A concept to replace animal sacrifices for meat production through tissue culture was one of the many ideas that were pitched during the business idea-pitching event held at Sherubtse College on February 14.

Namgay Dorji, a second year History and Dzongkha student, who wanted to churn trash into cash won the contest and was awarded Nu 5,000 cash prize.  The idea of the business is to connect users to the nearest scrap dealer to manage waste.

Norbu Wangchuk, a final year B.Sc Life Science student, plans to produce artificial meat to meet the demand in the country.

He said that without meat, no function is complete in the Bhutanese society. “Meat consumption is going to grow. This would mean more meat import and slaughtering of animals.”

According to Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives’ annual report, Bhutan imported meat worth Nu 98.58 million in 2016.

Norbu Wangchuk said artificially produced meat through tissue culture could be a solution. “Since it would be produced in a laboratory, the risk of contamination is minimum. The idea is doable and would prove effective if done correctly.”

An idea to produce organic egg powder and turning marijuana plant to a cash crop caught the attention of the participants.

A total of 89 ideas were pitched during the daylong event of which 20 ideas were selected for the national startup weekend scheduled for March.

Director General of Department of Information Technology and Telecom, Jigme Thinlye Namgyal, said the event was organised to provide individuals with opportunity to showcase their ideas and create an ecosystem in colleges to encourage startups.

“The future lies in innovation and this is a platform where marriage of ideas, technical skills and marketing ability happens,” said Jigme Thinlye Namgyal.

Younten Tshedup | Kanglung