Business Students to Compete at National Competition

April 14, 2008 - News Release

A student company that plans to distribute biodegradable plastics products across the Greater Toronto Area has qualified to compete in a national business competition in Ottawa May 6.

The company, "Green World Solutions" is made up of Kwasi Danso, Jonathan Wolff and Ashley Van Herten. They placed in the top four in the Nicol LaunchPad $50K, where they competed against 24 teams from nine universities and Conestoga College.

Each school sent the top three teams from their local competition to the regional event held at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo last week. The teams had to provide a business plan and give a presentation in front of a panel of judges.

The top regional finalists will now compete against six teams from across Canada for the Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, a 10-year national competition named after Wes Nicol, an Ottawa home builder and real estate lawyer.

"This has been a great experience," said Danso, who graduated in the winter with a degree in hospitality and tourism management and is now working full-time to start up the business. "Having the opportunity to go to this national competition is another chance to showcase our product and meet more people and more contacts."

The students are targeting food services where they use plastic cutlery and styrofoam plates and containers. They are also working on marketing biodegradable plastic garbage and shopping bags as well as plastic wrap used to protect newspapers and products on skids.

The company's idea is based on including an additive when producing plastic products that makes the material biodegradable, said Danso.

"The additive basically allows microbes to attack the plastic and break it down. This process can take anywhere from nine months to five years and the plastics degrade into biomass, CO2 and water."

Prof. David Prescott, College of Management and Economics associate dean (academic), said the strength of "Green World Solutions" comes from the confidence they have in their idea.

"They are passionate about their business which promises to provide truly biodegradable plastics - a promise that has been made before by others but not delivered," said Prescott. "On stage their passion comes through as they stand before huge images of garbage dumps, hurling bags of garbage in front of the audience. Their voices are strong and convincing, making it an entirely captivating performance. And of course, their message is one that our university can support wholeheartedly."

In addition to "Green World Solutions," U of G sent "Cereal to Go," a company that designed a portable cereal that uses spray-dried milk so consumers simply add water, and "Gordon Mills Gluten Free," a company that plans to produce and distribute beer that contains no barley or malt for people who have celiac disease, which causes an intolerance to gluten.

Kwasi Danso

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982,

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1