#Happy-Earth-Day! What a wonderful day to celebrate our world’s natural wonders and seek opportunities to innovate, collaborate and accelerate a greener future for all. Recognising our current business processes and consumer behaviours is the first step to transforming our environmental impact. With the help of our Community & Sustainable Design Lead, Cohort has opted for suppliers that have an impact for good and are improving environmental practices with the support from the #CohortCommunity.
In the spirit of celebrating Earth Day and greener innovation we are super excited to officially welcome Single Use Ain’t Sexy into the building!
Although these tablets are little, they’re having a BIG impact on the environment by removing single use plastics and minimising their carbon footprint by removing the transportation of water. With this new partnership in place, we got chatting with Josh Howard the founder and CEO of Australia’s first dissolvable soap tablet. It was a great opportunity to pick Josh’s brain and hear about his startup journey.
The Cohort team first heard about Single Use Ain’t Sexy back in June 2021 when the innovative startup crowd funded a whopping $500k in just 48 hours. It goes to show that Australians are putting their dollar to a future without single use plastic.
Not only did the quirky fun brand name catch our attention, but we also love hearing about startups and how they determine what funding route best suits them.
1) What led to the decision to say YES to crowd funding?
JH: Our business has been supported by ‘the crowd’ and our burgeoning community since day one, so it made total sense to rely on these same awesome people when it came time to fund our business and a future without single-use plastic bottles.
2) Melbourne is home to some incredible startups such as Afterpay, Zendesk, and Airwallex. Before officially launching Australia’s first dissolvable hand soap tablet, did you engage with Melbourne startup communities, utilise their resources or find valuable mentors?
JH: Absolutely! The big thing for me has been asking other Founders and people in the startup community for help and advice. People who have done it before are an invaluable resource – and many have become good friends.
3) Completing law school, entering TV production as the assistant to the executive manager at Channel 10, taking on an interest in advertising and now running a purpose driven innovative startup that’s making waves throughout Australian households and businesses such as Cohort Innovation Space. Were you juggling full time work and startup life at one point? When did you know it was time to dedicate your time fully to Single Use Ain’t?
JH: Nope. I dived right into my startup full time from the very beginning and I’m really glad I did. I’m someone who gets obsessively committed to whatever I’m working on, so I’ve never been great at trying to work on multiple businesses at once. You’ve just got to back yourself and that’s what I’ve done.
4) Cohort Innovation Space too is on the pathway to B Corp certification. With the B Impact Assessment covering topics such as governance, workers, community, environment, and customers we’ve found that that measuring impact and reporting is essential for B corp. With Single Use Ain’t Sexy’s revolutionary way to wash hands, the community has saved up to 75,000 single use plastic bottles since their big launch! When it comes to measuring impact, are there any tools you’ve found to be your best friend?
JH: Being incredibly clear and concise with our customers about the impact they are having is a must. For example, telling them exactly how many single-use plastic bottles their purchases have saved from landfill is really key. We have a live counter on our website which shows the total number of bottles saved and that tool is invaluable.
5) At our last Startup Grind event with Alexander Rich founder and CEO of Desygner, he emphasised the importance of recruiting the right talent, B2B sales, and journeying with investors. From your own experience, what 3 key ingredients do you think it takes to create a successful startup?
JH: Every startup is so different, they require different ingredients to be successful based on their unique product, sector, timing and founders. For us, we have tried to ensure our business is run with single-minded focus, a fun brand and always putting impact first.