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Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship in Southeastern North Carolina Floyd Inman III 1, Leonard Holmes 1 and Michael Menefee 2 1) Sartorius-stedim Biotechnology.

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Presentation on theme: "Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship in Southeastern North Carolina Floyd Inman III 1, Leonard Holmes 1 and Michael Menefee 2 1) Sartorius-stedim Biotechnology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biotechnology and Entrepreneurship in Southeastern North Carolina Floyd Inman III 1, Leonard Holmes 1 and Michael Menefee 2 1) Sartorius-stedim Biotechnology Laboratory, Biotechnology Research and Training Center 2) Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship and School of Business University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Pembroke, North Carolina Thomas Family Center Established in 2006, the UNC Pembroke (UNCP) Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship (TFCE) was created by a generous gift from The Thomas Family Foundation, founded by James and Sally Thomas. Mr. Thomas is a native Lumbee Indian from Pembroke and successful Californian entrepreneur. His concern for his home and people inspired the creation of the TFCE. The TFCE serves as a “Mecca” for all local and regional residents who are seeking new entrepreneurship opportunities. Its goal is to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking amongst the UNCP student body as well as to assist and support entrepreneurs and new ventures in Southeastern North Carolina. To pursue it’s mission, the TFCE focuses on education, research, planning and community engagement. Biotechnology Research Center Brave-Guard n ™ Beneficial Microworms: An Agricultural Biotechnology Venture The Biotechnology Research and Training Center (BRTC) has the mission to stimulate the transformation of knowledge through coordinated efforts into increased economic well-being of southeast North Carolina. The core activity of the Biotechnology Center is to establish workable relations between UNC Pembroke and academic, business and local government entities to develop innovative training and research opportunities. 1.Isolating and culturing gut bacteria in nematode production media. 2.Formulation of bacteria/nematode growth media 3.Developing and optimizing culturing conditions ‒ pH ‒ Dissolved oxygen ‒ Temperature ‒ Agitation ‒ Aeration ‒ Inoculum Why use Brave-Guard ™ Microworms?What are Brave-Guard ™ Microworms? Beneficial microworms are microscopic nematodes that are capable of attacking agriculturally significant insect pests. Microworms carry bacteria in their gut that kill and convert the insect into food. 1.Kills broad range of insects 2.Safety for plants and animals 3.Safety to humans 4.Easy to disperse 5.Do not kill beneficial insects 6.Reproduces in the field 7. Does not use additional chemicals Acknowledgements Partial financial support was provided in part by the: North Carolina Biotechnology Center, UNCP Dept. of Chemistry and Physics, Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs, and Farm Bureau of Robeson County. Special thanks is given to Mr. Ryan Friddle for market planning. Additionally, thanks is given to our following sponsors: Mass Production Challenges in Commercialization The Sartorius-stedim Biotechnology Laboratory housed with the UNCP Biotechnology Research and Training Center has invested five years of research and development involving beneficial nematodes (i.e. microworms). Additionally, over $200,000 has been invested to carryout the venture by many sponsors and donors. The project’s main goal is to introduce and promote organic gardening in Southeastern North Carolina. The other goal of the venture is provide scientific and business training to local, regional and foreign students. Production of Brave-Guard ™ Beneficial Microworms The Sartorius-stedim Biotechnology Laboratory is equipped with five fermentation units: (2) 2 liter, (1) 5 liter, (1) 10 liter, and one 30 liter. The total capacity of 49 liters can produce at least two batches per month totaling about 2 billion nematodes. Many successes have been obtained; however, production of these beneficial microworms is always a constant battle. Strategy of Marketing Brave-Guard ™ 1.Locate, contact and determine product interest of: ‒ Homeowners ‒ Gardeners ‒ Landscapers 2.Provide free product samples for “test-drive” 3.Design marketing ads in different formats 4.Perform “test-drive” follow-ups and survey customer reactions. Other Entrepreneurship Supported UNCP Programs Entrepreneurship Certificate Programs o Art Entrepreneurship o Music Entrepreneurship Minor in Entrepreneurship o For non-business majors B.S. in Business Administration o Entrepreneurship track Minor in Entrepreneurship Small Business Consulting Technology Transfer Entrepreneurship/Business Research 1.Mass production consistency 2.Production capacity 3.Production costs 4.Competitive and Consumer pricing 5.Farmer/Consumer education 6.Marketing “Economic development and personal success are attained through entrepreneurs and innovators who thrive on imagination, creativity and passion” – TFCE Mission Overview of the mass production process of Brave-Guard ™ Beneficial Microworms Major elements of the mass production process are: Many challenges have been identified that have a great impact on commercialization. They include: Brave-Guard™ received funding to hire an MBA student to conduct a market study and develop a marketing strategy. The strategy was four fold:


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