Since June 2016, the Regensburg-based start-up Thriving Green has been cultivating the algae spirulina in the Turkana region of Kenya. The aim is to fight malnutrition among the people living there. Because of the very dry and hot climate, almost nothing grows in the region, except for the microalgae.
For its tireless efforts on behalf of the people in Turkana, the construction of new cultivation basins, and the expansion into other regions, Thriving Green is now being awarded a prize in the competition „Ausgezeichnete Orte im Land der Ideen“.
Regensburg, 05.06.2018 – The award ceremony for the 100 “Ausgezeichneten Orte” 2018 took place in Berlin on 04.06.2018. Among the winners: Thriving Green, a start-up from Regensburg that fights malnutrition in Kenya. Thriving Green is thus among the 100 most innovative projects, selected from around 1,500 applicants. The 100 award-winning start-ups and associations will network with each other and enrich each other’s ideas.
“Ausgezeichnete Orte im Land der Ideen” is a competition organized by the initiative “Deutschland – Land der Ideen” and the “Deutsche Bank”. The start-up founded by three Regensburg students won the prize for its work with spirulina, an easily cultivated microalgae. Thriving Green grows the so-called superfood in Nariokotome, Kenya, near Lake Turkana. “There are already four cultivation tanks in operation,” explains Alexander Zacharuk, one of the three founders. “Through our project, residents have learned to cultivate the algae and use it for their own consumption.” Due to the prevailing conditions, the area around Lake Turkana is suitable for cultivation. The groundwater has a very high salt content.
Combined with the hot temperatures, this prevents conventional farming. The microalgae spirulina, on the other hand, requires these same conditions. “With the help of new technologies, knowledge and passion, we want to fight one of the biggest problems facing humanity, malnutrition,” explains Stefan Weigl, head of the technical team. To ensure that conditions are always optimal for the algae’s growth and that water temperature, salt concentration, etc. can be easily monitored, Thriving Green’s technical team has developed its own sensor system. The system also determines the perfect time to harvest. As a result, the students expect a 30% increase in yield.
About Thriving Green
Thriving Green emerged from the association Enactus Regensburg e.V.. In June 2016, the Regensburg students decided to grow Spirulina in Kenya. The algae is a superfood that contains 6x more protein than eggs and 4x more energy than potatoes, helping to prevent the consequences of malnutrition. The construction of a large-scale facility in Lodwar, the capital of Turkana County, is expected to enable the mass production of spirulina and thus new distribution scenarios. Initial negotiations to this end have already been held.
Won awards, as well as successful crowdfundings provided the necessary capital so far. Thriving Green’s vision is to fight drastic malnutrition, and with each basin the team gets a little closer to its goal.
Thriving Green e.V.
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