Photo: Chris Linde, Linde Media

Idea for sustainable fish farms wins Venture Cup

Tuesday 29 Jun 21


Andreas Væring. Mail:

The AQfeed team:

Andreas Væring, MSc student in Technology Entrepreneurship, DTU
Anton Krogh Petersen, MSc student in Technology Entrepreneurship, DTU
Thomas Theis Petersen, MSc student in Mathematical Modelling and Computation, DTU
Joachim Scheele Rådstoga, BSc student in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Copenhagen Business Academy
Daria Zahaleanu, MSc student in Information Technology, DTU
Jasmin Hyldborg, MSc student in Design and Innovation, DTU
DTU students’ idea for alternative fish feed wins entrepreneurial competition for the best university startups in Denmark.

The AQfeed startup won the DKK 100,000 prize at Venture Cup’s annual National Startup Competition, which was held on 24 June. In addition to the prize money, AQfeed also won a place in the University Startup World Cup, where they will be competing against international startups in China in November.

The winning solution by the AQfeed team removes the excess sludge that is an economic and logistical burden for fish farms. The students suggest using the sludge to grow worms and algae that can be used for fish feed with a high protein and Omega 3 content. The sustainable and circular approach can both reduce carbon emissions and make it cheaper for fish farmers to produce more nutritious fish feed.

A total of four startups live-pitched their entrepreneurial ideas on stage to a panel consisting of entrepreneur Frederikke Antonie Schmidt, founder of the shoe company Roccamore, CEO Jesper Theil Thomsen, co-founder of the Danish company Soundboks, which produces mobile music systems, and Jesper Brok-Jørgensen, co-founder of the cleaning platform HappyHelper.

Scaling production

“We’ve worked really hard to research our idea, talked to potential customers, and been helped by DTU experts, so having the concept validated and winning the competition almost means more to us than the prize money,” says Andreas Væring, one of the AQfeed founders. He is a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) and is currently doing an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship.

“The money will go towards gathering expert knowledge and expanding our team. In the short term, we dream of carrying out extensive testing of our fish feed solution on selected fish stocks. In the long term, we hope to scale up production and offer the market an innovative solution that can help make food production greener.”

Collaboration with business sector

AQfeed was started by five DTU students and one student from Copenhagen Business Academy in 2020. Participating in the DTU X-Tech Entrepreneurship course at DTU Skylab, they worked with Grundfos to develop sustainable solutions for agriculture. After the course, the team went on to work on their alternative fish feed solution. Today, they are working with DHI Group, which makes expert knowledge and facilities available to the team.

In addition to AQfeed, the two DTU startups Uvisa and divERS also made it to the finals. Uvisa won the Health category, while divERS won the Digital category. A total of nine DTU startups entered the competition with 20 finalists.

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