Cooking clean

| Print |  Email
Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

 

BY LINDA BAKER

1112 Launch EcoZoom
Ben West, CEO of EcoZoom
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

Ben West was working for a trucking company in Tennessee, “getting good raises and good bonuses,” when he realized the work wasn’t making him feel good about what he was doing. So the 32-year-old Portland native decided to get an MBA from the University of Oregon, where he met a business professor on the board of Aprovecho, a nonprofit that designs efficient cookstoves for use in developing countries. Aprovecho needed help with commercialization, so in 2011 West decided to launch EcoZoom, a startup that works to distribute such cookstoves around the world. About half the world’s population works over an open flame, causing health and environmental problems, West says. EcoZoom contracts with a manufacturer in China to build wood- and charcoal-burning stoves that reduce emissions and smoke exposure, then sells the stoves to companies, government agencies and aid organizations. EcoZoom also sells the stoves for camping and outdoor use. So far EcoZoom has sold about 68,000 stoves for $1.9 million. “We thought we would build a foundation,” says West. “Instead, we’re doing our best to fill orders.” The company’s long-term goal is to create sustainable, for-profit supply chains in developing countries, but that will be an uphill battle. “Coke took 12 years to get profitable in Africa,” West observes.

COMPANY: EcoZoom

PRODUCT: Clean-burning stoves

CEO: Ben West

HEADQUARTERS: Portland

LAUNCHED: 2011

AT A GLANCE: Raised $40,000 from founders and family members. Secured a $50,000 loan from Mercy Corps. Currently raising $750,000. Five full-time employees, including a former director of supply relations and quality at Boeing. “He’s kind of our product czar.”

GOOD WORKS: EcoZoom is one of the 33 Oregon BCorps, businesses that have been certified as socially and environmentally responsible. “It demonstrates to people that we’re serious about being a positive business,” says West. “For our customer base, it’s important to show we’re holding ourselves to a higher standard.”

 

Comments   

 
Guest
-4 #1 KenyanGuest 2012-11-28 23:26:33
These stoves are a stain on the development industry. Ecozoom is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality and they ARE the problem. Ecozoom (and particularly Ben) capitalize on the global poor by selling them substandard products that disentegrate quickly. Do a little more research and you would find that Ecozoom is not welcome throughout much of the world because of their poor business practices.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
+2 #2 Ben WestGuest 2012-12-07 19:26:13
Hi Kenyan - Sorry to hear that you feel so badly about our products. We have done several third party reviews of the stoves with distribution organizations in Kenya and in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It would be great to talk with you sometime about your concerns and generate a good solution. My email address in and is also on our website - www.ecozoomstove.com

All the best!
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
0 #3 interested clientGuest 2014-02-21 05:44:34
Good morning.

My name is Lucy from Mombasa Kenya. I am interested in your product,
especially the charcoal stove. however i wish to know where you are
located in mombasa and how i can get this product.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Lucy Chebet
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Guest
0 #4 CEOGuest 2014-02-24 04:09:24
Quoting Guest:
Good morning.

My name is Lucy from Mombasa Kenya. I am interested in your product,
especially the charcoal stove. however i wish to know where you are
located in mombasa and how i can get this product.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Lucy Chebet



Hi Lucy!

It would be great if you could reach out to Kevin in our team. +254 726 550 112, or let me know your number and we can contact you.

All the best!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

Credit Unions Perspective

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.


Read more...

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.


Read more...

5 highlights from the Angel Oregon Showcase

The Latest
Thursday, April 23, 2015
IMG 5069BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

Celestial Eats

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER AND EILEEN GARVIN

A power lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS