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LOTUS (Let’s Operate Together Under Sustainability)

LOTUS is a network that combines a Brand’s rewards program with Waste Management together to incentive users to act sustainably.

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Idea Title

Idea Summary

LOTUS is a high impact/low complexity system that can enact a positive change today. The mission is to incentivize and gamify reuse and proper disposal of fiber cups.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

LOTUS addresses the challenge of recoverability faced in the NextGen Cup Challenge. The underlying problem we are solving is proper disposal and recycling. The mission is to incentivize and gamify reuse and proper disposal of fiber cups.

The fiber cup is not sustainable, and LOTUS would partner with different types of material solutions. LOTUS is a complimentary network that rewards the disposal of these cups. Compounding acts of sustainability can incentivise massive change around the world.  

Partnerships would be created with Fortune 500 Companies with loyal user-bases and with a city’s Waste Management organizations. Both types of partnerships would collaborate with LOTUS to decrease waste going to the landfill and increase recoverability.

Pairing of a fiber cup can be confirmed during mobile payment, or having the user scan a QR Code via their Rewards App. This will be simple for brands, as our network of cups can be accessed via a series of open APIs that Brands call from their Rewards App. Each disposable cup will be trackable on a per person basis. In stores, customers could gain an additional reward for reusing a cup. Additionally, in stores (and eventually throughout a city) there would have LOTUS QR codes on the bins that would track the made it to an appropriate bin, furthering customers’ rewards.

LOTUS would also host its own app to: 1) influence current rewards loyalty programs, and 2) adapt to different kinds of establishments. The app would credit customers on a specified store credit basis.

There are a couple paths to monetization:

- B2B sales for the LOTUS service itself. We boost engagement and encourage sustainability on behalf of the brand.

- Inversely, consolidating rewards points on a marketplace hosted by LOTUS, brands could advertise incentives to their users.

- Data collection of a customer’s routine and path travelled (starting and ‘ending’ point).

- Many cities have grants that could be obtained to boost recycling efforts.  

Our goals are simple: Network, Validate, Launch.  

The NextGen Cup Challenge is the perfect place to find and partner with Fortune 500 Companies and Urban Waste Management Programs. Or, at least find experienced mentorship with that industry background.    

When it comes to funding, we are lucky to be a digital solution. Most costs would be focused on engineering resources and printing QR Codes on stickers to place on top of city disposal bins. These QR Codes can double as early marketing costs, while leaning on Brand’s existing users bases to spark early growth.  

Success after the program would be to launch with at least one large brand in a city, like Los Angeles. We would want to compare our activation and retention metrics with the Brand’s existing rewards program. An example would be comparing the percentage of users that bring in a reusable cup with the number who scanned QR codes on a disposal bin. We would track and compare retention metrics over the next six months.  

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Some of the Above
  • Reusable System

How is your concept recoverable?

LOTUS incentivizes the appropriate disposal of fiber cups, promoting a greater recovery rate.

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

LOTUS is just one aspect of the fiber cup, geared towards recovery and reuse of a single cup. LOTUS can easily be used with new materials/types of disposable cups, of which could have innovative and eco-friendly materials. As the materials change, QR code integration can adapt. This network could easily incentivize other brands and products to dispose of their materials in the proper bin. This will be the foundation to gamify/reward any and all recovery initiatives.

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

LOTUS will have the most impact in an urban metropolis. These regions have populations that are environmentally conscious and are more likely to adopt new technological solutions. LOTUS would be integrated in all regions that are well-known, established organizations that currently use fiber cups to serve drinks. We would have to build out key partnerships. We would gain value by reaching out to Waste Management programs in large cities.

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

LOTUS’ initial target audience are individuals working in large cities across the United States between the ages of 20-35 and are active users of Brand Rewards Programs. LOTUS is a B2B2C type company. The direct customers of LOTUS would be the stores signed up with LOTUS. The indirect customer to LOTUS is the customer of the food/drink provider. Both direct and indirect customers would benefit from LOTUS. Direct customers would be reducing their contribution of waste going to landfills. Local city and state governments would also be a target market, since each has limited and designated landfill space. Indirect customers would benefit from LOTUS through integration with customer l

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

Mentorship Needs, validation

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Business Model Development
  • Waste and Infrastructure
  • Growth and Scaling

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Wyatt Thompson is a Product Manager at Dollar Shave Club and a cofounder of an e-commerce site that generated over $450k in revenue within its first year. Daniel Kriozere is a Nuclear Engineer at LLNL, with a variety of operational experience.

In what city are you located?

Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area

In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Becoming a Top Idea will help us achieve our goals: Network, Validate, Launch. The NextGen Cup Challenge is the perfect place to do all three of these. We will: -Network and partner with Fortune 500 Companies and Urban Waste Management Programs -Find experienced mentors with relevant industry experience -Validate the idea and execution of LOTUS -Launch and scale LOTUS

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Other


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