Cambridge students announced winners of “McKinsey Innovate” 2012
Cambridge, UK, 9th May 2012
At the final judging ceremony of the McKinsey Innovate 2012 competition, held yesterday evening at The Commonwealth Club, London, The Ethical Tomato Co. was declared winner. The annual competition, sponsored by global management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, saw teams of university students from across the UK compete for £5,000 of seed funding to implement their ideas as a social enterprise.
The Ethical Tomato Co. presented an innovative solution to actively address a number of problems facing small-scale tomato farmers in Mexico. The company plans to provide farmers with access to sustainable technologies that will significantly increase yields whilst forming partnerships to reduce waste along the value chain and equitably share profits.
The Ethical Tomato Team comprises four postgraduate students of the Engineering for Sustainable Development masters programme at Cambridge University. The team of friends have been working to develop the business plan since February, drawing on elements of their taught programme and professional experience throughout Europe and Latin America.
Pedro Zaragoza, who presented the proposal at the final judging ceremony, commented, “we were up against teams with some great ideas, and it’s fantastic to have won. This has been an incredible journey for the team, and we are very grateful to have had the support of McKinsey during the past month in developing our ideas. We are all really excited about taking the next steps to implement our ideas as a social enterprise.”
The Ethical Tomato Team is now planning to use the seed funding to undertake a pilot study in Michoacán, Mexico, before involving investors and scaling up the business.
Pedro Zaragoza, Chemical Engineer, Mexico
Jorge Garcia Moreno, Biomedical Engineer, Mexico
Stephanie Hirmer, Civil Engineer, Germany
Daniel Gallagher, Civil Engineer, Scotland
Centre for Sustainable Development
University of Cambridge, UK, CB2 1PZ
Tel: +44 (0) 7428835370
Photo credit: Zaragoza