For Love & Money

EP 20: MIKE SMITH, Used Pouch Salesman (& Founder), Zero Co On giving single-use plastic the flick

August 1, 2022

Mike Smith is an entrepreneur, adventurer and not-for-profit founder. Over the past fifteen years he’s founded three startups in the surfing, wine and sustainability arenas and built two schools in Myanmar.

He’s travelled to some of the most remote corners of the planet, including North Korea, Tajikistan and Nagorno-Karabakh to name just a few.

Mike Smith's most recent venture - Zero Co - aims to solve the global plastic problem through large scale ocean clean-ups and a closed-loop solution for personal-care and home-cleaning products.

Mike is infectiously passionate about having a positive impact on the planet and inspiring others to dare greatly. You can’t fail to feel this passion as he shares Zero Co’s story. Enjoy!

 

Here are some of the interview highlights:

 

  • Zero Co’s origins started with a trip Mike and his girlfriend (now wife) took travelling to some of the most far-flung places in the world
  • Mike shares “the mission-driven brief” of the business they set themselves, highlighting that he was agnostic about the industry they went into. 
  • He talks about what he calls “mission-driven 2.0 businesses”, where the mission and the product are the same thing, not an afterthought
  • He explains how Zero Co works – basically disrupting the household and personal care products category – and inviting the consumer to change their behaviour to become part of the solution
  • While talking about the complexities of this business, Mike acknowledges that he frequently thinks about how crazy this idea is, but they are driven by their big mission: to scale the business model profitably and become such a pain in the ass for the big guys, that they have to copy them!
  • Mike shares the experience of their latest equity crowdfunding campaign which has set the Australian record
  • We talk about their brand and its lighthearted tone that came from the core values Zero Co was established on
  • Their values are truly inspiring and you’ll really want to hear the stories that Mike shares that inspire those values (gave me goosebumps)!

 

Connect with Mike

 

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/mike-smith-62aa383a/

Zero Co website https://www.zeroco.com.au

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