University of Saskatchewan

September 18, 2014   

U of S $50,000 BioVenture Business Plan Competition

Introduction to the Finalists

Sponsored by Saskatchewan Agriculture and The Industry Liaison Office, University of Saskatchewan

The BioVenture Business Planning Challenge is a competition designed to promote and develop “Bio-Economy” business ideas here in Saskatchewan. A $50,000 Grand Prize, supplied by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, provides the startup capital needed to help take the winning business plan from "idea" to "reality".

Joel Ahmed Joel Ahmed is currently a graduate student pursuing his Master’s in Ag and Bioresource Engineering at the College of Engineering. The goal of his company, ViSens, is to build small scale ethanol plants supported by community refineries. The feedstock is non-food bio-waste from agriculture. His process would provide fuel using technology that is environmentally friendly and non-energy intensive.
Oksana Akhova & Melissa Strom Oksana Akhova and her partner Melissa Strom both received their Masters in Business Administration in 2007 from the Edwards School of Business, U of S. Oksana and Melissa intend to use fireweed, a common plant to Saskatchewan to produce herbal tea leaves and seabuck thorn extract for the cosmetic industry because of its nutrient and antioxidant qualities.
Patrick Mah Patrick Mah is a 2006 graduate of the College of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan. He has been working to develop an “in situ bioremediation” process for use on contaminated soil or “Brownfields”. His target market, primarily oil field and mining sites, is growing and does not currently have access to economically-viable remediation solutions. Patrick’s company, Wave Environmental Technologies (“New Wave”) Limited will allow these brownfields to be remediated and re-used for both urban and commercial development, allowing existing sites that are visually unappealing and health-hazards to become productive, useful and valuable real estate once again.
Karthikeyan Narayanan & Zafer Dallal Bashi Karthikeyan and Zafer are currently Ph.D. students at the University of Saskatchewan, Department of Food and Bio-Product Sciences. They are developing a Methyl Ester / Biodiesel plant that utilizes waste vegetable oil as a feedstock. The cooperative is based on building a network for waste oil collection and conversion to biodesel, thereby fostering the development of biodiesel production in local communities.
Wai Ma Wai is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Agriculture and Bioresources. He is developing educational software that provides agricultural education in the form of video gameplay to further the development of the non-commodity based bioresource industry. This software platform will allow both the advancement of bio-based knowledge in youth as well as provide a marketing platform for Saskatchewan’s bio-expertise abroad, through game-play ads and links to Saskatchewan-based resources.

For more information, please contact:

Lorna Shaw-Lennox
Start-Up Company Specialist, Industry Liaison Office
University of Saskatchewan
P: (306) 966-7338

2008 BioVenture Business Plan Challenge