Ninth Agribusiness Sustainability Summit

Date: November 22nd, 2023

The Ninth Agribusiness Sustainability Summit, held on November 8, was an opportunity for second-year students to present results regarding the finances and production of the businesses they have been working on for two years. Our Guácimo Campus was filled with colorful stands at which the students offered everything from lamb meat and biochar to cold coffee, granola, and ice cream.

Proyecto Empresarial (Entrepreneurial Project) is one of the courses that is part of our Academic Program. It works like this:

  • In their first year, students form groups to develop a business project financed by the University. In this phase, they must create a business plan.
  • In the second year, each team must execute the plan and participate in the Summit, a space where they can put their communication skills into practice to sell their idea and compete for the “Best Project” award.
  • In the third year, a final evaluation of each company is carried out. After covering the costs and funding granted by EARTH, the members of each team divide their profits. This is how some of the best ideas at our University are created.

This year, 18 teams representing 27 countries competed at the Summit. Six of them advanced to the second stage to make a five-minute presentation in front of the EARTH community and an external jury – three companies were crowned winners.

First place: Helarte

Helarte was formed by María Fernanda Rodríguez (Mexico), Danny Naranjo (Costa Rica), Paola Tipás (Ecuador), Yohannes Bimrew (Ethiopia – Mastercard Foundation Scholar), Ana Kelle Brito (Brazil), and Mariana Cordero (Costa Rica). The company made creamy ice cream with flavors such as passion fruit and piña colada, guided by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Affordable and Clean Energy and Responsible Production and Consumption. They sold more than 650 kilograms of their ice cream on campus.

“Winning first place is a reflection of all the efforts made by the team this year. It was a very motivating and tiring job, but we won thanks to constant teamwork and the understanding that we can all contribute equally. Winning the Summit is an experience because we always said that if we did things right, we would have good results,” said María Fernanda, the General Manager of the company.

Second place: Fresh Farm Eggs

This company’s objective is the care, feeding, and welfare of hens to produce pastured eggs. The six students who made up the team that brought Fresh Farm Eggs to life are Francisco Leiva (El Salvador), Juan Franco (Guatemala), Juan Diego Quiroa (Guatemala) and Mastercard Foundation Scholars Diana Jepkogei (Kenya), Patience Cyuzuzo (Rwanda) and Rossélin García (Guatemala).

“Winning second place means that everything is possible if you have dedication and commitment to do something in life. For me, this has been a great experience to learn how to work with other people because many times we think we can do everything alone, but if we work together, we can achieve our goals, taking advantage of the skills of each team member. I think that’s the biggest thing I learned during the experience,” said Patience, the company’s Environmental Manager.

Third place: Coffee Connection

“A good connection starts with good coffee” is the slogan under which Coffee Connection created its business, based on the sale of cold-brewed coffee in various flavors and presentations. The team is made up of Jevoughn Hagues (Jamaica), Alberto Pineda (Ecuador), Celeste Bueso (Honduras), Michael Jackson Hernández (Nicaragua), Veonn Caines (St. Kitts and Nevis), and Trinidad García (Guatemala).

“This achievement was due to a mutual effort between all company partners, and we are very proud to have come this far. We have learned to have a lot of patience and to have a good attitude, and we realized that this is what we transmit when selling the products. We faced many challenges during each stage, but we were able to solve them thanks to good communication among the team,” said Alberto, Marketing Manager.

We thank the jury, members of the company Grupo Nutresa, for their valuable contribution and for their enthusiasm and commitment to our students. We also thank the faculty and all the people who organized this event. Congratulations to the 18 teams who participated ­­— each one was an example of excellence, effort, and dedication.