We’re taking a pause from advancing the tech side of the Fishy Filaments project to move towards commercialisation of the idea.
We think that crowdfunding is probably the most effective way of getting to the next stage, of recruiting a panel of testers, of introducing ourselves to a wider range of potential collaborators and, of course, finding possible funders.
So we met with the Crowdfunder.co.uk team in Newquay last week and caught up with its MD, Phil Geraghty at the recent Creative Industries Federation event at Heartlands in Pool. Crowdfunder is a really enthusiastic young company based in Newquay but working around the world. It even has a section dedicated to Cornish funding campaigns, so it was the logical choice of platform for this project.
Why are Fishy Filaments going to ask the crowd for help ?
To date we’ve been producing quantities of recycled nylon filament large enough to prove the concept and assess the basic performance of the process. Now we need to produce enough recycled material to prove the performance of the end-product, decide on a price point and refine the marketing proposition.
We’ve reached the limit of our current equipment to produce filament fast enough and at a high enough quality to send to external testers for comment. We need to buy two pieces of equipment called ‘an extruder‘ and ‘a spooler‘ that link together to semi-automate the filament production process. There are a number of these available, from the home-build kit that we’re using right now right up to industrial installations the size of a room. They are priced according to size, but the physical infrastructure needed to support them is very different.
Our approach is very much oriented towards local recycling of marine plastics, in order that the highest possible proportion of the value of those plastics are retained in Cornwall, but also so that we minimise the development risk.
So for the next stage we’ve chosen the highest quality of filament extruder, but at a size where the cost is affordable within a crowdfund campaign. If we reach our target of £5,000, there will still need to be a second round of funding before we go into full commercial production.