Trap grease biodiesel production plan wins Australian eChallenge

By By University of Adelaide | November 05, 2013

A business plan to convert grease-trap waste into commercial-grade biodiesel won the 2013 University of Adelaide Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre Australian eChallenge.

Energy from Waste Pty Ltd, with members Lisa Chao, Philip Curran, Dr David Rutley, Brian O'Neil and Ted McMurchie, not only won first prize at an awards’ dinner Nov. 1, but also received the $10,000 Adelaide Airport Clean Tech Award, the People's Choice Award and a trip to Austin Texas to compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition—prizes totaling $55,218.

Energy from Waste's winning business plan outlines how it will design, construct, commission and operate biodiesel production plants at major waste processing companies that currently collect and dispose of grease-trap waste, eliminating their disposal costs and creating a new revenue stream.

Professor Noel Lindsay, ECIC Director, said Energy from Waste was awarded first prize because the team delivered a proficient business plan that could result in positive outcomes for both local businesses and the environment.

“Australian eChallenge is growing in popularity each year, with 35 highly creative and innovative teams competing in this year's competition,” Lindsay said. “Energy from Waste was selected because the team's business plan is thorough and professional. The team's proposal clearly outlines an opportunity to reduce the cost of waste processing and decrease its impact on the environment.”

Further winners announced at the awards’ night, which was held at the National Wine Centre, include:

-Flarum, an internet-based service aiming to connect people with common interests—winner of the second prize and the ECIC Commercialisation Encouragement Award (totaling $21,399);

-Florence Energy, with a proposal to recycle plastic using an efficient and environmentally-friendly method—winner of the third prize (totaling $7,359);

-Family Footprint, a secure place for storing families’ digital footprint—winner of the $6,750 Best Solutions International ‘Diamond in the Rough Prize;’

-And eConnect, an online platform to instantly connect consumers and cinemas—winner of the $5,000 Vroom Award.

The annual Australian eChallenge, now in its 12th year, sees teams of up to six people (with at least one member being a South Australian tertiary student) develop a plan for a new, previously unfunded business concept.

The competition incorporates business and entrepreneurial workshops, team mentoring by industry professionals, networking opportunities and help in developing new business ideas.


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