Team:Jiangnan China/Entrepreneurship



Nowadays, sunscreen has a wide variety of products and broad prospects, in which case become a necessity in life gradually. This indicates that universal sunscreen using has become a general trend. However, improper use of sunscreen will cause coral bleaching crisis. To solve this problem, the idea of producing eco-friendly bio-sunscreen arises spontaneously.

In this regard, We first conducted a preliminary market survey and distributed questionnaires to the public to learn about the high demand for sunscreen and the acceptance and tolerance of biological sunscreen. Then, we went to contact L'Oreal, a professional cosmetics company, and had the honor to have an in-depth communication with the staff of its innovation center. In early October, we attended the Synbiopunk2021 and Biological developer Conference, and finally won a 10,000-yuan shortlisted cash award from Ailurus. At the same time, we are applying for a intelligence patent. Through the market research on sunscreen, we have written a business plan with a view to using green and safe bio-friendly sunscreen to replace the chemical sunscreen in the market, and we are negotiating with several investors for our future commercialization.

Market Evaluation

Under the general trend of the epidemic damaging the economy, the market situation of sunscreen products is unique. According to data from China Beauty Cosmetics Network, sales of a large number of cosmetics and skin care products declined during the epidemic, while that of sunscreen products increased rather than decreased (figure 1). This greatly illustrates the broad market prospect of sunscreen products in the future.

Fig.1 During The Epidemic, Sunscreen Sales Soared While Other Cosmetics Sales Decreased

In a subsequent survey on the consumption of eco-friendly sunscreen, we found a similar conclusion:

Through the answer to Q1, we learned that even if most of the public (80%) knows that chemical sunscreens can cause a series of fatal problems such as coral mitochondrial dysfunction, they are only willing to reduce their use, rather than purely for environmental protection purposes to give up using sunscreen. This survey result initially proves that people have a strong demand for sunscreen, which already exists as a daily necessities.

Through Q2, we confirmed consumer acceptance and tolerance of biological sunscreens. According to data, even if the performance of biological sunscreens is slightly lower than that of chemical sunscreens currently on the market, most consumers still have the intention to consume.

Fig.2 The Pie Charts Of Our Questionnaire

Company Visits And Industry Analysis

After confirming that the project has a broad market prospect, in order to further implement the idea, we visited Guangzhou Longhui Trading Co., Ltd., and Manager Hu told us that people increasingly favor natural biological sources when choosing cosmetic products. For enterprises, they should pay more attention to the scarcity of raw materials and the building of green brand image. During the conversation, we gained an in-depth understanding of the popularity of cosmetics from the current source of synthetic biology in the industry market, which strengthened our confidence in carrying out this project.

Then we learned about the current selection methods of green raw materials in an interview with Lubrizol, including the evaluation of the Natural Index (RCI), the tracing of the source of the raw materials, and so on. Similarly, in this interview, we also talked about the broad prospects of cosmetic from synthetic biology. In the later process, we got in touch with L'Or é al, a professional cosmetics company, and other investors. After learning the details of our project, they showed great interest in the project,and we conducted in-depth exchanges on the follow-up cooperation.

Fig.3 Interview With Managers Of Longhui & Lubrizol

Business Plan

In order to better publicize our project to the community and attract the attention of relevant enterprises and investors, we have written a business plan that describes in detail the business considerations of the project. Facts have proved that having a proper business plan can help us attract the attention of many business fields. In fact, We also made some preliminary business negotiation with L'OREAL, Source Code Capital, Shang Finance and Lvye Investment (Fig.4)We are trying our best to finally transform the technology into full commercialization.

Fig.4 Business Negotiation With Potential Investors

Legal & Policy Analysis

For any team that wants to create its own start-up, analyzing the relevant laws and policies is quite essential. Especially in China this year, a series of laws and regulations related to new cosmetic raw materials and cosmetics production have been abolished, and those latest promulgated have changed a lot.

Thus, In order to realize our entrepreneurial plan and eliminate the legal and policy issues related to our product before entering the market like raw material registration and quality & safety examination, we carefully read, analyzed, and compiled a series of latest laws and regulations issued in 2021, including: Cosmetic Efficacy Claim Evaluation Standard, Classification Rules And Catalogue Of Cosmetics, Technical Guide For Safety Assessment Of Cosmetics, Provisions On The Administration Of Registration And Filing Of New Cosmetic Raw Materials, Measures For The Administration Of Cosmetics Registration And Filing and Provisions On The Administration Of The Registration And Filing Of Cosmetics

In addition to protect our intellectual property & patent, we have also read & analyzed a series of laws and policies related to it.

Finally, we sorted out a comprehensive report. We also would like to help other iGEM teams with similar projects and are willing to share our analysis file with all the cosmetics companies. (It may take you a few minutes to open the file.)

Financial Support

From October 9th to 10th, we went to Shanghai to attend the Synbiopunk2021 and Biological developer Conference with the theme of "Link Start" sponsored by Ailurus. The meeting includes a "Synbiopunk Challenge: sustainable Development Challenge" unit, which consists of many university teams participating in the project exhibition, and all the attendees vote to select the projects with the most valuable and feasible potential. Jiangnan_China participated in the project presentation and eventually won a 10, 000-yuan shortlisted cash award. At the same time, the conference also set up the discussion mode of "Unconference self-organizing meeting", and Jiangnan_China actively joined different SynCamp discussion sites to exchange views and collide ideas.

Thanks to the launch of this Synbiopunk, we are able to show our project to more people, and at the same time, by listening to the development status and direction of upstream and downstream industries, we have a deeper understanding of the mutual promotion and combination of industry, university and research, which also provides great guidance for the commercialization of our project.

Fig.5 Jiangnan_China Is Presenting

Fig.6 Jiangnan_China Won The Bonus Of 10,000-yuan

Fig.7 Group Photo Of All Participants In Synbiopunk2021

We also got a chance to set up our start-up laboratory without paying rent based on Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology's shared laboratories if we would like to give this institution 8% equity distribution. (Fig.8)

Fig.8 Photo Of Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology's Shared Laboratories

Earlier this year, we applied for iGEM 2021 Team Impact Grant, a first-of-its-kind initiative to distribute a total of $225,000 in grants to 90 iGEM teams during the competition season. To our great surprise, we have become 1/90 of the shortlist and received a $2,500 grant, which indicates that our project were regarded to be impactful and technically ambitious (but achievable) by iGEM HQ.

Intellectual Property & Patent

At the same time, we are applying for intellectual property & patent. So far, the patent we have written have entered the proofreading step. After that, we will continue to develop and produce this eco-friendly sunscreen during the patent review period.