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What problem does your solution solve?
Across America, approximately 50 million people suffer from food insecurity yet we waste 40 percent of the food we produce. The solution to hunger has never been more food but rather a recalibration of the system we currently have. At Transfernation, we aim to rebuild the food system surrounding events by ensuring that excess goes to those in need rather than being disposed of. Transfernation plays a critical role in the logistics process by filling the information, transportation, and timing gaps in our current system of food distribution.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
Each year the total food waste amounts to approximately 165 Billion dollars in America alone. This massive financial and social loss creates a market ripe for destruction. Transfernation is enabling corporations to recoup branding, economic, and social impactful value for what would otherwise be wasted. Working through Transfernation allows corporations to save money and time while receiving tax and branding benefits. Thus, Transfernation is able to charge corporations for its services helping build a sustainable business model. In New York City alone there are thousands of events each day and when our model is expanded across large cities the market cap is quite substancial.
Who are your customers?
Corporations will be the primary purchaser of our services as they waste food in their cafeterias and events every single day. This service provides them with an efficient, economical, and socially transformative way to operate. Their benefit is quite different than that of the 'end user' which is too gain access to high quality food on a consistent basis.
How will you reach your customers?
Transfernation operates through three key stakeholders: corporations, social institutions, and drivers. Our corporate outreach is a combination of working through global caters such as Aramark, Restaurants Association, and FLIK and working with CSR/Sustainability Departments. We are usually able to present at quarterly meetings for corporate or event congregations which creates a pipeline of inbound leads. We further receive inbound leads from our current clients who are satisfied with our services and the ability to support their community.
In terms of social partners we've simply reached out as necessary and can use our track record to prove our value to them. Oftentimes there is very little friction/resistance as they need high quality affordable food.
Our drivers are now compensated and often times are Lyft/Uber drivers who are happy to support a good cause. Since they are compensated the system works quite efficiently.
How will you make money?
Transfernation has two tiers to its business plan: Sales and Fundraising.
On the sales-side Transfernation is a non-profit with a social mission but our work is providing a logisitics service to event venues and corporations. Thus we charge corporations monthly for our service based on the frequency of their pickups. The cost we charge is comparable or lesser than their waste disposal and time costs if they were to throw their excess. Thus there is no reason not to work with us as it enables companies to receive tax deductibles and rebrand through impact reports.
From a fundraising perspective we are a 501(c)3 non-profit which means all contributions are tax deductible. We are able to secure grant funders, individual donors, fellowship funding, and government grants as a result. Thus we strategic focus on grants as a method of capacity building.
Our model is designed so that our operations cover our operating costs and our fundraising is used for overhead or expansion.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
Transfernation operates on the basis of many partnerships across all sectors. In order to continue our growth we will continue to work with global catering hosts, corporate partners, and social institutions. Overtime these partnerships will continue in scope and in total number particularly as we begin to expand to a more national level.
In addition we are looking at partnerships with ride-sharing companies in which drivers are incentivized or supported conducting food rescue operations with Transfernation as these individuals are equipped with transportation and logistical capacity and interested in supporting a meaningful cause.
Down the line it would be interesting to explore deeper partnerships with local governments particularly as food waste continues to gain prominence on a national and state level.
What will your expenses include?
Transfernation operates on an extremely lean model with little to no overhead costs. Our primary cost is to compensate drivers and to account for transportation. However our cost per beneficiary is an extremely lean 0.65 cents per person. In other words Transfernation can feed a family of 5 for $3.30. Going forward we hope to reduce that cost to 0.25 cents per person.
As we grow we will also look to build in some overhead to bring on additional staff as we need greater human resources to support our work. This cost will entail salary and benefits for 2-3 employees and a few contractors.
Who is your competition and how do you differ?
Food waste has exploded in prominence over the past 5 years. There are a number of organization that are in the food rescue space including City Harvest, Food Cowboy, and Food Recovery Network. Transfernation plays a unique role is this ecosystem as a result of its focus on events, real-time logistics, and technology. The event space has been untapped as a result of its greater complexity but still remains a massive source of food waste and opprotunity. Thus, Transfernation is able to work in collaboration with many of the organizations in the food recovery space are a number of niches and lots of excess food that is currently disposed.