Today Switzerland, tomorrow the world

AgroSustain, a start-up launched in 2018, is successfully progressing from one growth phase to the next. Backed by various levels of support that Innosuisse provides to young researchers, the company is seeking to market biological pesticides made from vegetal extracts.

In a punnet of strawberries you’ve bought at the store, you’ll often find one that is moulding or even already decomposed. Who wouldn’t prefer spotless fruit that keeps a lot longer than what we are used to? These are the virtuous ambitions of the Lausanne-based start-up AgroSustain.

The company was set up by Dr Olga Dubey, a researcher who after completing her doctorate at the University of Lausanne decided to put to work a discovery made during her years of research. Dr Dubey identified a natural compound capable of fighting phytopathogenic moulds that damage many types of fruit and vegetables. She set about making it into a product that she hoped would eventually be sold widely. “Food waste is one of the worst scourges of the 21st century,” she declares. “By making it possible to keep fruit and vegetables longer and in better condition, we’d like to see our AgroSustain project improve the situation.”

In its initial stage the start-up obtained support through BRIDGE, the funding programme developed jointly by Innosuisse and the Swiss National Science Foundation for researchers whose concepts lie on the frontier between research and innovation. At present AgroSustain is able to continue growing thanks to Start-up Coaching provided by Innosuisse. For Dr Dubey this is a windfall. “The programme proposes options designed to support start-ups. They help in devising the best solutions for bringing a product to market with support from recognized experts.”

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Armed with this guidance AgroSustain, which now has five employees, has approached its first customers and begun testing its product. But while already finding receptiveness in the Swiss market, the company does not intend to stop there. It has international ambitions and is already eyeing Russia, Germany, Spain, Britain and the US. “Our objective is to launch our project on a broad scale in 2022,” Dubey enthuses.

Text: Johanne Stettler

Last modification 12.12.2019

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