Monday, March 23, 2015

Bringing sustainable innovation to Dragon's Den


Industrial Design student showcases biodegradable compost bin.

By Sara Laux

This article originally appeared in Humber Today on 18th February 2014.

Written by Melissa Johns, School of Applied Technology

Jackson Wyatt is an entrepreneur and designer, and he's saving the world -- one compost bin at a time. 

The Greenlid
The Greenlid

An Industrial Design student and co-founder of The Greenlid, Wyatt recently appeared on Dragon's Den with his brother Morgan. The pair showcased their innovative product -- a fully biodegradable green bin -- ultimately securing a funding deal with Dragons Arlene Dickinson and David Chilton.

The Greenlid is a waterproof organic waste container made from moulded pulp fiber. When the container is full, it can be disposed of in municipal recycling and replaced with no mess or feelings of guilt.

"Me and my brother were trying to figure out a way to make composting in your kitchen less messy," says Wyatt. "We thought we could make something and made a million mistakes along the way, until we worked with some people and had some help. We ended up with a product that we think people will enjoy."

The Greenlid was named one of the top 10 most innovative projects at the Grocery Innovations Canada conference in October 2014, and has attracted attention from the Toronto Star, Global News and CHCH. The brothers had previously run a successful Kickstarter campaign, surpassing their funding goal of $25,000 in March 2014. Their product is now available at Home Hardware stores across Canada, and will also be available at Home Depot in the future.

Wyatt credits his professors at Humber with influencing his ideas about design. "I didn't even know Adobe Illustrator until I did tutorials with Catherine Chong... all the packaging, marketing material, point of purchase comes from me making stuff in Adobe Illustrator. [We learned about] design concepts from Odin Cappello. We got a lot of help from everybody".

The young entrepreneur has some sage advice for students looking for similar success.

"Do exactly what's related to your field as soon as possible," he says. "That way you can get the mistakes out of the way early, and be ahead of the curve before anybody else. If you're in photography, go out and do photos. If you're in Industrial Design, focus on the things that matter, like product design or automotive design; things you're really passionate about."

Wyatt's next steps with The Greenlid are to increase its market share across Canada and the United States, and continue to make new products with the material he and his brother have developed. "We're pushing forward with Greenlid," he explains. "There are so many applications with the water-resistant pulp moulded products. Each new product, each new application is in its own way a new business."

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