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Jock McRae

Hatch Program 2021

13 Nov 2021

Jock McRae

About

Jock is currently studying Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Charles Sturt University in Griffith, NSW. He has identified a gap in the market and is looking to provide a sustainable, cost-effective, renewable alternative to fossil fuel-based sealants and resins.

Soft Spinifex that releases large quantities of resin is a grass species native to inland parts of Australia. It grows in hot, dry areas with poor soil and low rain; and have been used by Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. Jock envisages using the harvested resin as a timber finishing product as an alternative to fossil fuel-based products. The product's target users are retail, commercial or industrial consumers who use resin-based products, mainly furniture businesses, hardware supply, to name a few.

Validating the Idea

Jock joined the Hatch program to assess his idea's commercial viability and to learn to drive his idea with an entrepreneurial approach. During the program, Jock interviewed over 20 timber users, including sculpture artists and cabinet-makers, to understand their experience and need of using timber for their businesses. The interviews confirmed his thoughts that his sustainable product must equivalently or outperform existing options while also being less expensive to stimulate adoption. However, during the interviews and squad and coaching calls with his peers, he discovered a new segment, the hobbyist (DIY) market. As a result, he is currently exploring the new customer segment and will pivot his initial offering to the eCommerce marketplace.

During the program, Jock also developed his understanding of outsourcing and marketing efforts to build his product. His plan is now to harvest Spinifex, perform resin extraction and engage the services of a laboratory for product testing and trial.

The Hatch program helped me to experiment if an idea was worth pursuing.

What's Next?

Jock is now more confident in his idea and is moving to the prototype stage with a small scale product run scheduled in early 2022. Over the next three months, he aims to develop finished pieces and showcase them to his target audience. To support his marketing and sales efforts, he will develop a website and brochures, increase awareness via social media and offer beta testing through product launch.

Program Partners

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