In the first Lisbon edition of this series of stories from the Impact Hub Global family, we feature one of our long-term members, the founder of Novonovo.
I studied Industrial Design in my bachelor’s degree and did a master’s degree in Product Design. During my Masters I started a project that was basically a small business about upcycled products, where we recovered reusable materials. We were working with glass, and would recover wine or liqueur bottles and transform those materials into new products. We were basically recovering the materials by ourselves, transforming them with partner artisans, packaging them and selling them. At first, we had a small production, then the project evolved, we participated in a program for the creative industry and won the second prize. From this point, we started to get more visibility and started to collaborate with other companies. The product got a different scale, but we were inexperienced and couldn’t maintain the scale and at the same time had to finish our studies. We also had some partnerships that went bad, so for different reasons the project ended.
Afterwards I moved to Lisbon and started working as a freelancer in other projects, one of those is called Give a Shit, which is a project with collaborations of different professionals in the water sector. We try to raise awareness on the issue of water management in the western society. We do it through activism, workshops, and consultancy to companies in order to help implement new technologies that can reduce the amount of drinkable water that we waste.
The project I am working on now is Novonovo. It’s a platform for exchanging reusable materials. We want to get the leftovers and by-products from companies and other organizations and try to make them be used by the creative industry. Why is that? Because we think that there is an opportunity in reusing those materials instead of new raw materials, and that can reduce the emissions related to the production of new materials. We also think that by making the creative industry use reusable materials we are going to be able to communicate a different idea about waste to the public and to consumers. They are going to create a new product that can be useful but at the same time sustainable. We are now trying to implement the pilot, a beta version of the platform in order to really see if our assumptions and our research can be validated. We are also looking for funding to scale after launching the pilot and to get the final platform ready.
I actually discovered Impact Hub and started to work on my project because of a program that was sent to me: the Creative Business Studio acceleration program. I had this idea of planning to create a project from the experience that I had in upcycling before, so I decided to participate. At first I had an abstract idea about what I wanted to do and through the workshops that we had and from the suggestions of the members here I developed a more concrete idea. From that point on I started to develop the project through research, doing interviews with different entities. Part of the program involved launching a crowdfunding campaign in order to get some funding to start creating something out of the idea developed in the program. I did a crowdfunding campaign that was successful, we raised a small amount of money but it was enough to try to push the idea forward. Now that the program ended, I am still a member of Impact Hub. For me it is great because of the community itself and the informal experience that we have here. I think it really eases the process of working and getting through your daily routine as well, making it more fun.