Student biotech start-up bags $10-million investment from UAE firm

A student biotech start-up that was fostered under the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centre (IEDC) scheme of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has bagged an investment of $10 million from the UAE-based TCN International Commerce LLC, for its project titled ‘Algae-Seaweed Technology’, under the brand B-lite Cookies.

The biotech start-up’s product was showcased at GITEX 2020 international conference held in Dubai, as it was part of the international start-up delegation led by the KSUM.

Zaara Biotech, which focuses on research in energy and food crisis using micro-algae, got the funding for its research and development, production, distribution and marketing under TCN International Commerce to reach the global arena.

Najeeb Bin Haneef, founder and CEO of Zaara Biotech, and Mohamed Shafi Abdulla, chairman and managing director, TCN International Commerce, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard in Sharjah on Saturday. George Ninan, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIFT (Central Institute of Fisheries Technology), Kochi; Tapan Rayaguru, CEO, KSUM; and Nixon Kuruvila, Principal, Sahrudaya College of Engineering and Technology, Thrissur, were among those present on the occasion, says a release.

The start-up was founded by Mr. Haneef when he was a biotechnology engineering student of the college. The start-up, incubated at the Sahrudaya Technology Business Incubator (Sahrudaya TBI), has collaborated with ICAR-CIFT and it has helped the company become India’s first algae-seaweed food product designer.

The team had set up a ‘mushroom hub’ during their first year on the campus, before foraying into the entrepreneurial venture.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 7:52:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/student-biotech-start-up-bags-10-million-investment-from-uae-firm/article34121197.ece

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