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  • Writer's pictureDimitris Terzis

MeduSoil among the winners of the IMD startup challenge who join the IMD Silicon Valley immersion

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

What a week for our team! 6 intensive days in Silicon Valley just wrapped-up, but the long list of insightful takeaways will accompany us for months to come.

From left to right: the team of MeduSoil (Sten Rettby/Business Development and Dr.Dimitrios Terzis/co-founder) together with IMD EMBA candidates who accompanied the startup during its Silicon Valley immersion week.

MeduSoil is a Swiss-born materials company producing bio-binders™️ for building applications and in 2022 it delivered its first product batches outside of Switzerland. The timing for participating in IMD's challenge and being part of the Silicon Valley immersion week couldn't have been better. It is no secret that the construction industry is dominated by global materials and solutions which, however, are managed locally. That being said, the same materials and solutions are used all over the world but their production, supply and application rely heavily on local stakeholders. The IMD immersion week in the state of California offered the best possible opportunity to get hands-on insights on upcoming projects in the Bay area, to adopt a customer-centric model and validate go-to-market strategy including regulatory clearance. Five executive MBA candidates at IMD accompanied us in market analyses, market sizing and user-focused interviews.

MeduSoil was among the winners of the IMD startup challenged and was accompanied by IMD EMBA candidates during 6 days in Silicon Valley with visits and workshops at Palo Alto, Stanford and San Francisco, among others.

One of our customers, with experience in mega projects on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean once told us that “when it comes to construction materials there exist two schools of thought: the first one says that all materials are banned until their deployment is proven safe for the environment while the second suggests that materials can be deployed until proven harmful for the environment”. The first approach is the de-facto one applied in European markets and with this respect MeduSoil’s products received in 2022 certification under CEN/TR 17105:2017 norm which rules on the ecotoxicity of construction products. The regulatory landscape is changing rapidly in the US too, and that was a key takeaway for our team. We learned how the Biden Inflation Reduction Act is expected impact drastically the future of sustainable infrastructure development while in the state of California, new legislation was enacted in 2021 to slash cement emissions by 40%.

Among the stakeholders connected with our team during this week in Silicon Valley were state regulators, environmental agencies dealing with the key domains of coastal erosion and flood protection as well as general contractors. Some of the mega-projects, such as the SFO airport runway extension or the upgrade of the Embarcadero Seawall, will require extensive liquefaction protection works or shoreline erosion protection in the years to come. The insights gathered from customers and key opinion leaders allow our team to shape a new, global vision of its product and impact.

Overall, this has been an immersion week that offered opportunities for professional development and for peer-learning. Our team visited the Apple Park in Cupertino, and the Headquarters of ServiceNow and Logitech, among others. We participated to tailored and intensive training with IDEO in San Francisco, a design firm and discovered the “tribes of Silicon Valley” from the viewpoint of Chuck Darrah, a Silicon Valley-based anthropologist. Finally, we took volunteering work at RAFT a non-profit organism which supports education for low- and middle-income schools.

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