works accomplished by prior teams! This month we’ll really be pushing the rural expansion plan, and aiming to imitate the success of the Malawi Energy Project and lay the foundations for social benefit.  

We’re looking to go out into rural communities and empathise with the Timorese population, show them the prototype we’ve brought to country, a small scale solar battery and charger with phone charging and light capabilities. We’ve brought 5 with us, bought for approximately $8 AUD, and we are intending to gauge market response to identify an optimum selling price. It is our understanding that the public haven’t become familiar with how accessible and cheap small scale units are, and we hope to fill that knowledge gap with our solution. Through our community engagement and surveys demonstrating our product, we’re hoping to identify a MVP that could gain significant traction in rural areas.

A new direction for this month in comparison to the projects before it, is the analysis and investigation into the potential of incorporating a solar product repairs division into the Timor Energy Projects. As with all products, there is a risk of accidental breakage and/or faults occuring during the product life cycle. The team has identified that having an appropriate repair system in place can reduce the impact of poor product performance on public opinion. With solar products being distributed in some low socio-economic/rural communities via charitable means, Project Everest can elevate its stake in the solar product market within Timor Leste. There is an opportunity to assess the viability of engaging the CNEFP Student Solar Technicians in this way.

This month we hope to be continuing our work with the business protocol, albeit to a lesser extent than previous months. Subject to constructive discussions and a review of the previous sale made by the february team, we hope to continuing the partnership with Hugh Collett from IMEX Tropical. This partnership will enable the project team to incorporate the CNEFP Student Solar Technicians into our Feasibility Studies when identifying opportunities for businesses to install a solar energy solution. This integration will enable the July team to assess the viability of utilising the interns to continue project activities in non-project months.

The specific goals for each section have been outlined in further detail below.


Rural Expansion Plan (Small Scale Solar)

The February team laid some excellent foundations and identified the potential of Mascarenhas to test a prototype of a solar charger-light battery. In order to achieve this, the July team has outlined several monthly goals:

- Generate 4 business and marketing models

- Perform 20 surveys of Customer Needs to identify the requirements of an MVP

- Ideate a Minimum Viable Product based on Market Data

- Perform 20 surveys to identify Market Response to the MVP.

- Obtain 10 EOI’s in our MVP.

- Sell all 5 of the prototypes we have in country


Business Protocol (Large Scale Solar)

Every Timor Energy Team so far has put in hard work to establish multiple key contacts and networks while performing a number of feasibility assessments of businesses within Dili. The July team are aiming to maintain the existing connections and generate two more business sales. We are intending to involve all relevant projects in our contacting and stakeholder management, ensuring opportunity for PE as a whole. We will be exploring our supply options identified by previous months and generating some of our own while in Timor. Our goals for the project month in the Business Protocol are:

- Recontact all identified potential stakeholders in Dili

- Generate another 2 sales.

- Explore solar supply sources throughout Southeast Asia


Partnerships and Education

The February project initialised the communications with Actemium here in Timor, a training company responsible for the teaching and training of student solar technicians at the CNEFP. A partnership proposal was constructed, where the solar technicians in training would assist with Project Everest activities to gain valuable work experience towards their training. The July team is meeting with Actemium tomorrow to finalise this agreement, and ensure the requirements can be met by Project Everest. While in collaboration with Actemium, we hope to identify a range of options for the development of a repair business that we can iterate and develop over the project month. The team is also intending to continue running education workshops on the benefits on solar energy, intending to mobilise advocates and increase our word of mouth exposure for the business and access new stakeholders. We are also intending to establish formal communications with key stakeholders in Dili that have the potential to grant greater access and supporting influence for the Rural Expansion Plan.  An example of this would be Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) a Coffee Cooperative in Timor Leste, by developing a partnership, we could increase the project reach, and explore options for survey distribution.

- Formalise the Actemium agreement, ensuring that Project Everest Activities can satisfy their student work experience requirements.

- Identify and initialise collaborations with 3 key stakeholders in key position for the rural expansion networks.

- Run 3 education workshops with Key Stakeholders for Solar Development in Timor Leste.

- Ideate and Facilitate a business plan for small scale solar equipment repair.


edited on 4th July 2018, 01:07 by Brett Jenkin

Brett Jenkin Jul 3, 2018

Love to hear your thoughts!

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Mallory Dobner Jul 3, 2018

I think the direction change is good, and the focus on individuals is going to improve the social benefit enormously.
In terms of a rural expansion plan, how rural are you thinking? Within Malawi we are currently focusing on an urban-rural market as it has a much higher socio economic status than true rural, and in terms of distribution networks there are much more readily available ones.
Are there any existing distribution systems within Timor? We are currently looking at mini-busses (similar to microlets), is there anything like this that you would be able to utilise in order to make the business scalable without being human resource heavy?
In terms of having the data to create your MVP requirements, is 20 surveys enough? With a team of six you could easily split into three teams and bust out 70-90 surveys this week, which would give you a much more effective idea of your customer segment and pains, which is slower in the mean time but would mean less backtracking in the future as you would have a more effective product to test with from the start.

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Brett Jenkin Jul 4, 2018

The term "Rural" refers to the direction the project is taking the small scale equipment distribution. This month we're intending to test areas such as Mascarenhas, which is within the Dili area, is lower on the socio-economic scale and is required to pay for their grid supply.

We haven't identified a distribution network as of yet, this month we are focussing on identifying an MVP and verifying traction with the prototypes we have here. As the month progresses we may look into distribution systems similar to the Malawi project.

I agree with your point, however the 20 surveys was intended to signify when we can begin to iterate on our MVP model, and reflect that in the surveys following on from that. Due to the limited time within the month we're trying to optimise the gathering of customer responses to this type of solution!

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Wade Tink Jul 3, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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Wade Tink Jul 3, 2018

This whole post provides good background to the reasoning behind the goals. The goals themselves could be slimmed down and focused on validating your business model. Outlining clearly your validation process in experiments would be beneficial.
I've collated your goals into the following and updated the project brief:
Timor (Large Scale Solar): Generate 2 business sales
Timor (Large Scale Solar): Validate solar supply sources throughout Southeast Asia
Timor (Large Scale Solar): Ensure Project Everest Activities can satisfy Actemium work experience requirements
Timor (Large Scale Solar): Run 3 education workshops with Key Stakeholders for Solar Development in Timor Leste
Timor (Small Scale Solar): Complete offer testing and gain 10 EOI’s
Timor (Small Scale Solar): Sell 5 of the prototypes we have in country
Timor (Small Scale Solar): Initiate collaborations with 3 key partners
Timor (Small Scale Solar): Validate assumptions on key activities focused on small scale solar equipment repair

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