A second year Law student from the University of Lincoln has reached the semi-finals of a national business competition run by a charity that supports student and graduate entrepreneurs. Luke Smith, 20, has been shortlisted in the ideas category for their business Seaweed Culture that is looking to make the agricultural industry more sustainable by creating a climate mitigation livestock feed.
NACUE and the Tata group have worked together for over ten years and through this competition have joined in ‘Powering the Enterprising Generation’ to support talented and ambitious young people, committed to innovating their own career through enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Tata Varsity Pitch Competition, powered by NACUE (National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs), invites innovative young business owners to submit their ideas and business propositions. Alongside the £15,000 prize fund, there will be other benefits too – finalists will have access to significant in-kind support such as expert advice on business plans and to how to professionally network a room. The semi-finals will see Seaweed Culture compete against 5 other startups in their category, pitching online to a panel of expert judges.
When: Thursday 15th October 2020
Where: The Tata Varsity Pitch 2020 Semi-finals event is being hosting online, in partnership with NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator London
If successful, Luke will be invited to a bootcamp where they will gain mentoring and support before pitching in the virtual Grand Final on Friday 20th November.
Seaweed Culture was founded on the pursuit of making industries more sustainable. Their first mission is to tackle the problem of increasing methane emissions produced by livestock by the agricultural industry. Seaweed can help with methane emissions that are produced by livestock. An example would be with cattle, research has shown that by feeding only 5% of their diet a specific species of seaweed can reduce methane production by up to 90% whilst having no negative effects. It is clear that the industry needs to become more sustainable for the future which is why the company was founded in July to help develop this solution.
To date, the competition has received over 3,000 outstanding entries from aspiring entrepreneurs with an increase in quality year-on-year. Exceptionally high caliber startups have been actively involved in social enterprise, from repurposing waste chicken feathers into sustainable housing materials, reducing the amount of injuries of cyclists through projecting laser lights to avoid blind spots, to the development of aids to improve water sanitation in under-served communities, to the creation of a revolutionary itch-management products that aid children suffering with Eczema.
Speaking about their success, Luke said:
“I am really excited to have reached the semi-finals, it will allow me to demonstrate to the judges the huge potential Seaweed Culture can have for the agricultural industry. Allowing the industry to become more sustainable and to meet the UK’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. I believe the company has come at a critical time to help create a solution to a growing problem.”