Project Summary

[Project Summary]: Fuel Cambodia July 2018


In the second day of project, seven Fuel boys, full of confidence, stepped off along the nearby main street. No translator, no worries. We learnt one key thing that day; to plan more. The rest of the week was full of empathising, getting to know the Cambodian way of life in villages all around Siem Reap and making friends with translators. It became very clear that there were New Lao Stoves everywhere in rural villages and that they were already a cheap and sustainable way to cook. Spirits were somewhat low at the end of week 1 in the face of such a strong competitor.


Buka Stove Pivot

After conducting testing on a stove we purchased, the team decided that to compete against the New Lao Stove was simply unviable due to the extremely low price and how widespread it is already around Cambodia. For these reasons we decided to ideate and find what the Cambodian, and in particular the Siem Reap market lacked- a sustainable form of charcoal for cooking. This ideation led us to coconut husk waste charcoal briquettes.


Briquette Prototyping

The pivot gave us new life, and in week 3 we jumped straight into making briquettes. We tracked down free coconut waste from a couple of blokes in trailer driving past in the street and constructed a kiln from an old oil drum bought down at the local servo. We carbonised the husks in the drum in the empty lot next door and three hours later had charcoal powder made from a waste product that would otherwise be cluttering the streets of Siem Reap. A briquette mixture was made by adding cornstarch and water and then compressing in DIY press consisting of a PVC pipe mounted in a caulking gun. Teamwork, ingenuity and planning meant everything worked a charm, and by the end of week 3 we had around 30 energy-dense briquettes made from coconut waste ready to test in the market.


Offer Testing

In the final week, the boys came together and worked harder than they had all month. Half of the team was taking our successful prototype into the village to conduct offer testing. They were met with a very positive reaction at all 25 households visited and were filled with optimism about this MVP and potential business. The other half of the team completed supply chain and competitor analysis and put together the final impact assessment and project summary. We hit our goal of 25 households on Thursday of week 4 and left the project in an incredibly good place to hit the ground running in December.


The month has been a blast and the team has adapted admirably to such a drastic change in direction. A mid week 2 update of the monthly goals meant we had to hustle hard, but we smashed everything we had set out and ended the month on a positive and rewarding note. We’re all very keen to see where this project goes over summer, as this short time has shown incredible potential!

edited on 6th September 2018, 00:09 by Justin Hakeem

Andrew Vild 8 months ago

Status label added: Project Summary

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