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Business, Economics, Education, Entrepreneurs,
Environment, Science and Technology
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Posted May 15, 2008
CBET Success Story

Public invited to official product launch of local innovative on-farm technology

NEWTON – Jasmin Hofer, a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Waterloo is ready to unveil, her company Energrow Inc.'s eco-friendly and cost-reducing farm technology on Saturday, May 17, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its facility in Newton, Ontario.

The honourable John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Don Mccabe, OFA Vice President, and Ed Danen, President of Perth County Federation of Agriculture, will speak at 10:30 a.m. prior to the unveiling of the Energrow system. Energrow welcomes the UW community to attend this event.

Energrow came about on a UW co-op term in 2006, where Hofer started her own business through the Enterprise Co-op program at the University of Waterloo. Hofer continued to build her business while in school, with invaluable help from the CBET Program and UW professors through which she entered Energrow in a business plan competition as a representative of the University of Waterloo in 2007. Her team won the Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, a national non-profit competition designed to promote entrepreneurship at Canadian universities. Energrow is currently working together with a team of MBET students to solidify its marketing strategy and is now ready to release its product to the Ontario market.

As a business specializing in farm-scale vegetable oil presses and production systems, Energrow enables farmers to press their own crops (oilseeds) and produce their own feed and fuel directly on the farm. Energrow's eco-friendly press, the EE 3700, creates two main bio-products: meal (a palatable animal feed high in natural proteins and energy) and vegetable oil (a value-added product). The pure vegetable oil produced by the Energrow system has a variety of uses ranging from eco-friendly fuel for tractors and generators to lubricant and feed additive.

"This is a new and innovative "green" solution," says Hofer, CEO of Energrow. "Energrow benefits more than just farmers. Its durable and energy-efficient press produces an eco-friendly, carbon neutral fuel -- straight vegetable oil, which reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions."

For farmers, the Energrow system provides increased flexibility and a reduction of day-to-day operating costs including external processing; transportation and fuel; feed; and even electrical bills. "This is about being able to give farmers control of their own commodity, the system's true worth is found in the value it creates for the farmers" says Hofer.

A farmer's daughter, Hofer was driven to find a solution for the family farm in Canada, its success urged her to offer this cost-saving technology to other farmers. Jasmin contributes part of her success to the University of Waterloo. "The support for young entrepreneurs at Waterloo is invaluable," says Hofer. "Without innovative programs like Enterprise Co-op and CBET (Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology) I would not be where I am today. The capacity of the mentors provided to me and MBET student team that I work with continue to be a big help as I take on the challenge of bringing Energrow to market."

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