A scheme to simultaneously farm rainbow trout and organic vegetables using aquaponics has won first prize and the People’s Choice Award in the Flinders University Business Plan Competition for 2012.
Salmonid Technologies is the name of the fictitious company devised by marine biology and aquaculture students Jessica Buss, Scott Forsythe, Sharni Lans and Rebecca Pohl.
With a live aquarium as a prop, Salmonid pitched its proposal – to produce rainbow trout in a closed system that uses fish waste to fertilise vegetable plants that in turn filter the water in which the fish grow – to the panel of judges (Ms Di Blackwood from TAFESA, Mr Kevin Johnson from Deloitte Private and Dr Sinead O’Connell from Flinders Partners) and an enthusiastic audience.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parkin said all four finalists in this year’s competition demonstrated a thorough understanding of the factors that must be taken into account in the launch of any “start-up” business venture.
“Evaluating a business idea and determining its viability calls for a great deal of research. Not only does the product concept need to be sound – the marketplace for that product needs to be carefully examined,” Professor Parkin said.
“Since the inception of the Business Plan Competition in 2008, the teams from the enterprise topics offered at Flinders have produced plans of a highly professional standard. This year’s finalists are no exception,” he said.
“I’d like to congratulate the Salmonid team and topic co-ordinator Kevin Kirchner on an impressive proposal and convincing presentation.”
Two of the remaining three teams in this year’s finals were enrolled in the BioBusiness topic supervised by Professor Chris Franco: Pisces Tech, a proposed innovative biotechnology enterprise to be involved in the utilisation of food resources that would otherwise to go waste; and Roadinium, a novel biotechnology enterprise intended to focus on the demand for precious metals.
The fourth team, Hang 10 Surfing Adventures, a proposed venture offering unique surfing tours to interstate and international visitor markets, undertook the Tourism Business Planning topic co-ordinated by Professor Bill Spurr.
The members of Salmonid take home an individual trophy and share the first prize of $1000 plus the $500 People’s Choice Award. The other teams were each awarded a $250 cash prize.