Ecopoint™ is a web-based collaboration platform and resource hub for SMEs and professionals working in climate change, environment, clean technology and sustainable business in Asia . The idea was born out of frustration and a lack of transparency the founders experienced when it comes to the environmental/sustainability industry in Asia. As Jochen Kleef, the co-founder was transitioning from a background of successfully turning around Professional Services businesses in real estate in both Europe and Asia into the sustainability space, he wanted to help early stage and SME type businesses in the green sector and he couldn’t find them easily.
“As economic growth will predominantly happen in Asia for the next 10-15 years, I am passionate for that growth to be as sustainable as possible and in order to achieve this, these small innovative firms need to be positioned for exploiting this growth commercially” says Jochen.
Rather than on a small 121 consulting scale where impact is limited, Ecopoint enables to do this on a larger scale with three main purposes:
– Make environmental / sustainability companies in Asia searchable,
– Help these to raise their profile and make them more visible for customers and potential partners
– Provide a platform for the practitioners and B2B community to connect with likeminded players
Ecopoint started out as a directory based web site with a strong B2B focus and has since developed into a collaboration hub with an exclusive social networking element supported by community services such as a jobs board, an events calendar and a clean tech investment matching functionality.
The features of the platform include:
– Community lead features and contributions as opposed to a journalistic focus,
– A green business directory exclusive for Asian companies,
– A jobs board,
– An events calendar,
– An investor matching platform and
– A social networking functionality called “My Ecopoint”
“Just to give you an idea on traction, we had 500 Followers on Twitter within the first week of launch which has since grown to over 3,200. In total, we now has a combined social media reach of over 12,000 connections which helps enormously to raise people’s and company’s profiles that feature on Ecopoint. Our jobs board grew from zero to over 380 jobs within a couple of months.Traffic numbers are also demonstrating that there is a real appetite for an Asia focussed SME collaboration platform for the eco industry” adds Jochen on the growth of Ecopoint so far.
“From a standing start and purely through personal networks as well as our combined Linkedin and Twitter connections, Ecopointreached several thousand unique visits a month within a few months from going online. Whilst that in itself was impressive, what surprised us even more was that these visitors were staying on the site for over five and a half minutes on average which means that Ecopoint generated very targeted traffic right from the start.”
With the public beta testing out of the way, Ecopoint is now fully operational and currently has a team of 15 across various geographies including Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Korea.
The initial revenue model is focused on advertising and sponsoring, with a move towards a freemium model involving different layers of services / access for some of the current and future support services that will be provided.
“Whilst Ecopoint is a for profit organisation, we consider ourselves a social enterprise as we are passionate about enabling the Asian eco industry to unleash its full potential so that the economic growth of the future is more sustainable for the benefit of the planet and our children. As such, a personal My Ecopoint will always be for free”, Jochen shares on the pricing.
About plans for India, Jochen says “We were positively surprised about the interest and take up from the Indian online community. After Hong Kong and Singapore, India has been the third largest number of visitors since launch. In order to address this, we have a team member in India who supports our efforts locally on the ground. We also launched an India specific site to allow for future growth and the building of the B2B community locally. This will also allow for local language capabilities and more targeted, local advertising”.
Click here to visit Ecopoint website.
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