WiKonsumer

WiKonsumer: A guide to critical consumption co-created with users

Bari, ItalyBari, Italy
Year Founded:
2016
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

WiKonsumer is the wikipedia of critical consumption. Differently from a classic wiki it is a mix of structured and descriptive informations. This allows a very concise and effective representation of information. Our widget technology allows to integrate WiKonsumer in third-party apps and websites.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if citizens could consciously drive corporate strategies?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Critical consumption is not about respecting a fixed set of rules. It’s more about the habit of asking ourselves questions before buying something. The criteria may vary widely from person to person. This implies that critical consumption knowledge cannot be superposed but should emerge directly from consumers. Nonetheless today frenetic lives require the information process to be as rapid and effective as possible.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

WiKonsumer is organized in product categories. In every category there is a consumption guide, a configurable chart of products and a discussion section. Every product page contains generic informations, a structured set of features (e.g. organic, gluten-free, etc...), retailers near you and a discussion section. Consumers can edit every information in the wiki. Subjective information is managed in the form of polls. Through like buttons on the features, the product charts is customizable, by means of a recommendation algorithm that cross-check wiki data and user preferences. WiKonsumer is open to third-party content producers, e.g. the England chocolate society, that might create the Chocolate App thanks to our widget.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

John belongs to the 30% of consumers defined “critical consumers”. He knows that palm oil production affects global climate changes and he love chocolate biscuits. Given his sedentary lifestyle he has to eat low-fat food. He has few time and he lost himself in supermarkets trying to find low-fat palm oil free chocolate biscuits. So he search on google and among the endless forum discussions he notice the WiKonsumer hit. He open the biscuits category page. With a few click he find the biscuits he is looking for and by reading the biscuits guide he discover other biscuits features he is interested in. Since then he start using WiKonsumer. Since other users interact with his edits, he feels useful, engaged and part of a community.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The website has been recently put online. We are contacting content producers and setting meetings. Project progress status is premature to talk about impact.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The first step is populating the website with quality content. Our strategy is to give the widget to content producers for free. They will produce public and restricted content. They can monetize through restricted content subscription fees from WiKonsumer, their websites or their mobile Apps. Content providers user base and web search engines will drive an increasingly number of user to WiKonsumer. Users will start contributing with their content. Retailers will subscribe to attract new customers through special offers.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

WiKonsumer revenue model relies on retailers. They will pay for the content marketing delivered by the website. WiKonsumer costs are: platform development and infrastructure, content provider sellers and trip expenses, retailer sales agents fees, WiKonsumer content revision.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are a number of informative websites, forums, blogs and apps. Some of them adopt co-creation but content has a limited scope (e.g. mapping product with producers) and is unstructured. They are installation of wikimedia standard text wiki. Some of them are database of products that lack advanced search capabilities. None of them adopt a co-creation strategy and our content provider partnership model.
Team

Founding Story

WiKonsumer is born from the willing of his founders to create a business around sustainability. We asked ourselves what is most able to bring a positive change in the world towards sustainability. We believe that the correct answer is critical consumption. Hence we wanted to create a tool to spread critical consumption culture as an everyday practice. This is our vision conceived on September 2014. Since then we are searching a sustainable business model and after two failed business models we feel every day nearer to the company of our dreams, a company that makes money and a better world at the same time.

Team

Antonella Fasano – strategy and public relations Antonella is a Telecomunication Engineer, she worked since 2009 as financial manager in a 10M€ Broadcasting company. Paolo Pannarale – software development Paolo is a PhD in software engineering and worked on innovative and research projects in the most important companies of his province.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

mail

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

CTO and co-founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Responsible Consumption and Production.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

On April 2011 we founded another company, Smartech.
Smartech S.r.l. was an high-tech company devoted to the design and production of software and analytical instruments for wine producers. The core product was a Neural Network based Model Predictive Control of wine fermentation able to simulate the fermentation process given a specific fermentation scenario or to suggest the fermentation conditions that can lead to a product with desired features. The company also started prototyping leading edge technology instruments for the measurement of chemo-physical parameters in wine through microfluidics.
The project was abandoned for lack of funds.
Presentation pitch: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/6304831/Smartech%20pitch.pdf

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We have two advisors, they are CEO in the web marketing and software industry.
We are searching content providers.