We are a fast-growing, ambitious startup with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG): to provide water from air to 1 billion young trees by 2040
We develop a temperature-sensitive material that collects water from air at night and autonomously releases the water during the day, when warmed by the sun. This is based on 8 years research at world-reknown University of Technology Eindhoven (The Netherlands). Our first product is a water producing tree guard for young trees. Tree guards are used a lot when planting young trees, to protect them against animals, sun and wind. The Sponsh tree guard does more: it also provides water daily to the roots of the young tree. Helping it survive the harsh first summers.
We have won several reknown startup challenges and have had extensive media coverage. Here a sample:
- 90 second video of the team (winner Gouden KIEM award): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKj9XpIEqVY
- 4 minute video from Portuguese TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_o1k5TZrRM
- Winner Accenture Innovation Awards: https://innovation-awards.nl/en-us/articles/these-are-winners-of-aia18
- Newsweek moonshots: https://www.magzter.com/articles/3257/356034/5d15d90240e10
Reforestation market research
The first market we are rolling out is the reforestation market. Reforestation refers to planting forests with the purpose of carbon capture and increasing biodiversity. In fact, the United Nations considers planting trees as one of the most effective ways to reduce CO2 levels: https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/forest/reforestation-the-easiest.html. Our products contribute to that approach: a Sponsh self-watering tree guard increases tree survivability, increases the planting window (the period in which a tree can be planted) and allows reforestation in degraded lands, which otherwise would not be used.
The reforestation market is growing fast, because of people's increasing desire to offset their carbon footprint, because of mandatory carbon offset (carbon credits) and because many companies choose to offset their footprint (EasyJet, LeasePlan, Shell, to name a few). However, we do not know the exact current market size, the key players, the expected growth and the market trends. The same applies for the forestation market (growing trees for wood, paper, pulp and biomass). For that reason, we are looking for a bright and ambitious intern with a green heart.
Your activities include (exact contents will be agreed on together):
- Perform an extensive desktop study of the current reforestation (and secondary: forestation) market size, the key players, where funding comes from, the market dynamics, active countries and trends
- Develop understanding of the reforestation (and secondary: forestation) market growth and make estimations of the future market size
- Find out reforestation and forestation planting costs and survivability for dry regions and for different tree types. Calculate when Sponsh self-watering tree guards are financially beneficial for potential clients.
- Develop understanding of the carbon credit market and expected trends
- Process and distil all information found into shareable and visual summaries: think of graphs, slides, animations, and some key numbers
- Establish connections with key players in the market and interview them (you will get support for this)
What we are looking for
We are basically looking for a green hearted management consultancy type. More specifically, we're looking for the following skills and features:
- Analytical mindset: able to dig into a sea of (online) information, distil the important data, draw connections and conclusions.
- Comfortable with numbers, spreadsheets (Excel is a must) and graphs
- An eagle: Both able to look at the question from a high level and able to dive into the details to get to the bottom of it
- Able to make short and sweet summaries, ideally also visual, which can be shared with the rest of the team, with investors, with media and with clients
- Ideally: comfortable to reach out to companies, organisations and clients that are operating in this field, to get more information and establish connections.
- Proficiency in English spoken and written language
- Passionate, ambitious and self-driven: intrinsically motivated to achieve goals, able to set objectives, make a workplan, find solutions and make steady progress. We like coaching each other, but we don't like micromanaging or handholding.
- Strong passion for a greener world with lower carbon. Someone who believes we can make a difference and make a strong positive impact
What we offer:
- Making true impact: helping plant more trees, reducing carbon levels, bringing biodiversity back and making the planet a little greener
- Working in a high-tech startup with a very innovative product, that can have a huge impact on the world
- Developing your analytical and management consultancy skills.
- Getting real responsibility and a lot of freedom, if you want
- The chance to travel around and meet clients and key market players
- We can tailor the internship to meet your ambitions and preferences (provided it fits into the overall internship objective)
- Getting hands-on coaching: we care
- Having a fun and caring team
- Living and working in one of the most beautiful places in Europe: surf town Ericeira, 30 minutes drive from Lisbon airport (Portugal)
We have had Erasmus Interns before. Below feedback of one them:
"Working at Sponsh was a great experience. There is a lot of room to show what you can do with the amazing mentor Lourens who always knows how to make your work easier and how to make it perfect for your preferences and skills. It is a highly positive and enthousiastic working environment in the most beautiful Portuguese town."
Doris, former intern for Sponsh
- Duration is flexible: it can be 3 to 9 months.
- Starting time: ideally January or February 2020
- We do not provide financial compensation on top of the Erasmus allowance. We do provide lunch. And obviously all expenses are reimbursed
- Working days: 4 or 5 days per week
- Bachelor or Master degree
- Field of study can be wide (not necessarily only the ones selected)