(Endeavor.org) Colombia’s Ecoflora, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur LogoEcoflora2Nicolás Cock Duque, recently received an investment from impact investment firm EcoEnterprises Fund. The investment represents the first investment of the Fund in a Colombian company. A biopesticides company based in Medellin, Ecoflora is an innovative business that focuses on developing natural solutions for integrated and sustainable pest and disease management.
With products derived from plants and the rich biological environment in Colombia, the company has successfully created several lines of plant-based biopesticides for both regional and global markets. Ecoflora has transformed the region’s industry and demonstrated Colombia’s potential for high-impact entrepreneurial growth. With over 15 products and 30 applications developed over the past decade, the company is a testament to the potential of emerging markets to drive innovation, having already filed for nearly a dozen patents on an international scale.
“There has been a rising demand in consumer preferences for more natural, less toxic sustainable agricultural products. Growers are feeling increasing pressure to reduce residues downstream, from food processors to the largest food retailers. The result has been that biological solutions have gained more market traction and share,” said John McKenna, Senior Investment Officer for EcoEnterprises Fund. “The efficacy, biodegradability and non-toxicity of Ecoflora’s products offer an environmentally sustainable and holistic approach to crop management solutions compared with traditional methods. This has significant positive environmental and social impact benefits.”
Biopesticides currently represent only 4% of the $50b global pesticide market, yet demand for the products are growing five times faster than the more common synthetic chemical pesticides. The impetus behind this trajectory has been rising competition for new and improved products and consumer trends for natural, less toxic sustainable agricultural products. Biopesticides are derived from natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.
Ecoflora currently sells its products in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica. The Company recently received EPA approval in the United States for one of its core products and is expecting additional regulatory approvals in other countries within the next 24 months. Since being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2007, Nicolás has been an active network member, receiving local publicity support and mentorship while also participating in the eMBA and G-Lab programs, the 2013 Endeavor Summit, and more.