Explore GEN family of websites, social media experiences, blogs and more.

Unleashing ideas.
Strengthening startups.

Back to search results
    Date submitted
  • 01-Sep-2017

EnerGaia Co Ltd

Abstract

By partnering with NGOs, donor groups and aid agencies, EnerGaia is introducing a new contract farming model tailored particularly for women entrepreneurs in rural areas of developing countries. EnerGaia has the potential to work with both farmers in Bangladesh and food stalls in Thailand, to dramatically improve diets to combat micronutrient malnutrition. As a social enterprise, EnerGaia has the opportunity to enhance local livelihoods and improve the global food supply chain.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Photos

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

We have several customer groups for our major product categories. 1. We finance our technology for rural farmers, with an emphasis on the women in communities. 2. We sell spirulina in bulk to food manufacturers as an ingredient to make healthy food products. 3. We sell fresh spirulina and spirulina foods to distributors and retailers as channels to reach end consumers.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

- Food security: our spirulina functional foods help meet global demand for sustainable protein and micronutrients. - Sustainability: our system uses land and spaces not suitable for traditional farming (i.e. city rooftops and rural villages). - Poverty reduction and gender equality: our spirulina system can supplement rural incomes 3x, has a one-year payback period and is scalable and easy to operate by rural women. - Nutritional health: spirulina prevents malnutrition and obesity in populations in both developed and developing countries.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

EnerGaia has developed a proprietary microalgae production technology that requires specialized knowledge of microbiology and an understanding of the growth and harvest cycles of spirulina in order to successfully produce high quality spirulina in large quantities, consistently, in each microclimate. Examples of two of our pending patents are: 1) our processing technology to achieve extended shelf-life for fresh spirulina from industry standard 3-5 day periods to 6 weeks; and 2) our time-saving automated spirulina harvesting technology. We provide this knowledge to all of our growers as we adapt our systems to each group of users in each community, and we welcome feedback and improvements from the spirulina producers using our system. We view it as an agro-technological version of the App Store, enabling democratization of system improvement ideas. We can then help to share (and monetize) these improvements across the entire installed base. No competing system has this flexibility.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

EnerGaia is leveraging our technology with rural farmers in a new contract-farming model to uplift livelihoods while democratizing production, starting in Bangladesh, India and southern Thailand. Working with NGO's, we identify rural farmers, find financing solutions for the farmers to purchase our systems, and set up our collection (plus technical support) centers in the local communities. Since we both sell our systems to the farmers and buy up to 80% of their production, we view them as both our technology customers and our supply chain. This model is in process and working today. Because we have a 5+ year track record operating our system on a commercial scale, we are best qualified to productive ongoing technical support and future system improvements to all of our users. No other commercial spirulina producer can do this, as they all utilize the simplest forms of production (open ponds) which do not have the flexibility or scalability of our proven production system.