Z Spools started with an idea in a high school elective course and is now a sole proprietorship based on a patent pending technology created by your truly! While we are working to become a full fledged business, Z Spools provides 3D solutions for invasive species. Within the upcoming year, we will be prepared to manufacture 3D printing filament out of zebra and quagga mussel shells (two prominent invasive species in the Great Lakes) Through this operation, we spread awareness about the issues caused by these invasive species and help relieve these issues along the way. Want to learn more about Zebra and Quagga mussels? Check out this informative article from Buffalo State University.
Check out a quick business pitch below for Z Spools given in 2017 for the U. Pitch | Future Founders Competition!
Want to learn more about how we got started, check out the story below!
January 5th, 2017
Z Spools began with seeming failure. After returning from a relaxing winter break, on January 5th, my D-block Entrepreneurial Studies class was launched into a new endeavor: create a business startup. From restaurants to security systems, any and all ideas were welcome, as long as you could provide a 75 second pitch in support of your startup. In short, the goal was this: to encourage your class mates to join your business bandwagon through an engaging elevator pitch. After such pitches, we would vote for the top three startups and create business models in teams of three or four.
Entrepreneurialism is essentially a method of problem solving, so with such an open-ended task, I knew the best way to begin was to find a problem worth solving. Considering my preexisting interests in holistic and Native American medicine, I knew that I wanted to work with nature, plants in particular. Thanks to a seventh grade science class with Ms. Smith, when thinking about the problems existing in our natural environment, I immediately thought of invasive species.
After doing some quick research, I found three prominent invasive plant species in New York State (hydrilla, water chestnut, and garlic mustard) with which I could work with. In light of my proud foodie status, I decided that my startup would involve harvesting such invasive species and marketing them as food products in local grocery stores and restaurants. Considering that Wegmans (a local grocery store chain in Buffalo, NY) was already doing something similar with Lion-fish, and the aforementioned plants are popular food items in other countries, I knew that my idea had great potential.
Unfortunately, the rest of Entrepreneurial Studies class did not share this belief. They instead preferred startups involving pillows, cruises, and ice cream, none of which solved any problems I viewed worth pursuing. In short, I was bitter, but this discontent inspired within me an entrepreneurial spark which I pursued with great vigor.