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After the Challenge – Frej Gustafsson

Frej participated in the 4TU Impact Challenge with ReShore! They want to make traditional infrastructure more sustainable, and this challenge gave them some great exposure. This has brought them to where they are right now: making prototypes and testing their product! What’s life like for Frej after the 4TU Impact Challenge?

How did you experience the Challenge?

I really enjoyed it! I participated in the 4TU Challenge with ReShore, which is my company. ReShore already existed before the challenge, so this was a new challenge for the company!

The challenge was really aligned with what we were already trying to do, such as creating a good business case. We used to struggle to make ourselves understood, but by pitching our ideas we learned how to present them concisely. I was also very inspired and motivated by other students and their ideas. There was a lot of opportunity in this challenge to speak to other people and to network with them.

We ended up winning the audience award, which felt like a consolation prize. But it really paid off in the end, and people evidently understood our ideas!

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What are your plans?

Although we didn’t expect that the challenge would draw attention, it was really in the spotlight! We received numerous calls for interviews. The interview we did with PZC, which is a newspaper from Zeeland, gave us a lot of exposure, and even the water board in Zeeland called us. After that, journalists from Reuters contacted us and asked us to keep them updated!

We had several follow-up meetings in Zeeland. Now we are gearing towards proving our proposal by running a prototype test to demonstrate the technology. This involves finding public subsidies and hopefully some private investments as well. Since our technology is quite a large-scale thing in a conservative industry, we need to prove that it works. This involves a lot of testing; we are working with a company that is doing some theoretical tests, and we are going to do some prototype testing in the lab. Zeeland will soon be making a large subsidy available, and we hope to get it  so we can put a prototype in the water.

How can we follow your next steps?

We post most of our updates on LinkedIn and we also have a website!

What is your ultimate tip for other students?

Put yourself out there: jump in and network, network, network! LinkedIn in particular can be really helpful for networking. Since we decided to go all-in on ReShore in early 2020 (when the pandemic hit), LinkedIn was a good tool to reach out for help. So network and ask for assistance because there are a lot of people willing to help!

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Who or what inspires you?

I just finished a book, called Eat Like a Fish by Bren Smith, the founder of the GreenWave organization. I’ve been following the company for years, and this is a fantastic book with a different approach to both food and the ocean. Smith talks about how we can produce food while also restoring the seas to their former glory. I was very inspired! I would really recommend this book to anyone interested in oceans or seaweed.