Agrasun, a South Florida company developing agricultural bio-diesel projects in Mexico and Colombia selected as Finalist in the McCloskey Business Plan Competitions sponsored by the University of Notre Dame Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies 8th Annual Social Venture Plan Competition. Some 150 individuals from the Irish Angels network and other alumni groups served as mentors and judges.
Agrasun is an energy company that participates in the second generation bio-diesel feedstock industry. Agrasun has chosen to grow the feedstock Jatropha Curcas in Colombia and Mexico. In conjunction with Live Systems Technology, a Colombia based Agricultural Bio Science company, they have conducted scientific research demonstrating the productivity of the concentrated growth of Jatropha. This environmentally conscious endeavor will partially satisfy worldwide demand for bio-diesel feedstock, while simultaneously ensuring the provision of jobs for the people of this region.
The principals of Agrasun have over 50 years collective experience developing and implementing successful projects in Latin America and Mexico and have earned the support of governmental agencies in both Mexico and Colombia. "We believe that the key to developing a successful agricultural project in rural regions," said Michael Fisher, Director of Business Development for Agrasun, "is partnering with agencies and communities that share our long term approach to agricultural energy development. This competition, along with working with the resources of Notre Dame, their students, faculty and alumni, have helped us refine that model."
"Agrasun represents the future of capitalism where you take advantage of market efficiencies and use the resources generated to change the world," says Dr. Martha Martinez of DePaul University, Chicago, IL. The McCloskey Business Plans Competition provides an annual forum for entrepreneurs. There were over 300 participants in the 2008-2009 competition that formed teams whose vision, creativity and analysis are testament to the strong entrepreneurial drive that exists in the Notre Dame community. Corporate sponsors for the competitions include Nasdaq Educational Foundation, Inc., Pace Global Energy Services and Palo Alto Software.
The Agrasun solution is (1) an environmentally friendly source of bio-diesel feedstock, Jatropha Curcas, (2) a sustainable natural energy source since Jatropha has a 30-40 year productive life cycle. Agrasun has developed a unique approach to business development in economically depressed rural communities within developing countries which incorporates a triple bottom line approach of "People, Planet, Profits."
Jatropha Curcas has been proven to have a high energy content when compared to other agricultural feedstocks, and does not remove resources from the animal or human food supply. It utilizes a manual work force, which correlates to a low carbon footprint in harvesting and grows in marginal soils.