Invasive Species Marketplace
98 percent of visitors were from the United States. science and technology invasive species data research laboratory education
The north American neighbor to the Uited States, Canada, had the second most visitors. science and technology invasive species data research laboratory education
About 1/3rd of all countries visited the website. science and technology invasive species data research laboratory education
Have had interest from specimen collectors in central Asia and other far flung locailites. science and technology invasive species data research laboratory education
The Bioinvaders invasive species marketplace was launched in 2012 by Brett Nathaniel Scott with an initial investment in an incorporation in Texas and a website. Bioinvaders Incorporated the company was started on public computers at the Houston Public Library Kendall branch (which is now closed because of Hurricane Harvey.) Founders were Brett and Brandon Scott, brothers from Houston, Texas. The idea for the company began as an epiphany to pursue profits while improving the environment. The project has also been made possible through the generous support of the Scott Family, including Joan Scott, a board member. Initial impact and word of mouth marketing about the launch of the invasive species marketplace resulted in some early adopters who were citizen scientists participating in the collection of animals and plants across the United States of America. The process even resulted in a sale establishing the solvency of the corporation and the innovative market mechanism in general. Here we explore and analyze the data that came forth from the Beta Test Marketing Phase of the project, and discuss the meaning, as it relates to the future of environmental conservation through a business model.
Materials and Methods
We incorporated using LegalZoom, and have maintained our person hood through the payment and filing of taxes, the commission of a registered agent in Austin, Texas, and yearly investments. The website domain name is www.bioinvaders.com and it has many attractive features for users. The website has gone through 4 different versions which have had different pages and tools. However, the focal point of the operation is the Sell Page, and the Shop. The sell page is where citizen scientists can post specimens that they want to collect or have already gathered for sale on the website. The shop page is where customers, usually laboratory instructors, buy the invasive species thus propelling the removal of a specimen from a compromised habitat. Other pages allow for a reflection of the data and a map of the location of the Bioinvaders for users to better visualize what is actually happening. Once there is a sale, we ask that the collector ship the specimens to the user directly and preserved for laboratory use.
Collections came from 4 states: Texas, Florida, California, and Georgia. See the images for complete results. Our first specimen was the kudzu stink bug from Georgia. Other people decided to participate as well and eventually we were advertising a dozen species. In total we removed hundreds of individual specimens however most were insects. We collected higher order vertebrates such as bullfrogs and fish. Clearly it is easier to collect insects in higher numbers than bigger organism however there is an inverse relation ship between ease of collection and price per specimen. The website received visitors from just about every country on the internet.
Bioinvaders Incorporated considers its launch and beta test marketing phase a success. Scientifically we produced interesting results which fulfilled our corporate mission to conduct research in the field of invasive species. While we are not yet a popular brand, we are a bit of a diamond in the rough. A substantial increase in cash flows through investment coupled with the application of widespread marketing should continue the corporation’s trajectory to profitability. Every time a teacher chooses a Bioinvaders specimen they are contributing to ecosystem restoration. Some questions that came up include where should we advertise to get the most interest from citizen scientists and laboratory researchers and instructors, how can we standardize the shipment of invasive species to laboratories across jurisdictional boundaries, and how could we better use dedicated staff to accomplish corporate goals?