Replacing paraffin in South Africa with a biofuel made from waste cooking oil 

In the beginning of 2016 Jacob, Max, Nico and Roy founded Sesolo Mello. The 4 founders, who met during the Climate KIC summer school in 2015, worked on a business plan to produce the biofuel ‘Sesolo Mello’ from waste cooking oil in South Africa. After presenting their plan to the StartLife review board the startup entered stage 1 of the StartLife Incubation Program.

Co-founder Roy Hendriks: “In the townships of South Africa people mainly cook on paraffin oil. This creates unhealthy living conditions due to released toxins for families and the environment. We believe that something can be done about this. In the coming years we want to set-up local production units to produce environmentally friendly biofuels for households”. 

Up and running
At this moment two team members are present in South Africa. They are testing the first ranges of their fuel in the Kayamandi township to develop the product based on user experience, while writing their MSc. thesis for Wageningen University about it.

In the next years the team will set up their first production facility and spread their concept in South Africa, before going to other countries as well.

Hendriks: “With the loan of StartLife we are able to develop our product while validating some key assumptions. We also aim to generate traction in the next months to show that people really want to switch to our alternative.”

StartLife Incubation Program
With the StartLife Incubation Program StartLife offers startups pre-seed loans (up to 85.000 euro), workshops, active support by a personal coach, a connection with Wageningen UR, and an international network needed to accelerate their business.

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