Spinitek - Jock McRae
Hone Program 2022
1 May 2022
Jock McRae from Griffith first discovered the feedstock spinifex when travelling around northern Queensland. His interest in the applications it could be used for led him to engage with QUT research who were investigating the fibre for multiple user cases. Jock narrowed in on the resin output that could be used as a natural alternative to current fossil fuel based wood resins on the market. Learning the process of how to extract the resin from traditional custodians of the land helped Jock with an understanding of the properties that gave it an application to the timber artist and building market. Jock has built a temporary processing operation on his Griffith property to produce and test the resin.
Although Jock had produced the resin from the feedstock prior to the Hatch and Hone programs, he did not have a clear path of how it could be commercialised for sale. Through the process of Hatch, Jock completed customer interviews ranging from artists to cabinet makers to find those who would value a natural timber resin. Jock continued to follow the journey of the QUT researchers who proved over a period of 6 months that the spinifex resin would outperform other resins on the market giving him a validated product offering. Jock investigated the IP surrounding the process and by creating his own recipe and application found an opportunity to enter the market. Jock started looking at his local community for partners who would be interested in promoting and distributing his resin and particularly focused in on sustainable timber artists as early adopters.
There have been two main areas of focus for Jock through the Hone program. He has continued to refine his Customer Value Proposition through customer engagement, as well as creating the functioning network required to support the business idea. This includes establishing connections to customers, end user groups, government funding bodies (at various levels), landholders, regional communities and business consultants (e.g. IP). There is still work to do on business operations and administration that will develop as Jock’s business becomes more established and operational. Jock is naturally structured and logical in his approach to work and will be strong in this area.
Jock made considerable progress on transforming his idea into a business reality during his participation in the Hone Program including:
• Produced first functioning prototype, enabling him to demonstrate and test his idea
• Secured has sales commitments (with supporting letters of intent) from two customers. These users will be Jock’s “test pilots” providing product feedback, testimonials, and advocacy as appropriate.
• Built a strong social media presence through Instagram and a website ready to launch
• Developed a detailed go-to-market plan with ambition to sell 100 units within the next 6 months
• Implemented a structured bootstrap business funding plan
It took a long time of searching but I've found my tribe.
Next steps for Jock is to refine his product offering based on user feedback from his first prototypes. In parallel he will continue to build his brand, social media profile, and product advocacy. This will inform his production process, the design of his commercial production facility, and ultimately his business model.