The UK's premier subcontract manufacturing supply chain show, Subcon is fast approaching and will be taking place in the NEC, so we decided to catch up with the finalists of the launchpad award, which highlights six exciting engineering and manufacturing startups, starting with Vesta Smart Packaging, who have a simple goal – to provide a really good reason for us all to use less plastic. Using IoT technology, its solutions extend the intelligence of logistics networks right into the home. Smart containers know when they’re running low, and re-order their contents automatically.
Not only does this mean the end of running out of critical supplies – anything from coffee beans to detergent – but in an increasingly busy and time-poor world, our packages lighten the mental load. All the things you need, when you need them, with none of the hassle.
On the other side of things, we offer merchants and manufacturers the opportunity to build relationships with customers and increase loyalty in a trading environment where aggregation sites (mentioning no names!!) have reduced most product consideration to a simple price comparison.
But what has this got to do with plastic?
The vast majority of consumer goods are packaged for storage. Packaging must last at least as long as what its holding, hence all the plastic! By moving to refillable, durable and smart alternatives, we can help our merchant partners to change this – eliminating damaging single use plastics from global supply chains and creating efficient and sustainable business models for the benefit of all.
When were you launched?
How many people are working for the company?
Sum up what your company/product does in one sentence
We make smart refillable packages to improve business performance and cut single use plastic from supply chains.
Why is it unique?
We make (as far as we know) the most sophisticated connected self-reporting packages on the market. What makes us unique is that we work with our customers to help them reduce the amount of plastic they use.
What problem does it solve?
It helps to reduce the amount of plastic manufacturers need to use.
Do you have any clients using the product?
What do they like about it?
The innovative approach we take to cutting plastic in a way that is positive for business performance.
What are your growth plans?
We are raising seed funding to support growth beyond our initial client trials.
How have you funded the innovations behind your development?
The team is self-funded at the moment.
What is the investment climate like for start-ups?
Challenging, but there is a lot of activity.
What government / quango agencies have you used?
What was most appealing about being part of the Launchpad?
It's great to see a contest based on innovations in engineering and manufacturing. A lot of start-ups are digital-only, so I'm looking forward to meeting the other finalists and comparing manufacturing notes.
What would it mean to you to win?
It would be terrific visibility, a huge moral boost for the team, and I'd really like the chance to come back next year and show everyone how far we've come.
Who would be the dream advisor?